I had a request for details on what we eat for breakfast, especially the faster, easier options.
Well, about once a week we go really fast and easy and have cold cereal with milk. The cereal is one or more of these: Kashi Heart To Heart Cereal – Honey Toasted Oat, Kashi U, Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits in Cinnamon Harvest, Kashi Strawberry Fields, Cascadian Farms Fruit & Nut Granola, Cascadian Farms Multi Grain Squares, or Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola. Some are more nutritious than others, but they are all OK, made from real food, and we limit the portion to a normal size. Besides serving them with milk, we also have some fresh fruit with it. Since it is a fast day, usually something easy like a banana or apple.
But, most mornings I make scrambled eggs. We have this about 5 days a week. I use organic eggs from the store in the winter and when the farmer’s market is open, I get local pastured ones there. I scramble them in real butter with sea salt and pepper. The eggs are served with some fresh fruit (cantaloupe, pineapple, bananas, mixed berries, grapes, oranges, etc.) that can be cut up the night before to save time. I usually add one of the following to the breakfast: plain yogurt with a squirt of honey, steel-cut or old-fashioned oatmeal, whole wheat toast or whole wheat bagels.
I occasionally make homemade yogurt using the recipe here for crock-pot yogurt, but normally, it is the Dannon plain yogurt you can buy in the 32 oz. tubs…we have four kids to feed so that only lasts a couple of days for us. The storebrands tend to have gelatin in them and other thickeners. Real yogurt should thicken because it is yogurt, not from gelatin. If we want to spend more and go organic, I get the Stonyfield or for a real treat, the Brown Cow Cream Top Plain which is so yummy. Most of the time I get regular or low-fat yogurt for the girls. Since they are young and thin and you need some fats for your brain and to fully absorb the calcium in the yogurt, I tend to avoid fat-free yogurt for them. We also eat plain yogurt with either honey or natural peanut butter mixed in as a snack in the afternoons or as part of their lunch. They all like yogurt, but Sarah is my biggest yogurt fan.
I used to make mainly old-fashioned oatmeal when I got up in the morning, but after reading Nourishing Traditions I started soaking my oats overnight in water with a bit of whey (if you don’t make your own yogurt, you can pour it off the top of the store-bought plain yogurt, it is that watery stuff that separates out). That led me to this easy and relatively fast recipe for 7 minute stove top steel-cut oatmeal. That is how I make oatmeal about 75% of the time now. If you have ever made steel-cut oatmeal, you know it normally takes like 40 minutes to cook, so this is a real timesaver. Of course, you can always make your oatmeal ahead and just heat it up in the morning. I usually end up with 1 or 2 extra servings of oatmeal when I make it and Emma and I have it the next morning since she LOVES oatmeal.
Occasionally, usually on Saturdays, I will fry up a 12 oz. package of nitrate-free uncured bacon. The most easy to find is the Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Bacon that you can get locally at both Homeland or Target. You can also get other brands that are more expensive but may be higher quality such as Applegate Farms at natural foods stores. Or, buy some from a local farmer. Sometimes, we will have breakfast sausage patties instead of bacon. To avoid nitrates and all that other weird stuff, I have started mixing up my own sausage using ground pork and spices. Here is my most recent iteration of my recipe, but feel to simplify if that makes it easier for you:
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch ground nutmeg or cloves
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 pound ground pork
In small, bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, sage, brown sugar, cayenne, red pepper flakes, cloves or nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. Mix well. Place the pork in a large bowl and add the mixed spices to it. Mix well with your hands and form into patties. Saute the patties in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes per side, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
The big thing about our breakfasts is they always include fresh fruit, they always have a shot of protein (eggs or yogurt or sausage) and the grains are whole grains (real oatmeal, whole wheat bread or pancakes). The girls always have milk to drink, white of course. They may get some orange juice too on a Saturday morning.
Some other good breakfast recipes are Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Parmesan and Kevin’s Oatmeal Pancakes, but both take time to make. I will share those with you another day.