WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY RICH FRANK of Four Seasons Natural Foods

Healthy Breakfast Foods

Back to School means back to routine and back to habits — both the good habits and the bad ones! So where does your weekday, breakfast protocol stand?  We’ve all heard (and generally ignored) — breakfast is the most important meal.  Unfortunately, for breakfast, it falls right after you semi-willingly abandon your bed and just before you need to be doing something else, so it gets skipped, ignored and unloved.  It’s one thing to treat yourself badly at breakfast, but harder when you are responsible for your kids.  They can’t deal as well as you think you can yourself. 

Here are some ideas to help when there’s little time and energy!

COLD CEREAL:
There’s a reason the box took over weekday breakfast in the last 50 years — complaint-free, fast and super easy. 

Open component 1: Box 
Open component 2: Milk
Mix together in bowl. Eat 

Fortunately, you can follow these basic rules and up the game a little.  

Component 1: The Box 
Try some less sugary alternatives:

GRANOLA/MUSELI: 
Too numerous to count, there are a lot of great versions here--many with whole grains or paleo or gluten free, depending on your style. They can be filling and delicious with good nutrition.  Feel free to mix with high quality cold cereal to change the taste and texture.  We love local favorites like Battenkill and Little Lads!

UPDATED ORGANIZE COLD CEREAL: 
Like the commercial favorites, organic, no preservatives or artificial versions now abound. Cascadian Farms, Barabara, Nature’s Path and others 
have good options.

Component 2:  The Milk 
Try some alternatives to dairy milk.  

Joining first round favorites of soy, rice and almond, now macadamia, cashew, banana, hemp, coconut, sesame are all new to the field. No need to be an exact replica of cow’s milk, alternatives can bring interest, flavor, different nutrition, and variety to the same old, same old.  

HOT CEREAL - OATS: 
These are wicked easy--ditch the packet and take 6 minutes to simmer on the stove top… add your own raisins, cinnamon, walnuts, maple syrup etc.  But, it’s not just oats out there anymore--try other whole grains and seeds from amaranth and quinoa to millet and flax.

EXOTIC TOAST:
In degree of homemade difficulty:
Waffles > Pancakes > French Toast. 
Now, let’s get real — all of those take time, energy and worst of all, mess! Try these:  

CINNAMON DELIGHT: 
Put some butter on whole grain bread, sprinkle with maple sugar and cinnamon. Put in toaster oven for 3 1/2 minutes.  Yes! 

AVOCADO TOAST: 
Smoosh some ripe avocado in a bowl, add sea salt, spread on well-toasted whole grain or gluten-free bread. (Variants include adding garlic, chopped greens, poached egg, jalapenos) to the bowl before spreading.  Don’t knock it ‘til you tried it.

MILKSHAKES...
I mean, smoothies.  They aren’t milkshakes, but you can get pretty close, especially when you start calling them milkshakes. In blender, add bananas (try frozen ones!) and berries.  Add in yogurt, favorite milk,  peanut butter, hemp seeds, whatever else sounds good.  Blend and serve.  It tastes too good to be that easy and nutritious.  

PLAIN FRUIT...
Yes, obvious, but often overlooked. 
You know--oranges, grapefruits, apples, grapes and the like.  Have some once and awhile!

CEREAL BARS
Maybe not the best, but could be
worse too.  Check out Kind or
Nature’s Path as decent options.

CHIA SEED PUDDING
Into a quart Ball jar, put a 1/2 cup of chia seeds, 2 1/2 cups almond milk, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a few pieces of lemon or orange rind. Shake well and refrigerate overnight.  

CARROT RAISIN MANNA BREAD
It comes frozen, simply thaw it. It’s made from sprouted grains mashed up into a loaf.  Eat cool, room temperature, or warmed slightly in the toaster oven.  Spread on some tahini or nut butter.


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