Here’s the thing; I don’t like to eat breakfast.
Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE breakfast food. I mean, come on; bacon! Hello? French toast, waffles, hash browns, scrambled eggs, omelets; there’s really very little about breakfast food that doesn’t appeal to me. My problem with it, though, is that its served so early in the morning. If I can eat breakfast at 10 am, that would suit me just fine.
I shouldn’t wait that long to eat, though, and because I’m trying both to be healthier and to set a better example for my daughters, the quest to find something that I’m willing to stomach in the wee hours took on some serious focus a few months ago.
I went looking for some form of baked oatmeal – something that could be made ahead and stored (to eliminate the “I don’t feel like making anything” excuse) and which could be eaten on the go (because, while I personally don’t have a whole lot of time constraints in the mornings, my daughters do not always rise early enough to allow themselves leisurely mornings). After messing with a couple of different recipes, I’ve managed to Frankenstein together something that I really like.
Start with half a cup each of honey, peanut butter (I use smooth and all-natural, but whatever you like is perfectly acceptable) and apple sauce (you can sub bananas for the apple sauce, but I’m not a big banana fan, so I don’t). I drop in a blop of vanilla here, just because I can. Mix these together in a large-ish bowl until they’re well combined.
Into that, drop a cup of old-fashioned oats, half a cup of flour (I use whole wheat white flour for this application), a quarter cup of dry milk powder, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda (you can sift these things together if you’re fussy enough to need to do that, or if your milk powder is lumpy).
After that, the world, as they say, is your oyster; add in whatever suits your fancy. Like nuts? Drop some in there! Cinnamon and nutmeg? Why the hell not? If you’re a raisin kind of person, I say have at it. My personal preference is for a handful each of chocolate chips and dried cherries, but that’s just me.
Drop the batter in generous lumps – like, a quarter of a cup – onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or silpat; I love that stuff) and park the pans in a 350° oven for about 10-15 minutes; you want them cooked, but not dry. Let them cool, pop ’em in an airtight container, and keep ’em on your counter. One of these and a nice glass of milk should hold you over until lunch (and they make completely acceptable after-school snacks, too).
(pictures to follow…)