You know one thing about being the poor sap that’s in charge of food around here (that would be me): Every morning when I open my eyes, first thing, there they are: those children and that husband (not to mention the dogs, cats, goose, chickens, gerbils, canaries, and probably many assorted woodland creatures, watching from the woods) with their cavernous stomachs and Bambi-esque eyes, looking up at me, all asking the same thing:
What’s for breakfast, Mom?
And you know, Gentle Readers, that my family is much
tooredonculouslyspoiled too smart and particular to dine on cold cereal or a simple slice of cinnamon toast, or a prewrapped pastry from the store. Oh no. That wouldn’t do at all. They all want variety. They all want fresh stuff. They want hot and surprising deliciousness. They want plenty of surprising deliciousness for breakfast, every single day. And–they don’t want the same delicious thing day after day after blessed day.
Now doesn’t that sound like a lot of work for you-know-who? The kitchen drudge (moi) in charge of food, day in and day out? I mean, how many days are there in a typical lifetime, after all? Do I really want to know? Thinking . . . thinking . . . . thinking . . . *
For myself, I’d be happy with an apple, a good cup of coffee, a big slice of homemade toast, and a schmear of peanut butter. Truth. Ask anybody. Or a good bowl of granola. Or even, in a pinch, a bowlful of watermelon. A chunk of cheese. And out the door I go. Really. I am so easy to please. In this department (cough).
No, I don’t really want to know how many days there are in a typical lifetime. (yes, you do, Amy)*
And the thing is, regarding all this breakfast fussiness: It’s all my fault. At bedtime, after Little Mack–after he has taken his shower and pulled on his pajamas, and after we have prayed together and I’ve answered his last few questions (honest truth: I have to cut him off. I have to say, in a tired yet firm voice: “No More Questions for Pity’s Sake, Son.” I NEVER would have told my oldest son Matthew that, fearing that I’d be quenching his natural and constant curiosity and intellect. And Matthew is now, by all accounts, a Smarty Pants, and he is working on his PhD. I’m not making this up. Pity the sixth child and his tired mum. He’ll probably grow up to be a middle school dropout and street sweeper (no offense to good street sweepers everywhere. Or middle school dropouts.) and it’ll be all my fault–and after his teeth have been brushed and (yes) flossed, after he has gotten his final drink of water (“I’m parched Mom, do you think I’m dehydated?–oh wait, that was another question, wasn’t it? Never mind. But do you—??”) and I’ve tucked him firmly IN, he asks that constant and unending question, the last one (thank you, Jesus) of the day:
“Mom. What’s for breakfast tomorrow?”
And I ponder: What have I done? If only I would have begun our lives together by stocking the cabinets with Poptarts and purchased cinnamon rolls (“Honeybun, anyone?” I’d sing gaily every morning, opening up a box, ripping open the cellophane, and then tripping happily out the door, total time spent on breakfast: 30 seconds) or those nasty little packets of veryveryverysweet oatmeal and little chewy bits of who-knows-what that you just add hot water to. But no.
I guess I came upon all this expectation quite honestly. We also were quite spoiled in my childhood home, where breakfast edibles were concerned. Mom was a firm believer in hot breakfasts, with several items on every plate, every day, usually with lots of protein (for our brains): pancakes and eggs and bacon and fresh fruit (because plenty of fruits and vegetables make your cheeks rosy). And homemade juice. And leftover pie. Please don’t tell my family about all that. As much as I am complaining (tongue in cheek, natch) about all this breakfast tra-laa, I never get that fancy. Do you know what I call a meal that includes pancakes and eggs and bacon and fruit? And juice? And leftover pie?
Supper. Darn right. If I’m going to go to that much trouble, it’ll be for the evening meal. But if Mom (or anybody else) wanted to come make that kind of a breakfast for me, hey, I’d let her. (Didja see that, Mom? *imagine Bambi eyes*)
Enough complaining, Amy, stop!! Really, I didn’t mean to go down that tiresome road of self-pity and poor me-ness. I don’t hate making breakfast, after all. And everybody at our house pitches in. Mostly. Most days. Well, now and then. And hey–every year on my birthday somebody usually makes me breakfast. That’s one day off a year. Yay.
