Does breakfast have the blahs? Does your first meal of the day need a little freshness? Do you need a pick-up for your morning portions? Don’t worry. You're in the right place.
The following breakfast ideas are versatile, each one lending itself to a few changes that make it seem like a completely different meal. That means you don’t have to go shopping for a million different ingredients or wrack your brain for something more interesting than you made yesterday. Just give it a different spin, and watch your family ask for it, again.
Pull out your blender and open up your fridge; it’s time to make a smoothie. Your imagination is (almost) the only limit when it comes to tasty combinations for your smoothie. You can opt for classics, like banana and strawberry blends. You can also get a little more adventurous and concoct something with ginger or cucumber. You can even include some kale or spinach for extra nutrients with almost no effect on the flavor. Greens do change the color, but you can disguise that easily with some dark berries, or make it seem intentional with a coordinating flavor like mint, honeydew, or sour apple. Your kids will never know the difference.
The Internet is replete with recipes for healthy, flavorful smoothies. Frankly, I prefer to follow a recipe rather than making up my own. I like to let someone else play with the best proportions for the maximum flavor, since my own versions are never quite as good.
Unique ingredients at the breakfast table
A friend recently recommended tomato cheese toast. As the name implies, you put a slice of bread under the broiler with slices of tomatoes and cheese on top. She says it's also done with avocados. As for me, I want to try it with both.
One of my personal favorites, however, is sweet potato hash. Cut them to your shape and size of choice, sauté them to tenderness in olive oil or coconut oil, then cook an egg in it. It’s especially divine if the yolk is a little runny, although I do offer the typical warning that undercooked eggs do have some health risks. Notwithstanding, this is one of my husband’s favorite breakfasts, and the sweet potato makes the house smell divine.
Eggs a million ways
Speaking of eggs, there are about a million different ways to do them. Have vegetables hanging out in your fridge? Make an omelet. Need something speedy in the morning? Hard-boil them ahead of time. Want something a little fancier? Make quiche. Craving something classic? Scrambled with cheddar cheese is always a winner. You can also make toast, which opens up more options. Even better, combine the egg with the bread before you cook it, and make French toast. Eggs are incredibly versatile; don’t underestimate them. The punch of protein is also a nice way to ward off late-morning hunger.
Oatmeal is a classic breakfast that has any number of options. One mom I know boils water, adds oats and mix-ins, covers the pot, and after a minute turns off the stove and walks away for a half-hour. It’s the same concept of a slow-cooker, but much faster. This gives you the option to spend 30 minutes helping children get ready for school without the risk of burning the oatmeal or letting the water boil over. More to the point, you can add whatever kind of mix-ins you want to the oatmeal, especially fruit, nuts, and spices. Mix and match the ingredients you add in, and suddenly you've got an entirely different meal.
Other kinds of hot cereal bring even more variety to the equation. Grits, creamed wheat, bulgur or even quinoa can provide many of the same filling, whole-grain benefits as oatmeal. You can also make it custard style. Add a couple of tablespoons of the cereal to cool milk and bring it to just boiling, then temper an egg by adding a spoonful of the hot cereal to the mixed egg. Then add the egg mixture to the rest of the hot cereal. The added fat and protein makes this an extra filling option for those of us who have a hard time waiting until lunch.
Now that you’ve got a few basic ideas to start with, namely smoothies, eggs, hot cereal and a few unique dishes just for fun, customize them to fit your tastes and needs. With very little work, breakfast is a snap and way more interesting than cold cereal and toast.