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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?