MARY KATE RIDGEWAY

often hear people say they wished they had time to eat breakfast. Then, they have a major slump in the mid-morning. Children are now offered breakfast at most schools, as many come to school in too much of a hurry to eat. National tests have shown children do not experience that low point in their learning in mid-morning — if they eat breakfast.  

Breakfast helps our brains and bodies to catch up from a long night, as our body organs continue to work while we rest. As a result, breakfast is called ”the most important meal of the day,” and for good reason. As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period. It replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health.

Breakfast is not just to keep you from getting hungry. Studies have shown the health benefits of eating breakfast.It improves your energy levels and ability to concentrate in the short term, and helps with better weight management, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the long term.

Despite the benefits of breakfast for your health and well-being, many people often skip it, for a variety of reasons. The good news is there are plenty of ways to make it easier to fit breakfast into your day.

Early starts, long commutes and busy morning schedules mean many of us don’t make time to sit down to breakfast before beginning the day. Whatever the reason for being time poor in the morning, there are still ways to fit in breakfast. 

• repare quick and healthy breakfast foods the night before or on the weekend, such as healthy muffins or overnight oats (rolled oats soaked in milk overnight in the fridge — just add fruits or nuts and serve). A pre-prepared breakfast means you can grab it and eat at home, on the way to work or once you get to your destination.

• eep some breakfast foods at work (if allowed).

• et your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than usual to allow time for breakfast at home.

• wap out time-wasting habits in the morning (like checking emails or scrolling social media), and use this time for a healthy breakfast snack.

Morning Glory Muffins

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/3 cups sugar

2 cups crushed nuts, optional

2 teaspoons soda

2 cups grated carrots

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut, optional

1 cup vegetable oil

1 apple, shredded

3 eggs

8 ounces crushed pineapple

 

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

Makes 24 large muffins or 48 mini muffins.

Breakfast 

Bruschetta Bagels 

 

4 plain bagels

2 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

8 eggs

1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

Salt and pepper

 

In a bowl, mix tomatoes, olive oil, chopped basil, and salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Add 4 of the eggs — you will have to split the batch depending on the size of your frying pan.

Cover and cook the eggs until you reach preferred doneness. Repeat with the rest of eggs.

While eggs cook, split bagels and lightly toast.

Place bagels on plates, top each half with a cooked egg and then evenly distribute the bruschetta mixture on top of each egg.

Drizzle each with balsamic glaze and serve.

Southern 

Breakfast Casserole

 

1 pound spice or hot pork sausage

6 eggs

1-1/2 cups milk

2 slices white bread, cubed

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard

1/2 cup half and half

1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce

 

Cook sausage and crumble, drain off grease.

Beat the eggs and add to the milk, half and half, salt, pepper and mustard.

Layer cubed bread, sausage and cheese in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour liquid mixture on top.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake casserole in 350°F oven for 45 minutes. 

Makes six-eight servings.

 

MARY KATE RIDGEWAY, a retired Extension leader, is a freelance home economist and educator.

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