Our Frugal And Nutritional Breakfast

by Frugal Babe on February 24, 2012

There are no boxes of cereal in our house.  No frozen waffles or toaster pastries either.  Sometimes there are homemade muffins in the freezer, but we usually eat those as dessert or a snack.  Breakfast around here is an oat/quinoa mixture that my husband makes for us every morning while I’m cleaning the house sleeping.

As far as economical breakfast food goes, bulk oats and quinoa – even the organic stuff – is pretty high on the list.  We buy our oats in 50 lb bags that we special order at the health food store (they give us a 10% discount for ordering in bulk).  Our quinoa comes from the bulk section, 5 lbs at a time – although we should probably look into ordering a bigger bag of that too.

Anyway, here’s what he does.  I asked him for details this morning, since he works his kitchen magic while the boys and I are still asleep – when we wake up, breakfast is ready for us, so I rarely see the preparation phase.  This is what I wake up to:

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He never measures anything, because oats and guinoa are pretty forgiving – if you have too much water, just let it cook a little longer.  Or if you didn’t put in enough water to start with, you can just add more.  And after you’ve done it a few times, you can eyeball it in the pan and know that it’s right.  But he uses roughly one cup dry quinoa and two cups dry rolled oats.  He rinses the quinoa and then adds everything to a saucepan with roughly six cups of water (as long as you have about twice as much water as oats/quinoa, it will work).  Then he adds about 1/2 cup raisins and about a tablespoon or two of blackstrap molasses.  He brings it to a boil (watching closely, or else it will boil over), stirs it around, and then turns the heat off, letting the pan sit on the warm burner (we have an electric stove – with a gas range you might have to keep it on low for a while before turning it off).  It takes about 20 minutes then for the breakfast to be ready, but since the stove is off it doesn’t require any babysitting.  He can go about the rest of his morning, since breakfast is on autopilot.

Once the water is absorbed, breakfast is ready.  We spoon it into bowls and then add toppings.  This is where we can mix it up and make our breakfast different from one day to the next.  We always add hempseeds and chia seeds.  These are powerhouse foods – lots of protein and essential fatty acids.  We also usually drizzle some flax oil or Udo’s oil over the bowl.  Then we add fruit (blueberries today – just depends on what we have in the freezer or on the counter) and sometimes almond milk or coconut butter.  I often add a scoop of protein powder and some shredded coconut too.  The sky’s the limit – add whatever sounds good and will add a nutritional boost to your day.  We stay away from sugar and syrup – those don’t add any nutritional value to the meal and we can get all the sweetness we need from fruit.

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We used to have just oats in the morning, but we started adding quinoa several months ago in order to maximize the nutritional content of our breakfast.  The chia seeds, hemp seeds, molasses and flax oil also give the meal a nutritional boost.

Since it’s so easy to change the flavor of the breakfast depending on what toppings we use, we never get tired of this meal.  It’s simple, easy to make, far less expensive than boxed cereals, and gives us a great start to our day. 

Many thanks to Mr. Frugal Babe for making our breakfast every day! 

What do you eat for breakfast?  How do you make sure you’re getting a solid meal before heading out the door, without blowing the grocery budget?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

Yum! I hardly ever eat breakfast because I’m always feeling so rushed. I need to change that.

Lori February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

That sounds great!  I usually have 2 eggs with toast or granola with kefir and berries.  Buckwheat is a great morning cereal also that would probably cook in your mixture.  What a great husband you have been blessed with!

Frugal Vegan Mom February 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

This looks great!  I eat oatmeal a lot, with different add-ins, but would be nice to use quinoa as the protein instead of my usual nuts/nut butters.  Sometimes I also do fruit smoothies, with protein powder and ground flax

Jennifer @ kidoing! February 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

What a sweet husband! We have done quinoa or oats, but not a combo.  Love that idea! We always include about 2tsp of ground flax in our oats, frozen fruit, lots of nuts and seeds, too.  YUM.

Jennifer @ kidoing! February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I forgot to ask you this.  I really don’t like pasty oats.  If you leave them in long enough for the quinoa to cook, do they get pasty (even with the burner off)?