🙂 And yet still, I smile. I manage. I try. 🙂
Anyway. Back to—what was I writing about again? Oh yes, (glancing back up at the title) quick whole grain breakfast bowls. Gentle Reader. These whole grain breakfast bowls are just the best thing I’ve discovered in quite awhile. I just have to share them with you. Just picture it: one night for dinner, you’ve got leftover rice. You sock it away in the ‘fridge, a smug secret little smile on your face. You know your family will expect yet another breakfast in the morning (they always do), made by–yes–you.
You will remember this post about the whole grain breakfast bowls. You know that these breakfast bowls will be sure to please your
fussyoverlypamperedlucky lovely family. The clincher? It won’t take you more than a few minutes time, total. And guess what? I’m sharing four (count ’em, four) of these breakfast bowls with you today. You can really mix and match them up, depending on your preferences. Avoiding gluten? Some of them are no-gluten. Avoiding sugar? They mostly have no sugar, either. And you can use whatever accompaniments you prefer–you can go with half and half or milk when the recipe calls for milk, or you can mix it up and use coconut milk (my current fave) or almond milk or whatever you and your family likes.
These whole grain breakfast bowls are really delicious, varied, and up at the very top of the Most Nutritious Breakfasts List. Trust me. Or, just check the list. They’re there. Since they are full of whole grains, they’ll keep you and your family full and satisfied for most of the morning, and all the crunchy chewy yummy toppings will delight the tastebuds, too. But now, let’s get started with the recipes. It’s time to make breakfast.
1. Not Your Grandma’s Oatmeal
Here’s how to make it: Saute 2 cups of raw oats in 2 Tb. coconut oil, for about 5 minutes. Be careful–it’s perilously easy (cough) to burn! Then bring 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of milk (any kind) to a boil, and add the oats. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you’ve reached the perfect consistency of the Best Oatmeals. Serve with cinnamon, honey, chopped candied ginger (yum), nuts and raisins, and a slosh of coconut milk. Again, yum. This is not your grandma’s oatmeal!
2. Brown Rice Bowl
Here’s how to make it: Here’s where your leftover rice from last night comes in. Heat it up with milk and a few Tablespoons of crushed flaxseeds, until hot. Add fresh (or frozen!) berries, chopped pecans, and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. This could almost be dessert, folks. It’s so good.
3. Savory Cold Quinoa Bowl
How to make it: Your kiddos might just raise their eyebrows at eating cold veggies for breakfast, but this is utterly delicious. Eat it hot or cold. Scoop into a bowl: leftover quinoa, put on top leftover roasted vegetables (squash, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, etc.) and drizzle with a little bit of good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a grating of parmesan cheese (. Sprinkle with freshly-ground pepper and salt. Breakfast of champions! (And that is my favorite fork.)
4. Hot Exploding Wheat Berries
(p.s. They don’t really explode.) Here’s how you make this: My mom used to make this whole grain breakfast for us, and we all loved it. Ergo, yours will too. 🙂 Put into your crock pot the night before: two cups of rinsed wheatberries and 4 and 1/2 cups of water. Cook on “low” overnight. In the morning, the wheat berries will be hot and bursting and squeaky in your teeth, and ready to eat! Dish up a bowlful and top with: chopped apple, cinnamon, brown sugar, craisins, and a few nuts, and a splash of milk.
There you go, Gentle Reader! A week’s worth of really easy, marvelously delicious, and wondrously nutritious whole grain breakfasts. Oh, you realize there are only four bowls mentioned? Well, on Friday maybe your mom will come over and make you something special. 🙂 Fingers crossed, and Bambi eyes firmly in place.
P.S. * If I live to be 100, I’ll be making (if you count my infant years) 364,900 breakfasts (excluding one birthday breakfast per year). 🙁
Second P.S.** My daught-in-law is on an artist’s vacation right now because she is chasing her adorable little toddler (i.e. our adorable little grandson) all over creation, but she plans to start producing (pots) soon, and you’ll want to check her Etsy shop and website out. Our “Rachel bowls” and “Rachel mugs” are our veryvery favorite things to use, and we fight over them like savages. Not really. But we add to our collection slowly, piece by piece, and they certainly make us all very happy, indeed. And we are all a bit (cough) possessive about our favorite pieces. More on that later.
I love ya, Gentle Readers. Enjoy making breakfast!
And if you want, come on over and visit me at The Prairie Homestead’s Barn Hop. Fun!
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