IMG_2789It’s August, which means school is just around the corner.  School days mean more rushed mornings, and for moms it can be a huge temptation to succumb to convenience foods like boxed cereals, eggo waffles, and the like.  The benefit of said products is that they are easy, quick, and relatively cheap.  The downside (if I even have to mention it) is their complete lack of adequate nutrition, including high amounts of sugar and processed grains.  Not a good way for kids to start their school day (or any day for that matter).  Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, you can provide your family with quick, nourishing breakfasts on those rushed school mornings and save time AND money!

Monday: Crustless Frittata

Prep time: 10 min, can be done the night before.
Cook time: 5-7 min.

I love this meal because it comes together fast and it’s full of nutritious antioxidant-rich veggies, good fats, and protein from the eggs. If you have a kid that’s “just not into the veggies”, you could pop a couple of eggs in to hard-boil while the frittata cooks.  Serve with fresh seasonal fruit on the side.

Ingredients: 2-3 cups of veggies (your choice, we like onions, zucchini, and a leafy green such as kale or chard), 4-5 eggs, 1 TBS sour cream (optional), 2 TBS oil (such as coconut or olive), and your choice of seasonings (we like Herbamere and 21-Season Salute from Trader Joe’s, but salt and pepper are find too. Play around with Italian Seasonings or other dried herbs).

Prep: Cut veggies the night before and store in the fridge. 

Process:  Preheat Broiler. On Medium Heat, saute the veggies in the oil until soft in a cast iron or oven-ready saute pan. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs and optional sour cream.  When veggies are soft, pour egg mixture over veggies, distributing evenly over the veggies.  Sprinkle on herbs of choice and salt and pepper.  Let mixture cook on medium-low for 3-5 minutes, without stirring, until the sides lift easily away from the pan with a spatula.  Place under broiler for about 3 minutes while top browns.

Optional Additions:Chopped ham or chicken (from a previous meal?), sausage, bacon, cooked rice or quinoa or beans if you have them.  Add shredded mozarella or parmesan cheese for “breakfast pizza”. I always serve this in triangles like pie. Quick, easy, versatile, and so nourishing!

Tuesday: Power Smoothies and Muffins

Prep time: 10 min, muffins can be done the night before.
Cook time: 2 min (for smoothies).

I love this breakfast because it’s great for mornings when you have to leave extra early, as it’s adaptable to a car ride. Just put the smoothies in some good covered cups with straws and the kids can enjoy this one on the go! I love coconut flour muffins because they are low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, good fats, and protein!  Unlike regular muffins, these nutrient-rich morsels actually keep you full all morning!  Feel free to add blueberries or any additions that make sense to you!

Ingredients:  Power Smoothies (or your favorite variation) and 1 batch of Coconut Honey Muffins

Prep: Bake the muffins the night before and store in the fridge. These can also be made in larger batches once a month, frozen, and then warmed up.

Process:  The Smoothie Recipe and the Coconut Honey Muffin Recipe

 Optional Additions: Sneak in some extra veggies by blending shredded carrots or zucchini into your muffins!

Wednesday: Grain-Free Granola and Plain, Whole-Milk Yogurt

Prep time: 10 min, granola can be done the night before.
Cook time: none

I love this breakfast because it’s ready in a pinch.  This one’s also very commuter-adaptable because the yogurt and granola can be placed in a small thermos or jar to be consumed in the car, if necessary. The grain-free granola is a sweet and crunchy version of the traditional favorite, but packed with good fats and fuel from the nuts. The yogurt can be sweetened with a bit of honey or stevia and some vanilla extract or fruit.

Ingredients:  Grain-Free Granola  and Homemade Whole Milk Yogurt.

Prep: Assemble Grain-Free Granola in advance.

Process:  The Grain-Free Granola Recipe and the Homemade Yogurt Recipe

 Optional Additions: Fresh or frozen berries would be delicious atop the yogurt and granola. Make a “fruit and yogurt parfait”!

Thursday: Bacon-Avocado-Lettuce Wraps

Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 5 min.

I love this breakfast because it’s amazingly good. It’s my weekly ration of delicious nitrate-free bacon and we gobble these up right away. Each person gets 2 slices of bacon.  You can fry the bacon traditionally in a pan, or for a more hands-off approach, use your toaster oven (most all packages contain instructions for how to do so).

Ingredients:  2 slices nitrate-free bacon per person, 1/4 of an avocado per person, 1 large leaf of romaine or butter lettuce, sliced tomato (only if in season)

Prep: Cook bacon according to package directions. Let drain briefly on paper towels.  Wash and dry lettuce leaves, slice avocado thinly.

