In a world where commercials are targeting children, and the cold cereal selections far outnumber the number of selections of fruits and vegetables in the produce section, it is not easy to offer up a healthy breakfast that appeals to children. What is a mom to do? I don’t know about you, but I often feel like I am rowing upstream in a boat full of holes when it comes to moving my family in a healthier direction! Breakfast is no less of a challenge.
At our house, we ditched the sugar laden cereals first (many years ago), and have since foregone them all together. Quick and easy is something we ALL look for in our fast paced society where our time is always limited. Just as a side note, we all have the same amount of time. We invest our time where our priorities lie. That is a hard truth to accept, but sometimes a dose of reality is needed to help us retrain the voice in our head that is always pulling us away from what is important. You have to put “your effort where your mouth is” and take the time it takes to feed your family the best you can if you are really committed to health. Often when we say “we can’t afford it” it has nothing to do with cost, ESPECIALLY when it comes to breakfast. Healthy is far less expensive, but where you aren’t investing dollars, you might have to invest some more time.
Oatmeal is a great example! It is a standard breakfast at our house (not instant, but the old fashioned kind). My kids like oatmeal the traditional way, with maple syrup, dried cranberries, and cinnamon, and they have also adopted their own version of meusli, simplified. They like plain uncooked oats, with a little honey, and milk. Sometimes we add fresh fruit, but not always. Sounds odd, and hey – if they like it – I won’t complain!
They love bagels far more than I love to make them, but if you make your own, they can be really healthy, even if they are carb heavy. The problem with bagels is they take quite a bit of time to make, and with a family as big as ours it is difficult to cook enough to have extras.
I prefer to drink my breakfast, and some of my children will also enjoy a protein shake, but I haven’t converted them to green smoothies yet. Most of the time they want something they can chew, and because we started out as unhealthy eaters, they really want something on the sweeter side.
For a treat, we make muffins. It is a compromise because I can make them really healthy and they still taste like a dessert. Dori shared a recipe earlier this year for an oat banana muffin that has been a foundation recipe for several variations that have been huge hits.
As I have moved away from wheat, it has been a life-saver. Who knew that you could make your own oat flour, avoid the Roundup laced wheat, and not have to spend half your grocery budget on gluten-free options. Oats can often replace flour 1:1. I have found that I like our brownie recipe better with oat flour than wheat flour!
Again, my biggest challenge is to make enough so that we have some for another day. If you aren’t feeding 7 ravenous children, you shouldn’t have this problem! These muffins are gluten free, no sugar added, and still yummy!!
Dori’s picture is far prettier than mine:
Nothing better than homemade muffins, except for homemade muffins with homemade hot chocolate made with fresh goat milk! Abigail isn’t my most photogenic child, but I couldn’t help but snap a pic with that face!
Oh, I almost forgot the recipe!!
I made mine in the Vitamix, but you could do the same with any blender I would think.
Single batch makes 12 muffins. I have to double it, and still they are all gone!
Banana Oat Muffins
1 cup oats (grind in the blender to make flour and then set aside in a bowl)
Place in blender and blend well –
- 4 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp each of baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla
- 2 tbl coconut oil
- 2 tbl of honey or REAL maple syrup
At this point you can blend in the oat flour, or pour into the mixing bowl and mix in the oat flour. I have to mix in a bowl because it doesn’t fit well in the blender when you make more than a single batch.)
Now, you get to be creative! I have added in all sorts of things, depending on what is in the pantry, and what mood I am in.
This morning I added in a handful of carrots (approximately 1/4 c for a single recipe). You could also add in 1/4 c walnuts or pecans. I have added in almond butter, and flax seed also. You could add raisins, craisins, blueberries. Note – if you are blending in the blender, don’t blend any more after these additions unless you want your healthy add-ins to disappear. Sometimes that can be beneficial though! No one knew there were carrots in their muffins this morning! You can sneak zucchini into all sorts of recipes this way!
Once you have everything else added in, stir in an additional 1/2 c oats, scoop 1/2 batter into your pre-greased muffin tins (or use cupcake papers for easier clean up) and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on top. Cook at 350° for 15-20 mins.
I always add in 1-2 scoops of XmProtein because I know how important it is to have protein in your morning meal. (I have used both vanilla and chocolate depending on what else I am adding.)
One of my favorite variations of this recipe makes a super rich chocolate muffin.
*Important note – If you don’t have a houseful of ravenous children, you might want to limit yourself to two muffins, and toss the rest in the freezer so you don’t scarf them all down in one sitting. They really are THAT good!