Saturday, November 8, 2008

Easy, Healthy Breakfasts

I really hate cooking breakfast. I really do. Once in a while, I get a little bit of an urge to do it, and I go all out with omelettes or waffles or something, but generally I'm a peanut-butter toast on whole grain type of person. It's easy and nutritious. We also often have leftovers from dinner--really, there's nothing like a big bowl of home-made chicken soup for breakfast. Jim works overnights, so I like to make sure he gets something to eat before he goes to bed.
I myself have a really hard time eating in the morning--I can do coffee, but my stomach is always a bit unsettled for some hours after I get up. I have noticed, though, on the days I do manage to choke something down, my metabolism really gets revved-up--I'm starving all day, and can keep it under control with a bit of cheese, fruit, or some nuts. When I don't eat breakfast, I wait until I feel ill, eat lunch, and then have unhealthy cravings all day, culminating in probably eating too much at dinner. So, I need to find something that I can manage to eat right away in the morning. I need something I can prepare ahead, something that I can face in the morning, something that everyone will like, and something that is packed with nutrition.
I tried this oatmeal muffin recipe today, as is, just to see how it holds up. I am planning to alter it a bit to beef up the nutrition with whole wheat flour, a bit of milled flax seed and oat bran, and perhaps once in a while some chopped nuts or fruit. My friend Jeannette gave me a delightful jar of organic apple butter, and it's just the ticket for these muffins. I found the recipe at

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  1. In a small bowl, combine milk and oats; let soak for 15 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together egg and oil; stir in oatmeal mixture. In a third bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until cups are 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Nice and simple. The appearance of the muffin is wholesome and milky on the top, and the flavor is mild and slightly nutty. If you are into big, sweet, cake-y muffins, this is not for you. But if you enjoy the subtlety of a good buttermilk scone or a shortbread cookie, these will be very satifying. I am very pleased with the results.

Once of the few things I can eat in the morning (beside steak, oddly enough) is a baked good. Most muffins at the store are SOOO expensive and SOOOO sugary. Not a good option for a health-conscious family on a budget. With the additions I plan to make, the fiber and protein levels in these will go way up, and hopefully these will hold everyone for a bit.

One thing we really like here is butter--not huge amounts, but real butter on things that use a spread of some type. No yucked-out oil-based garbage to wreck our food (and undoubtedly our bodies). I like to buy the tubs of whipped butter--it's inexpensive, and has about 1/2 the fat and calories of regular butter, yet it's still just butter. The texture is delightful, too.

1 comment:

Tami, part-time blogger - full time scrapbooker said...

I had to chuckle reading your post about the breakfast thing. I do the EXACT same thing, putting off taking time to eat which eventually leads to me turning green, followed by a free-for-all food fest! LOL!

I'm trying to make it a rule to eat something within a half hour of waking. Now I said it out loud, so I suppose I am accountable, huh? : )

I'll try to put that strawberry bread recipe I told you about up on my blog this week-end. It's yummy, easy and healthy. (Did I mention easy?)

By the way, you are looking very wispy these days, my sister! Great to see you and the kiddos today!