Four Easy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

muffins

If you want to have a healthy start, but can't always wake up in time to make a full breakfast, it's time find some fast meals for mornings. These ideas take less than 30 minutes to cook, can be taken on-the-go and pack an extra nutritional punch with secret ingredients. Best of all, they are all kid-friendly, so if you have kids to get out the door early for school, these breakfasts make giving your kids a great start in the morning easy.

Puffins

A puffin is a combination of a muffin and pancake, thus the moniker. The basic recipe is easy, they are not messy (or at least not as messy as pancakes and syrup), and you can eat them on the go since they are essentially, muffins. The best thing about them is that they are great for sneaking in extra fruit and whole grains, and if you are particularly ambitious, you can customize each one to suit someone's tastes.

Basic Puffin Ingredients

  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Assort toppings like chocolate chips, coconut, nuts or fruit

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Line each cup with a cupcake liner.
  4. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full of puffin mixture.
  5. Top uncooked puffins with toppings like fruit, chocolate chips, or coconut.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Baked Egg Mini-Casseroles

Baked Egg Mini-Casseroles

Think you don't have time to whip up eggs for breakfast in the morning? Think again - these mini-casseroles can be made the night before. Pop them in the oven when you wake up, and by the time your kids are ready to eat, they'll be done. For add-ins, use bacon, sausage, tomatoes, cheese, or any of your favorite fixings.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add-ins to taste

Directions

  1. Whisk together the eggs and milk. If there is an ingredient that all the kids like in their eggs, such as cheese, you can add that in during this step as well. Otherwise you will add those extra things right before you bake them.
  2. Use a quarter-cup measuring cup to ladle egg mixture into each muffin tin. At this step, you can cover and refrigerate your eggs for the next morning if you're making these ahead of time.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. If you have additional ingredients to add (like bacon or vegetables), add those before you bake.
  4. Place in the center rack in the oven and bake until the the eggs come out clean when you insert a knife; approximately 20 minutes.

Ideas for Add-ins and Variations

What is nice about these mini-casseroles is that you can make them to suit the tastes of your family. Try these delicious combos, or get creative with your own pairings:

  • Western style: Green peppers, onions, and ham
  • Swiss 'n mushroom: Swiss cheese and mushrooms
  • Hash: Corned beef hash and kielbasa
  • American: Bacon and cheddar cheese
  • Meat lovers: Bacon, sausage, and ham
  • Cheese lovers: Parmesan, mozzarella, and Jack
  • Italian: Asiago, onions, green peppers, and mozzarella cheese

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies

When you make these cookies for breakfast, you don't need to feel guilty about serving dessert food for the most important meal of the day. These cookies are versatile - you can use all sorts of flours, nuts and dried fruits in them - they're also easy to make and portable. They also store well. Keep them in a Ziploc bag for up to a week. Grab a few on your way to the door for those mornings where you're barely making it out the door on time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour - use almond or wheat to give the cookies extra nutritional punch
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line your cookie sheet with wax paper.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
  6. Stir with a wooden spoon until moistened.
  7. Using a tablespoon, form cookies on the cookie sheet. Place one inch apart.
  8. Bake the cookies for approximately 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Homemade Pop Tart

Pop tarts from the store are extremely convenient, and most kids love them. However, they are also laden with sugar and other preservatives that you might not want your family eating. Instead, try this homemade version that offers less calories and more natural ingredients. Make ahead of time, and store in an air-tight container for on-the-go goodness. If you are not a fan of making your own crust, you can use store-bought pie crust.

Pastry Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Pastry Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Work in the butter with your fingers, a pastry blender or a fork until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the first egg and milk together.
  4. Stir them into the dough and mix until everything sticks together. Knead on a well-floured counter if necessary.
  5. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a smooth rectangle loaf. At this point, you can roll the dough out immediately, or wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to two days.

Assembly Directions

  1. Roll both sections of dough out on a lightly-floured surface until they are about 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Using a floured pizza cutter, trim dough so that you have a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Set trimmings aside.
  3. Now you can easily cut both large rectangles into nine 3 x 4-inch rectangles.
  4. Spread a scant two tablespoons of filling (see below for ideas) onto one rectangle. Make sure that you leave about a quarter-inch of space around the edges.
  5. Moisten the outside edge of the dough with a little water or egg white. This is to help the top stick to the bottom better.
  6. Place the top of the pop tart over the filling, and seal the edges by pressing the end of a fork down into the dough. Poke small holes in the top.
  7. Using a spatula, place the tarts on a parchment-covered cookie sheet, and refrigerate them for about 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake toaster pastries until they are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Filling Ideas

The great thing about these little contraptions is that you can fill them with anything you want. Here are a few ideas:

  • One chopped apple, one teaspoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Nutella and sliced banana
  • Equal parts raisins, dates and walnuts coated with brown sugar
  • Jam
  • Mix together peanut butter and honey to make a spread
  • Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or peaches

Don't Forego Breakfast

It's hard to sit down and have breakfast in the morning, and yet it is so important. Make your mornings run more smoothly by offering nutritious fare that can work with your busy lifestyle.

Four Easy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings