Breakfast

overnight waffles served with clementine wedges

Overnight Breakfast Recipes

 

As many of you know firsthand, getting a healthy breakfast on the table on a weekday morning can be a challenge.  Everyone rushing around with their own agendas….showers happening in one bathroom, teeth being brushed in another, backpacks being packed with lunches and water bottles and homework and library books, coffee being made…three little boys that would rather play with their toys than get dressed for school…and everyone getting increasingly cranky the longer we are awake without food in our belly!

 

A few years ago, I had raised my hand and asked for help from Joe with food preparation in the house because it felt like too much to handle planning and making dinner every night as well as planning and making breakfast every morning.  Joe eagerly stepped up and has been making our breakfasts ever since.  (Much to the delight of the boys who were getting tired of Mommy’s attempts at a healthy breakfast…don’t even mention “Super Cereal” to them or they might start screaming!)

 

In addition, due to our predisposition to allergies in our family, we make an effort to rotate the foods that we eat from day to day.  That way we aren’t bombarding our bodies with things like wheat and dairy and other common allergens at every meal.  So, as a result, we now have a 4-day rotating breakfast menu that looks like this:

 

Day 1: Pancakes or Waffles

Day 2: Oatmeal

Day 3: Eggs

Day 4: Yogurt and Granola or Cereal with Milk

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

During the week, it can be difficult to pull off something like pancakes or waffles in a timely manner and without blowing up the kitchen with dirty dishes and messy counters. 

And maybe it’s not realistic to cook hot oatmeal on the stove when it takes 15 minutes of stirring and close supervision to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. 

 

So instead we have started making an overnight pancake/waffle mix the night before and then cooking it in the morning. 

And we also make overnight oatmeal that goes in the fridge the night before and then we eat it cold in the morning (although you could certainly heat it up, if desired).  

 

The pancake/waffle mix can be made with either 100% whole wheat flour or with gluten-free flours – both with great results. 

When we make them gluten-free, we use our own homemade GF flour mix by combining equal parts of the following flours: coconut flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour, and millet flour.  [We tried out a few others but most of the typical gluten-free flours, such as garbanzo bean flour or fava bean flour, have too strong of a flavor and we felt like it overpowered the end product in a negative way.]

 

Both of these quick and easy breakfast recipes are below.  I hope that they help you get a delicious and nutritious breakfast on your table, even on the craziest of mornings!

 

Overnight Pancakes or Waffles
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ¼ cups whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  2. 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. 1 ¾ cups milk
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover loosely (we use an upside-down plate on top of the bowl) and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, stir the batter one more time. Pour onto a preheated griddle or waffle maker. Enjoy!
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/
Overnight Oatmeal
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rolled oats
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. ¼ cup chia seeds
  4. Honey or maple syrup, for serving
  5. Optional toppings: seasonal fruit, nuts, or granola
Instructions
  1. Combine oats, milk, and chia seeds in a large bowl. Cover loosely (we use an upside-down plate on top of the bowl) and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, add honey or maple syrup to taste (we use about 1 teaspoon per serving) and stir one more time. Serve with additional toppings, if desired.
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/

 

For both of these recipes, you can easily vary the flavors each time by adding in different fruits or spices.  Some easy seasonal variations would be:

 

     SPRING: add chopped strawberries to pancake/waffle mix; add strawberries and rhubarb to the oatmeal

    

     SUMMER: add fresh fruits – berries to the pancake/waffle mix; sliced nectarines or peaches to the oatmeal

    

     FALL: add pureed pumpkin or squash to either recipe (you can use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace the oil in the pancake/waffle mix) along with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice

            …or add applesauce (again, in place of the oil in the pancake/waffle mix) along with ground cinnamon

 

     WINTER: add dried fruits – raisins or cranberries to the pancake/waffle mix; cherries or goji berries to the overnight oatmeal (TIP: add these dried fruits to the oatmeal the night before so that they can soften overnight)

 

     ALL YEAR LONG: add smashed bananas in place of the oil in the pancake/waffle mix; add sliced bananas on top of the overnight oatmeal

 

(NOTE: Thank you to Jess for sharing the wonderful overnight oatmeal recipe!) 

fresh homemade yogurt and granola with farm fresh berries

Homemade Granola

One of the first things that we started to make on our own – before we even knew that our “thing” would be doing and making things from scratch – was homemade granola.  Before our boys were old enough to be eating everything in sight, Joe and I managed to eat our way through at least a box of granola per week.  A box of granola will cost you $4 or more, depending on whether you are purchasing the organic or gluten-free options.  (And why are the granola boxes always so much smaller than the other cereal boxes?!)  In the early years of our homemade food adventures, a lot of our decisions were made based on how much money we could save by making it on our own.  So this seemed like a great opportunity to save money and not be constantly running to the grocery store to buy more granola to feed our yogurt and granola breakfast habit.  (By the way, look for a post on homemade  yogurt coming soon…)  Over time, I have also learned to change the ingredients in our homemade recipes to include healthier alternatives or to exclude certain ingredients that we are trying to avoid – such as, white sugar, brown sugar, white flour, vegetable oils, etc.  So this recipe has been through many iterations and I am very happy to share the latest, yummiest version with all of you.  Enjoy!

 

homemade granola ingredients

 

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

 

Preheat oven to 300°F.

 

In a small saucepan, warm the coconut oil and maple syrup over medium heat until combined.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat.

 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, salt, and cinnamon.

 

Once oil and maple syrup have cooled slightly, stir in the vanilla.  Pour over the dry mixture and stir gently to mix well.  Spread granola onto baking sheets.

 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and then stir in coconut.

 

homemade granola on baking sheets

 

Maria’s Notes: This is a basic granola recipe and you can feel free to add any of your favorite nuts (such as chopped cashews, pepitas, or chopped pecans) or dried fruits (such as raisins, cranberries, or dates).  The nuts can be added in place of, or along with, the sliced almonds.  The dried fruit should be added after cooking, along with the shredded coconut.