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:
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.
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?