We are a busy family — Two, working parents with full-time jobs and three kids that we need to wake abruptly in the wee hours, dress them, feed them, and drop them off at their daycare before the 7:25 am bell rings. If our routine is off by five minutes I will have 28 high school students wondering where their English teacher is.
Needless to say, weekday mornings can be hectic around our house. Grab-and-go breakfasts have become a habit. I’m not proud of it at all. I’d love to be giving my kids a healthy breakfast with lots of protein, a side of fruit, and some whole grains, but it is difficult to manage during the week. Also, processed breakfast bars are either just high fructose corn syrup masked by “healthy” marketing or downright expensive if you want to pay up for organic cane syrup instead of HFCS (really — it can’t be that much better, but it eases my mommy guilt some).
I occasionally make some homemade granola bars and sometimes there is time in the morning for protein packed Greek yogurt, but kids need variety just like adults. I don’t want them getting bored with mommy’s cooking, and so far they prefer home cooked food and packed lunches to hot lunch and take out food. Score!
My friend Jules at Pancakes and French Fries (check out the link to her blog…it is the best) clued me in to another blogger’s cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead & Freeze Cookbook. You can get the paperback for a reasonable price on Amazon or buy the kindle version for $2.99 (that’s almost free.99 peeps!). It is worth it. She has great tips for freezing meals properly and wonderful recipes and techniques to shop efficiently and stock your freezer with quick dinners that are family friendly. This book is a must for busy parents who want to feed their families healthy food but don’t have the hours devoted to cooking and cleaning each day.
As I mentioned, Jessica Fisher also is a blogger. Her breakfast cookie recipe can be found on her blog Good (Cheap) Eats. I basically use her recipe, but instead of coconut oil (which I am currently out of), I use butter. I also use sprouted wheat flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour she recommends in order to amp up the health-o-meter. I added some other chopped dried fruits because I find that I burn through carbs pretty quickly in the morning and wanted to add as much in these cookies as possible. They aren’t too sweet (I cut down the amount of honey in her recipe), can be frozen ahead of time, and thaw quickly. One recipe makes about two dozen cookies, more or less.
Here is what you need:
1/4 Cup honey
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup of softened butter (1 stick)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup ground flax seed meal
1 1/2 Cup sprouted wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Cups quick oats
1/4 Cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 Cup chopped, dried apricots
1/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs sesame seeds
1/4 Cup chopped almonds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Put your softened butter in a mixer and add the sugar, honey, and vanilla and cream together. Add the eggs and mix in thoroughly (you may need to scrape your mixer down). Sprinkle your salt and baking soda on top and mix in, then stir in all the other ingredients.
Once everything is mixed, add one tablespoon of cookie dough per cookie to your baking sheets. Space them apart by an inch and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Cool on a baking rack completely, then freeze in a large Ziploc bag or individually in smaller sandwich baggies within a large bag for an easy pre-packaged breakfast. All you have to do is remember to grab one when you are running out of the house.