Waffles in the toaster this morning
Breakfast remains much more of a grab-and-go meal than any other in most households, ours included. Unfortunately, this mostly means grab-and-go crappy food, or (horrors!) no food at all…all for a few more minutes of precious shut-eye. Well! For those of you control freaks like me who aim for more whole-foods breakfast goodies for your family, I thought I would share a few things that we do.
Okay, you want quick? Certainly there’s nothing quicker than opening a box of cereal and dumping milk on it. The breakfast foods companies have built an industry to convince you that prepackaged “cereals” with unpronounceable ingredients are the best choice for you to eat. I admit it’s quick, but the best choice? Homemade granola can win any taste test and yes it’s made with maybe 7 ingredients, all with pronounceable names. And yes: you (you!) adjust the sweetening and oil content as what you find best for your tastes. I make a batch every two weeks or so, and it takes me maybe 45 minutes of not-terribly-mind-taxing time. My recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and I have placed it in the comments.
I still haven’t found a way to improve on Pocket Farm Liz’s homemade yogurt. What you’ll need: Milk, yogurt, a pot, a thermometer, two quart canning jars and a small cooler. I make a quart about every week as needed, and make a new batch with the old as the starter. We drink a lot of breakfast smoothies with fruit frozen from last summer, and the child gets yogurt with fruit preserves or jam or simply maple syrup mixed in as a school lunch snack. Recipe, again, in the comments.
Eggs: very quick, but I understand you don’t all have chickens in your side yards. And bread: toast! There’s satisfaction to be had in a slice of your home-made bread as toast the next day. But I’ve beaten you up enough recently about making your own bread…
Sundays have become waffle-making days here this winter. I double my batch so we can have warm waffles on the weekdays (just pop them in the toaster). They last all week because they’re cooked.
And yes, cooking. Cooked items can stay “live” and waiting in the fridge for you to eat them. I sometimes serve us leftover grains like rice with milk and maple syrup in the mornings. We’re also huge fans of (what’s called in this country) Irish oatmeal: steel-cut whole oats, not flakes. I cut down the time it takes to cook it by boiling water the night before and dumping it on the oats, then putting the pot in the fridge for tomorrow’s eating…this shaves about 35 minutes off the cooking time. (I think the ratio is 4 cups water to 1 cup cut oats.) I’ve also put the oats in the slow-cooker overnight, too…but often that requires more of my time to find the crock pot.
Anyway, baby steps. Baby steps turn into big leaps once you add them all up!