Let’s face it, mornings are not a parent’s best friend. Especially in the springtime, when schedules seem to be even more hectic thanks to busy school calendars, sporting events and practices… you name it. No matter how prepared I think I am the night before, somehow every morning we always end up frantically searching for a misplaced library book or shoe, leaving us with minimal time to eat. Can you relate?
Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is so hard to prepare something when you are pressed for time. Amongst all of our morning chaos, I used worry that my family might not have enough time to eat; but not anymore. How do I make sure it doesn’t happen while still getting everyone ready for the busy day ahead? It’s all thanks to a weekly trip to the Farmers’ Market, and a little bit of planning. Here are a few of my favorite strategies for quick and nutritious weekday breakfast options:
1. Keep a fruit bowl full of apples and bananas – nature’s perfect go-to foods. We are so lucky to have Saratoga Apple and Malta Ridge Orchard & Gardens, who offer delicious apples year-round! By adding a piece of cheese from Argyle Cheese Farmer, Dancing Ewe Farm, or Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm; along with a handful of nuts, you’ll also be adding much needed calcium, fiber, protein, and a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals.
2. Yogurt & Granola Parfaits – a favorite of both kids and adults. We absolutely love the yogurt from Argyle Cheese Farmer! It contains no pectin, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no artificial sweeteners. Just fresh local milk, active cultures, and occasionally natural ingredients like maple and vanilla. By opting for their Greek yogurt, you’ll be serving your family the same amount of protein as an egg! We top our yogurt with a little bit of low-sugar granola for a good dose of fiber, protein, iron and magnesium. Depending on what’s in season, we might also add berries – blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are some of my favorites because they require no slicing. Voila! Breakfast in minutes!
3. Cook more than you need. We usually eat pancakes at some point during the weekend. Whenever that happens, we’re always sure to make extra to keep in the refrigerator for a super quick, super kid-friendly breakfast during the week. Warmed in the microwave and paired with some local maple syrup or a drizzle of honey from Ballston Lake Apiaries, pre-made pancakes are a total time saver! If we’re having one of those mornings when we don’t have time to sit down to eat, pancakes are still a great choice — I like to spread them with a bit of peanut butter, from Saratoga Peanut Butter Co. and add some sliced fruit or fresh jam, from Anna Mae or K & D Farm, for a tasty pancake sandwich to-go.
4. Smoothies – everyone loves a good smoothie, especially kids. The best thing about smoothies is that frozen fruit works just as well as fresh, so keeping ingredients on hand is easy. Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in a few vegetables without your little ones knowing! To make things even speedier, add all of your ingredients to the blender’s pitcher the night before and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, just toss in some ice and give it a whirl!
5. One of my favorite make-ahead options for busy mornings, are these simple Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Muffins. (See recipe.) Fresh eggs are abundant every week at the Farmers’ Market, from Elihu Farm, Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm, Kilpatrick Family Farm, Kokinda Farm, M & A Farm, Malta Ridge, and Otrembiak Farm; so I’m always sure to stock up on a few dozen. Paired with fresh veggies and sausage or ground pork from M & A Farm or Lewis Waite Farm, these muffins pack a delicious and nutritious energy punch. I prefer to make them ahead on Sunday afternoon, store them in the fridge, and reheat them in the microwave for a quick weekday breakfast. The kids LOVE them!
Sausage, Egg & Veggie Breakfast Muffins
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins
SERVING SIZE: 2 Muffins
INGREDIENTS: *Available at the market
2-3 cups fresh seasonal vegetables; chopped (onions, peppers, broccoli, and spinach are some favorites)*
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
8 oz ground sausage; cooked and crumbled*
salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Steam or sauté vegetables in olive oil, for about 4-6 minutes.
When vegetables are cooked, add ground sausage. Mix well until sausage is cooked. Drain if needed.
Spray a standard size cupcake tin with cooking spray, (I use grapeseed or olive oil in a spray mister.) and spoon vegetable mixture evenly into tins.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over vegetable/sausage mixture until a little more than 3/4 full. Bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes.
Serve immediately or cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week!