Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where oh where did the summer go??

I can't believe it's back to school time already.  I've been loving the relaxed days, spending time with my kiddos, teaching them new things, discovering things together.  I know some of you are pulling your hair out and cannot wait until that school bus pulls up in two weeks. 

Don't get me wrong, we have had several days where my two have been at each others throats and I've wanted to hop in the car and drive far away.  For the most part, however, we've had an enjoyable summer and I'm not ready for it to be over.  Although, I do crave the routine, I don't look forward to the stressful mornings and the monotony of packing lunches.  So, this year I'm taking a different approach and planning ahead as much as possible.  With an arsenal of recipes and ideas, I hope to stave off the "what can I have for breakfast" and the "not that again" blues.

The first thing on my list is to prepare enough breakfast items for the first month of school and pop them in the freezer.  My kids have never liked cereal, they have always preferred pancakes, waffles or muffins.  Now that I know how to make sure they contain protein, fiber and healthy fats I have no trouble serving these along with some fruit.  

One recipe we really like is from My Whole Food Life and it's super duper yummy!  These peanut butter and jelly pancakes are SOOOOO fluffy!!  They are fantastic with some fresh black raspberry preserves. (for info on how to make your own with no added sugar or pectin go here) I've even grabbed two pancakes, slathered some peanut butter and jelly on them and made a sandwich on my way out the door.  

If your kids like eggs but you don't have time for an omelet, try making these egg muffins over the weekend and store them in the refrigerator for the week ahead.  Here's the recipe:


12 eggs
1-2 tsp. seasoning (anything you think will go well with eggs.)
1-2 cups cheese of choice (I use cheddar or Colby jack)
3 green onions diced small
Chopped veggies (anything you'd like. I use broccoli and red pepper.)
Meat (if desired. I make it without meat.)

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil. Layer meat (if desired), veggies, cheese, and onions until cups are about 2/3 full, leaving just enough room to pour a little egg around them. Beat eggs and seasoning together. Pour egg mixture into each muffin cup until about 3/4 full. Stir slightly with fork. Bake 25-35 minutes or until slightly browned and set.

Another option I make a lot, especially in cooler months, is oatmeal or quinoa.  I cook up a big batch of plain oatmeal or quinoa and store it in the fridge.  Each morning that week I take out a portion and heat it in a pan with some almond milk and whatever fruits, nuts or spices I'm in the mood for.   This year I'm trying this overnight oatmeal recipe.  It's different than refrigerator oatmeal in that it doesn't use yogurt and it's made with steel cut oats.  Unfortunately, my kids have never liked oatmeal, but they will eat quinoa with blueberries, almonds and some cinnamon.  Yummo!

Today I'm making some of this incredibly delicious Cinnamon Vanilla Banana Bread from The Naked Kitchen.  Check out her photo - doesn't that look amazing! If you haven't checked out this blog yet, please do.  It's so full of information and is one I visit frequently.  Sarah and Kristy have put together meal plans as well to make weeknights easier. 

 I may make a couple loaves of this because I'm not sure one would make it until school starts. 

Enjoy your last week and a half of summer!  I'll post some school lunch ideas next week.  Until then, B Naturally Nourished!

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