Process:  Using the lettuce leaf as a wrap, place the bacon on the lettuce lengthwise. Top with sliced avocado and optional tomato.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks if desired. For kids who don’t like lettuce, such as my own, I simply serve them the bacon with avocado on the side and they eat it up!

 Optional Additions: Serve some fresh fruit alongside, such as sliced apples or pineapple, so the enzymes in the fresh fruit can assist with digestion.  If you have leftover chicken from a previous meal, you could add this in as well. For a meat-free version, try substituting the bacon with dulse strips.

Friday: Grain-Free Pancakes or Gluten-Free Waffles

Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 10 min.

I love this breakfast because you can make the batter the night before if necessary and fire up your griddle or waffle maker in the morning.  A double batch could also be made ahead of time, frozen, and reheated for breakfasts on the go.  I offer both my grain-free pancake recipe as well as my favorite rendition of Sue Gregg’s blender batter waffle recipe for those who aren’t strictly grain-free.

Ingredients:  grain-free pancakes or gluten-free waffles, butter or nut butter for topping, fruit sauce or honey for topping

Prep: Assemble ingredients for the batter the night before, see individual recipes for details.

Process:  Grain-Free Pancake Recipe or Gluten-Free Blender Waffles Recipe

Optional Additions: Serve some fresh fruit alongside, or add fresh or frozen berries to the batter!

These are a few of our favorite breakfasts on the go.  In the near future, I’ll be sharing a delicous recipe I’ve adapted for almond flour muffins (pictured above).  I know my meal plans have evolved into the grain-free/paleo types, but that doesn’t mean you have to go that way. If you do tolerate grains, by all means, make your favorite soaked-grain muffin or pancake recipe, but the same principle of make -ahead applies!

For more Real Food inspiration, visit Real Food Wednesdays hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop! Also, for many wonderful back-to-school tips from other moms, please check out Works-for-Me Wednesday! And since this is my standard organic and thrifty weekly breakfast plan, I thought I’d share it for this week’s Pennywise Platter featured at The Nourishing Gourmet!

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13 Responses to “Thrifty, Real Food Breakfasts for Busy Moms”

  1. sara Identicon sara says:

    Great ideas! I look forward to the almond muffin recipe!

  2. Marcy Identicon Marcy says:

    I am so glad I found your site. I also follow WAP guidelines but with a paleo bent. I feel so much better when I minimize grains – even properly prepared grains. These are great breakfast suggestions and I’m looking forward to trying your recipes!

  3. […] This post was Twitted by heartofwisdom […]

  4. Millie Identicon Millie says:

    Great breakfast ideas! My girls have to be on the bus at 6:30AM so anything that I can do/start the night before is helpful. I love the wrap idea!
    Glad you put this on RFW (check your link there, I had to get here from the comments section).

  5. Sarah Identicon Sarah says:

    Great ideas! Those bacon avocado wraps look especially yummy – for an easy meal any time of the day!!


  6. Thanks for the great ideas! Can’t wait to try them.

  7. kim Identicon kim says:

    thanks so much for doing this work for me (and others!) It is just what I needed for upcoming Sept….

  8. […] Check out my 5 day breakfast meal plan for busy moms for some kid-tested, real nutrient-dense foods that can be made ahead or on in 10 minutes or less! […]

  9. […] promised in last week’s post on quick, nourishing breakfasts, here’s my recipe for grain-free muffins using almond flour.  These have been modifed from a […]

  10. These sound like some great recipes. I plan to try them. May I add a tip? I like to use Organic plain yogurt as an alternative to sourcream. My whole family loves it. :-)

  11. This was a great post! Thanks so much for entering it into the carnival.

  12. Rebecca Identicon Rebecca says:

    Thanks for posting these! As a wheat-free working & nursing mom of a baby, I am always scraping for quick ideas for breakfasts. I usually end up with granola or maybe pickled herring on rye crispbread (Scandinavian breakfast)… but neither are grain free. I love these grain free ideas!

  13. Whitney Identicon Whitney says:

    Those all sound delicious!

    One note…you can make the crustless frittatas in a muffin pan ahead of time. They can be popped in the toaster oven OR eaten cold. It’s also an easy way to vary the veggies by serving as you fill the muffin cups.

    You can also bake unbeaten eggs in a muffin pan (I use stoneware)…I like to make a patty of natural sausage or lay some ham in the bottom, add any sauteed/leftover veggies, add S&P and then crack an egg on top. I bake until the whites are set but I like my yolks runny (especially if I plan to reheat in the toaster oven another day). It’s the middle of an egg sandwich! :) The egg whites tend to drain down through layers and then cook…gluing everything together.

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