Beat Breakfast Blahs

I’ve recently been putting more effort into making breakfasts more interesting at our house, and I wanted to share a few ideas and solicit ideas from readers as my contribution to Alaina’s first Keeping Creative Kitchens carnival (side note: many, many thanks to Alaina for not titling it “Keeping Kreative Kitchens” – I have a pet peeve about spelling things with K’s when they should be C’s!). For more creative kitchen ideas, be sure to check out Alaina’s blog!

Especially with little ones, morning routines are tough enough to juggle without adding in a lot of fancy breakfast maneuvers, but I was getting really bored with the standard Cheerios/oatmeal/waffles rotation. I got inspired after reading “Real Food for Healthy Kids” to change things up a bit. Here are a few things I’ve tried that can be almost totally assembled the night before, or are very quick in the morning:

  • Steel Cut Oatmeal in the Crockpot – I’ve avoided steel cut oats in the past even though they are much better for you and cheaper than rolled oats, because they take so long to cook on the stove top. Ann’s method for cooking steel cut oats overnight in a crockpot bain-marie (isn’t that fun to say???) really works, and the result is a creamy slightly chewy cereal that’s ready for your favorite additions. We’ve added chopped banana, sunflower seeds, flax seed, brown sugar, and cinnammon, but you could also add dried fruits, other nuts, or anything else you fancy.
  • Baked Muesli Casserole – This can be assembled the night before and refrigerated to cook the next morning, or you can cook it and refrigerate it the night before and just reheat it in the morning. It also makes nice muffins.
  • Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bread – This bread uses applesauce in place of most of the oil, and you can also cut the sugar at least in half if you plan to put something on top of the bread when it’s cooked. I reduced the sugar by half and it’s great that way. We’ve had this as cinnammon toast with cottage cheese on the side, and it would also be tasty with peanut butter and honey on it for lunch. (Note that the recipe calls for baking soda twice, just use baking powder for the second baking soda reference and all will be well). This recipe is very similar to Healthy Harvest Muffins, which also make a nice breakfast food.
  • Caramel Apple French Toast – I made this out of leftover braided bread, and I didn’t like it, but then again I don’t like french toast at all to start with. The rest of the family enjoyed it, so perhaps yours will too. You can make it ahead and just bake it in the morning.
  • Hole-y Eggs – I got this idea from the cookbook I mentioned above, but I know I’ve seen it elsewhere too. Take a piece of bread and cut a circle out of the middle of it with a drinking glass turned upside down. Put a little olive oil in a non-stick pan, and put the bread and the removed circle (separated) in the pan. Crack an egg into the circle left in the bread, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg is set on the bottom and the bread is toasted, about one and a half minutes. Flip the bread and egg combo over and cook the other side for about a minute. Serve with chopped fresh tomato on top and use the bread circle you cut out for dipping into the yolk. Hannah thought this was THE most exciting breakfast EVER and has not stopped talking about it since.
  • Good Day Fall Crisp – This is another recipe from the “Real Food” cookbook. It can be assembled the night before. If you don’t have individual 6 oz ramekins, you can quadruple the recipe and use a small casserole dish, but then you’ll need to bake it for an hour. Each serving is only 162 calories, and is quite filling. You can serve it with cheese toast on the side if you’d like.

One small apple, cored and sliced
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon oats
1/2 Tablespoon chopped nuts (note: I replaced the oats and nuts with Muesli)
1 teaspoon butter
1 pinch cinnammon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Layer apple slices in 6 oz ramekin, squeeze lemon over top of slices, sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over the top of that (slice the butter very thin, or cut into chunks to get it spread out). Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly and soft. Let cool five minutes before serving.

Another breakfast recipe I’d like to try is broccoli, egg and cheese breakfast burritos.

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What are your favorite breakfast ideas? How do you beat the breakfast blahs at your house?

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