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Old School Jams – FREEZE. Don’t go Hungry.

I am a full believer in a hot breakfast each and every morning. I don’t give a rat’s ass if someone wants a big bowl of cold cereal for breakfast. I’m not judging. That’s just not for me. Why? Because within an hour of consuming a bowl of cereal, I’d get super stabby. I need protein, something warm, and a full plate in order for those around me to remain safe.

A blog reader once commented on a picture I posted of breakfast after Bennett was born saying “I wish I had time to make that every morning”. Having been a working outside the house mom for seven years, I haven’t changed how I eat in the morning even though I no longer have a commute. The key to making sure my belly is full and my rage is contained is having easy to heat, hearty food ready to go. Below are some of my favorite recipes to make ahead and freeze.

Pancakes
We love pancakes in this house. We don’t eat them daily, but they’re always available. I use my 100% whole wheat recipe, and double it. Always double anything you want to freeze. Cook once, eat for weeks. I typically do 75% of the pancakes as blueberry, and 25% with mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top. We used to make the pancakes on our cast iron skillet, but it took forever. We now use this non-stick (teflon-free) griddle, and can make six pancakes at a time. It is truly naturally non-stick and I never need to use cooking spray.

Oddly enough, very few people in this house like syrup on our pancakes. Jack can take it or leave it, Troy will use it, and I’m indifferent about it. A huge slab of butter? Yes. Syrup? Meh. We do love homemade blackberry pancake syrup when I have taken the time to make and can it.

Line a baking sheet with parchment, and place the finished pancakes on there. Layer with parchment as needed until all the pancakes are on the tray. Place in the freezer until the pancakes are fully frozen. Remove pancakes individually to store in a freezer proof Ziploc. To heat, we simply microwave them for 30-45 seconds.

Waffles
I make a big double batch of 100% whole wheat waffles when I have 30 minutes to burn. We have a small waffle iron I snagged at Goodwill that works great, but only makes two waffles at a time. Same process as the pancakes – freeze on a pparchment-linedbaking sheet and transfer to a freezer Ziploc.

You can microwave waffles to reheat, but my preference is to put them in our toaster/convection oven for a few minutes. They turn out super crispy and taste like they just came off of the waffle iron.

Muffins
I use this Blueberry Muffins – Delicious, Healthy, and 100% Whole Wheat recipe the most, and freeze them in large batches. You can either take a few out at a time and place in the fridge to defrost or microwave frozen ones until heated through.

French Toast
Did you know that french toast freezes easily? It totally does. I dislike making french toast on a pan/griddle, simply because I don’t want to stand there flipping. It’s much easier to bake it and be done with it. I use this recipe, and if there is no egg nog because it isn’t Christmas, simply use milk, add 2 tbsp of sugar, and 2 tbsp of orange zest. Bake, cool, and separate on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze, and transfer to a freezer Ziploc. To heat, either microwave or use a toaster oven.

Eggs
Eggs are the protein power players of breakfast and many meals. Even the super expensive organic cage-free free range eggs are still a great bet when you realize that each little egg is packed with 7 grams of protein. And they’re freaking delicious to boot. Egg cups and mini quiches are both great ways to have easy to heat meals ready to go.

Meat Proteins
A little known secret is that cooked bacon and sausage freezes like a dream and is super easy to reheat. We cook three baking sheets of bacon (regular or turkey) at once just to get it over and done with. Simply cover a baking tray with foil, place the bacon on it and bake at 400 degrees until it has reached your desired level of crispiness. I typically bake for 20 minutes, flip the bacon on the trays, and then rotate the trays in the oven. Maybe it is my crappy oven, or just the fact of the matter, but one tray always is done well before the others. Just keep an eye on everything, to make sure it won’t burn. I cook sausage on our big griddle.

Place finished bacon/sausage on paper towels or newspaper to absorb the (delicious) grease, and allow everything to fully cool. Wrap the bacon/sausage in a paper towel and place in a freezer proof Ziploc. To heat, simply microwave until hot. Sausage and bacon takes about 30 seconds, and turkey bacon is about 15 seconds.

Oatmeal
I’ve frozen oatmeal before with mixed results. I really like oatmeal that isn’t soupy, and when reheating frozen oatmeal, you typically need to add liquid. I say, double your batch of oatmeal the next time you make it, freeze half and see how you like it.

In the end, breakfast can be an easy no-brainer in your house. Make ahead and remove the stress every morning. In the amount of time it takes to pour yourself a bowl of cereal, you could have a waffle, side of bacon, and a mini quiche heated up and ready. The options are clear – get stabby, or take five minutes for a hot breakfast.

