Well, here in Nashville, public schools are starting early this year, the beginning of August. We almost always start the beginning of August as well, cause it’s too hot to do anything else anyway, so we’re making that our target date too. With that, it’s time for me to start planning my menus. This post is based on last year’s breakfast post, but I’ve added some new recipes as well.
One thing that I find really helpful during the school year especially is to have a standing menu, especially for breakfast and lunch. I choose a weekly menu and stick with it, so I already know what needs to be on my grocery list and freezer and it gives the kids an idea of what to expect. Here’s a link to a previous post with a recipe for breakfast cookies. The dough freezes well, so I’ve already made a quadruple batch and frozen it, so I have Wednesday breakfasts taken care of for the next month. It also shows my weekly breakfast menu.
Here’s a link to a Gingerbread Muffin recipe that’s yummy also. I like muffins because they smell really good and are portable. My friend Anne Elise makes batches of Morning Glory Muffin batter and freezes several batches of it; then she thaws it overnight, snips the corner of the bag in the morning, squeezed out the batter into the tins, bakes and is done. No bowl to clean up, just throw away the bag. This year, this same friend started skipping the muffin tins and just pouring the mix into a baking dish and baking it to save time on washing the muffin tin. Morning Glory Muffins are great to make right now and freeze because who doesn’t either have zucchini growing in the backyard or a neighbor trying to force you to take some of their over abundant crop? Maybe that’s just a Southern thing:). I have a chocolate chip muffin recipe that’s full of oats and a pumpkin muffin recipe from the Pioneer Woman just to shake things up muffin wise. No getting bored on muffin mornings in our house.
Something else I’ve discovered you can mix up and freeze ahead of time are scones. One of my recipes calls for the scones to be frozen for at least 30 minutes before baking. I found it really improves the textures of the scones, so now I add that step to all my scone recipes, which means I can make big batches of scone dough, roll it out and freeze. No need to thaw before-hand. Try it with your favorite scone recipes! I like chocolate chip, cinnamon, lemon poppy seed, and pumpkin scones, or did before I went gluten-free. 🙂
I have a recipe for pancake mix that I make and store in the freezer. (Note–for this recipe I decrease the milk to 1 1/2 cups so my pancakes aren’t so thin.) I just scoop out the right amount, add the liquids and start pouring out pancakes.
When my son got braces earlier this month, I started making smoothies and at least some of my kids enjoyed them. You can buy fruit already cut up and ready to make into smoothies, or you can do it yourself and that’s of course cheaper. Mango pineapple and strawberry banana were two hit flavors here. These are quick breakfasts if you’ve already prepped the fruit.
Another new addition for this year is baked oatmeal. I finally found a recipe the kids like. This doesn’t have the typical oatmeal texture that several of my kids hate. It’s got the texture of a cake. I wish I could remember where I found this. Sorry to the creator of this yummy breakfast creation:
Mix 3 c. oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar or sucanat, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 c. butter (melted), 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you could use nuts or cinnamon chips). Pour into greased 9 inch baking dish at bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. Many people I know make it the night before and leave it in the fridge til time to bake for breakfast. I mix all the dry ingredients together in a gallon freezer bag and freeze it. Then I pull it out and add the wet ingredients the morning I want to eat it and bake as usual.
Please know that I substitute freshly milled soft-wheat flour and freshly milled oat groats in all these recipes and use sucanat in place of sugar as well to make these healthier. This can also alter the texture somewhat, so if you aren’t using these ingredients, just be aware of this!
It doesn’t really matter what you want to serve for breakfast or lunch, what is helpful is having a plan–what to serve, what to buy on sale or weekly, what to freeze–that will make your mornings run as smooth as possible. If anyone has a favorite breakfast recipe please share a link with the rest of us!