AD February 25, 2012 at 6:08 am

Lately I’ve been having an AB&J smoothie for breakfast (like a PB&J). :) It goes like this:
-1 cup almond milk
-1/2 cup frozen berries
-1 tbsp almond butter
-1/2 scoop protein powder (I use Bluebonnet vanilla with stevia, so it’s
already a little sweet. It’s also processed in low-heat, more about it
here if you’re interested:
http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com/product/41/100%25_Natural_Whey_Protein_Isolate_Powder)

Frugal Babe February 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

Your smoothie sounds great!  If I don’t put a scoop of protein on my oats, I mix up some whey in a jar with some Ormus Supergreens (expensive, but I only use a teaspoon at a time, so it lasts forever) and sometimes a bit of hemp protein.  
Your Bluebonnet whey looks really good.  I get whey from New Zealand cows too (no rBGH, pasture raised).  Our local health food store sells it in bulk for $8.26/pound, just for the plain whey powder.  I dump it into a jar and add a scoop of cocoa and a bit of ground dried stevia leaf (also from the bulk section – a lot less expensive than the little packets, and no other ingredients besides stevia leaf).  Then I shake up the jar and have my own chocolate whey mix – with only three ingredients.  I love it.  I can mix it with water for a quick protein boost, or add it to my oats or put it in a smoothie.  

Kay February 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I too, get whey from newzealand certified free of harmones and such – Interactive nutrition absolute whey protein. Our everyday breakfast is a smoothie – lots of frozen fruits or apples, some chia meal or hemp hearts, water, proteins powder, molassses.. sometimes nuts.. sometimes almond milk or coconut milk (that comes in tetrapack not tin)..we like frozen mangoes or frozen blueberries in our smoothies. and mostly we add 2 handfuls of baby spinach or some other organic greens from costco.

we’ve been recently thinking of moving away from processed protein powder and moving to hemp based protein powder.. still thinking about it.

have you tried no cooking chia porridge?? we love it.

Frugal Babe February 26, 2012 at 7:57 am

We use both whey and hemp protein – we alternate or sometimes combine them, depending on the day.  And we love chia puddings!  We have 15 lbs of chia seeds in our freezer right now, and we’ve been eating lots of chia pudding/porridge.  This recipe for chocolate mint chia pudding is one of our favorites: 
http://www.pure2raw.com/2011/04/chocolate-chip-mint-chia-seed-pudding/

Spring February 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

Hehehe, lookes like you eat black olives for breakfast! Seriously though, looks like a lovely breakfast, a far better version of mine which is 1/4 cup of oats, a small hand full of sultanas and a spoon full each of hemp seeds and ground flax seeds with 1/2 cup boiling water, stir and eat immediately.

Frugal Babe February 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

Yours sounds like a great breakfast that you can make in a hurry!  If we know that we’re going to be in a hurry in the morning, we sometimes make “overnight oats” that soak in the fridge in almond milk all night.  Then they’re ready to go in the morning with no prep time.

Sandy March 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

We love your breakfast!!!! I have been adding a little flaxseed meal also. Thank you! Thank you!

Frugal Babe March 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

No, not at all.  (Sorry, I just saw your comment this morning).  We buy old fashioned rolled oats – quick cooking oats might be different.  But even when we used to make our oats without quinoa, they still needed at least 20 minutes to cook.  That’s about the same as the quinoa, so they end up perfectly cooked at the same time.

Frugal Babe March 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

Glad you like it!  Our son loves flax seed (he begs for a spoonful every time he sees me getting the bag out of the freezer), so we often add that as a breakfast topping too.

Jennifer @ kidoing! March 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Great! I was hoping I didn’t offend you by accusing you and your husband of cooking pasty oats.  :) I will try it!

Theadventuresoflactatinggirl June 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

Is the quinoa supposed to be crunchy or did I not cook it long enough?

Frugal Babe June 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

Once quinoa is all the way cooked, it’s pretty soft.  It needs about 15 minutes, which is about the same as the oats we use, so they cook nicely together.

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