What is your favorite thing to eat in the morning?

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7 comments on “Old School Jams – FREEZE. Don’t go Hungry.”

  1. Breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, whatever else you like!) also freeze great! We don’t have a microwave but anything frozen can be heated in the oven or toaster oven. Sort of doesn’t make it a quick meal but it’s nice to have a stocked freezer. Or even utilizing a slow cooker for some over night oats or French toast casserole. My kids like cereal (cheerios is the man in our house right now) though and I prefer fruit in the morning!

  2. I’ve got to say, I saw this on TV when they did a tour of the restaurant and it sounded good. I don’t like gooey oatmeal either. It uses Irish style cut oats. They’re no longer expensive. this turned out more… chewy, and you can add milk if you wish. it doesn’t have that goo that I hate. I feel pretty certain it would freeze well, in little logs or bricks (LOL). This blogger saw the same show I did and created her own version of what we saw.
    https://ifyouwanttoeatthis.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/if-you-want-to-eat-cookies-for-breakfast-make-baked-oatmeal/

  3. As far as cold cereal goes, unless you have a separate room to eat it in, please don’t eat it if I am conscious. I absolutely cannot stand all that crunching and slurping in the morning. Talk about feeling stabby!

    My frozen breakfast is baked in bulk in Pyrex cups. They are filled with a mixture of cooked ground turkey, or cooked poultry sausage, with sauteed onion and broccoli (or bell peppers), some salsa (green, red, whatever), beaten eggs and topped with a bit of cheese. Very handy. But I do very regularly make scrambled egg whites with a yolk for every 6 eggs (two of us share that) topped with a sprinkle of cheddar jack cheese (choosing fats here). The protein/fat combo gets me through the morning in a way carbs just can’t.

    On car trips, I’ve been known to eat cottage cheese with tortilla chip scoopers (your choice of flavors).

    As far as pancakes go, I haven’t the patience for that a lot of the time. However, for 8 years, my kids took a special trip each summer. They had to bring breakfast and lunch with them the first day. It became breakfast tradition for me to make a boat load of silver dollar pancakes with mini chocolate chips to share with all the others on the trip (maybe 30 people). Eaten cold, no syrup. Veeerrrrryyyy popular. It’s good to start with a fun, sharable food! I guess I could have made chocolate chip cookies, but then it wouldn’t have been “breakfast.” ; )

  4. I eat these muffins pretty much all the time because I can make so many different flavor combinations. ( http://www.southernplate.com/2012/08/anytime-any-kind-muffins-and-why-you-dont-need-lipliner-in-an-earthquake.html)
    Current fav is dried strawberry and mini choc chips – chocolate covered strawberries for breakfast yes please. These freeze amazing. Most friends and family know they are in the freezer and try to grab the bags!
    I also chop up ham & cheese and add to scrambled eggs w a splash of milk poured into my silicone muffin cups. They freeze really well.
    Chopped chicken and cheese in these egg muffins w a splash of hot sauce – yummmmm buffalo chicken for breakfast. When I go for morning jog I love having this to look forward to. Freeze bunches of these too.
    Now I’m hungry 😉

  5. Left-overs make a great breakfast!

    We do frittatas often (basically a quiche without the crust) but I am thinking of making g up some egg muffins. Well, I had been the the hubby told me eggs have been making his throat scratchy lately…

    I think I might have to look into muffins, and I have wanted a waffle iron forever! Thanks for the tips!

  6. For about the past two years, once a week I’d make a big skillet of scrambled eggs with sausage and cheese and my kids would eat it all week in tortillas with salsa. They just now decided they’re tired of it, so I made egg cups with bacon and cheese for them and with spinach and grape tomatoes for me. So delicious and I’m back to cooking once a week and having breakfast done for the week!

  7. I love your series! I love how your ideas are so simple and so easy to do. With 2 kids, I sometimes get lost when people tell me about their 15 ingredients chia breakfast bowl….so yes. Waffles 😉

    Btw. for waffles I can totally recommend the George Foreman Grill. (although we kind of never use it for anything other than that….)

    The waffel insert is HUGE (about the size of a letter-paper), and because they are a rectangle they fit in a ziploc quite perfectly and they fit into the toaster. (because I love my waffles crunchy!)

    I am very lazy when it comes to pancakes (because you need to watch them) but I love waffles, when I have a day at home I usually make a huge batch, and all I do is set a timer to 8 minutes, and refill…. forget it, and refill. Freeze 4 gallon bags of them and do the spill/overflow cleanup ONCE!

    I love oatmeal too, and what I think works best to save time is to let the oats soak overnight in the milk and then microwave it to be warm. (my kids love that too)