A cold snap hit Colorado last night. On these cold winter mornings, it's nice to eat something more warm and inviting than cold cereal – but is instant oatmeal the only alternative when you need to head out the door? Standing at the water kettle at the office this morning with my little bag of instant oatmeal, I started talking with some co-works about quick and easy cold morning breakfast favorites. Here are five ideas we came up with for a delicious and nutritious breakfast, no matter the weather.
#1: Multigrain Hot Cereal
Oatmeal is great, but you might not realize there are a number of other hot cereal options – and most are almost as quick to make as the classic oatmeal. Cream of wheat, Bulgar wheat, barley, brown rice, quinoa, and oat bran can all be cooked and eaten as cereals. Blending several different grains offers a variety of textures and tastes. For toppings, try fresh fruit, almonds, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, or toasted coconut. Use honey, molasses, brown sugar, or maple syrup for sweetener.
#2: Toasted Egg, Ham & Cheese
Breakfast sandwiches make great portable meals. On a ciabatta roll or a bagel, place a fried egg, a slice of your favorite cheese, and a few slices of ham. Make this one ahead of time and heat it up in your toaster oven the next morning.
#3: Homemade Pancakes
We all have a favorite recipe for homemade pancakes, but most of us don't feel like making them on school or work mornings. Instead, try making a big batch on the weekend and freeze the cooked pancakes, separating each pancake with a piece of waxed or parchment paper and sealing them inside a plastic bag or large container. When you wake up on Monday and have only a few minutes to make breakfast, pull out a few frozen pancakes and warm them up, either in a toaster or a frying pan over low to medium heat.
#4: Breakfast Breads
Breakfast breads are also easy to make ahead of time and freeze for easy storage. If you're tired of the traditional zucchini, banana, pumpkin breads, try substituting other ingredients for a different twist. For example, try these recipes for Heart-Smart Sweet Potato Muffins, Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, Banana Zucchini Bread, Cranberry Ginger Muffins with Streusel, or Pumpkin Walnut Bread with Streusel.
#5: Pita Pizzas or Breakfast Pockets
Try topping a pita with spinach, bacon, fresh diced tomatoes, and scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and the bread is browned. As an alternative that's easier to take along in the car, split the pita and place the toppings inside before toasting, and you'll have a delicious pocket sandwich.
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Your Turn: What's your favorite all-time breakfast? I have to admit I love breakfast, but what's your favorite meal?