This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less theme is Back To School! I’m looking forward to getting back into somewhat of a routine this fall, and in fact, have been putting some effort into getting into a better meal planning groove all summer.
One of the things that’s changed in the past year or two is that a bowl of cereal – or two bowls – no longer fills up my kids. It’s not uncommon for us to go through a whole box of cereal at breakfast, and we just haven’t gotten great deals on cereal recently. Plus, my husband gets light-headed if he doesn’t eat something substantial for breakfast, so I’ve been trying to make sure we have some sort of decent breakfast.
Usually, that means making something hot, but I’ve learned that “hot breakfast” doesn’t mean cooking for 30 minutes every morning. Here are four hot breakfast ideas that require very little effort in the morning.
When I posted about freezing cooking dough a few weeks ago, a reader commented and said you can do the same thing with muffins! Since then, I’ve tried it, and it really does work. Just line your muffin tin with paper liners and make your muffin batter as usual. Fill the liners with a normal amount of batter and place the muffin tin in the freezer. Once they’re fully frozen, take them out of the tin and put them in a freezer bag until ready to use.
When you want fresh muffins, pull out the frozen muffins and place them in a tin; then bake for just a few minutes longer than the original recipe. You can have hot muffins in 15 actual minutes or less! Here’s a good blueberry muffin recipe from Abby (who writes the What To Make With What’s On Sale posts each week!).
A lot of us tend to relegate egg casseroles to special occasions only, but they’re really not that complicated and they’re great for making up the night before. I like egg casseroles or bakes because they are usually really easy to throw in the oven and then head back to the bathroom to get ready. Or (if I’m being honest) sometimes back to bed! :)
I also have a recipe similar to this Wild Rice Cran-Apple Breakfast Casserole that is great for making up the night before.
If your family won’t eat a whole 13×9 casserole, just assemble an 8×8 pan using half of the ingredients, and assemble a second casserole the next day with the rest of the ingredients.
English Muffin Sandwiches
You can pre-assemble English muffin sandwiches and put them in the freezer to be heated up when needed. Just spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and put one egg in each muffin tin. Bake until the egg is cooked through, then put it on a toasted English muffin with some cheese and a slice of sausage, ham, or bacon. Wrap in foil or paper and freeze, then microwave or warm in the oven when ready to eat. (If you’re planning ahead, take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator the day before so they aren’t completely frozen.)
We tried steel-cut oats for the first time a couple of years ago and we love them, so much so that I rarely fix “regular” oats anymore. I basically follow this recipe from Alton Brown and add in raisins, dried cranberries, peaches, blueberries, or blackberries.
Now, I’ll admit that these take a few minutes to get started, but a good portion of the cooking time is hands-off, so I classify these as “little effort” with a grain of salt, as they do a few minutes to get started and a little while to cook.
However, some people like cooking steel-cut oats in the crockpot overnight which does make it a quick hot breakfast. I personally tried doing that once and thought they were too mushy, but enough people like it that maybe you will, too. :)
Hot Breakfasts: New and improved, with little effort required!
Though it does take a little more effort than saying “go fix yourself a bowl of cereal”, I’m finding that hot breakfasts don’t have to be that difficult and are so much more filling and nutritious. I would love to hear your tips for fixing hot breakfasts with little effort!
Be sure to check out the rest of the Eat Well, Spend Less bloggers for more “getting back in the groove after summer” cooking inspiration: