School is back in session, and we are all looking for ways to streamline our routines, especially in the morning. But “routine” can sometimes also mean “rut.” Take breakfast, for instance. Yes, it is easy to rely on the tried-and-true cereal route, and, hey, there’s nothing wrong with some high-quality, low-sugar cereals to jump-start a busy day. (My secret confession: Cereal is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods.) But what if you want to mix it up a bit at breakfast but don’t want to take on a major cooking task first thing in the a.m.?
Here are four make-ahead breakfast ideas that all take fewer than three minutes of morning prep time:
1. Mini Muffins
I make up batches of high-fiber, high-protein mini muffins and keep them in freezer bags for breakfasts and snacks anytime. Why mini and not regular muffins? Tiny minis thaw out in minutes. But the real reason (mom to mom): Texture is less important in a mini muffin than in a regular-sized muffin. You can load those babies up with healthy goodies, like flax, bran or ground nuts — things that could turn a regular muffin into a doorstop — and your kids won’t even blink an eye. Try my Magic Fruit-and-Veggie Muffins recipe (pictured above, featured in Food Network Magazine).