Posts Tagged 'breakfast'

Save Money, Keep Food Cost Down

We all know that food is costing more and more.  But with a little planning and a few simple recipes your food dollars can go farther.  Many foods that we buy are made from a combination of oil, sugar and flour.  Sugar and flour are relatively inexpensive.  Although they are not nutritious foods, unless your flour is whole wheat, they do serve a purpose by providing delicious sources of energy.  Other grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, corn and quinoa are also inexpensive when purchased in their raw, unprocessed form and supply many valuable nutrients.Learning to cook these grains is easy.  Most require only a pan, water and heat.  For exact measurements of water and grain read package labels or check your favorite cooking web site.  These grains can make great main courses, side dishes or breakfasts.

Many of us eat grain products in the morning.  Why pay $4.00 for a box of breakfast cereal when for the same $4.00 you can buy more than 5 pounds (15 cups) of flour, which will easily make 7 batches of cookies or muffins or 10 loaves of bread?  Top bread, preferably whole wheat, with any nut butter and fruit such as banana, strawberry or thin apple slices.  And bread making is easier than you might think.  The easiest method is with a bread machine.  If you want to get more involved, go to your local library and take out the book “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day”.  It really works.

Many, if not most, breakfast cereals are processed white flour and sugar so devoid of nutrients that vitamins and minerals need to be added in, thus the term “enriched”.  Boxed dry cereal is certainly convenient, but for a change of pace and a boost in nutrition you could try mixing oatmeal, and maybe some nuts and raisins, in the evening with yogurt, refrigerate and then eat it the next morning.  If you want a hot breakfast warm it up, adding milk 2:1 of the oatmeal mixture, simmering until most of the milk has absorbed into the oatmeal.

As for snacks, most are puffed (air) and fried grain products.  They have generally no redeemable nutritional qualities.  Instead try popping some popcorn, at only 6 cents per 1 ounce serving, that’s the most economical snack available.  Popcorn can be prepared on the stove in any lidded pot or in an electric popper (with oil or air popped).  If you are popping in oil, no butter or oil needs to be added.  If you are using an air popper, add just enough oil or butter taste.  Try adding flax seed oil after popping for added omega 3 oils.  To add even more nutrition and flavor use nutritional yeast instead of salt.  Nutritional yeast has great B-vitamins and zinc.


Give Me Strength

The middle of summer break, and I am thinking about all of the things that I am supposed to get my kids to do that they don’t want to: work on math skills, reading, playing the recorder.  I am exhausted just thinking about it.  I, like many of you, work every day to hold things together, managing everyone’s schedule, maintaining some level of household cleanliness, keeping food in the house.  Don’t parents deserve a break? 

Apparently not.  Whichever way I turn, someone wants something from me.  Every morning, and I mean EVERY morning, my kids ask me “what can I have for breakfast”.  I tell them, the same as always:  eggs, pancakes, cereal, toast, cinnamon raisin bagel, or even pizza, tofu or teriyaki noodles.  I don’t care what it is as long as it is not completely sugar or fat.  I just want them to eat before they leave the house. Yet, this becomes exhausting for me as they won’t make a decision while it gets closer and closer to the time to leave for camp.

Of course, if you have read any of my blogs, I only have myself to blame.  One of my rules is don’t ask your kids what they want to eat.  Just put food on the table and let them eat it or not. I do this at dinner time.  I cook what I want, call everyone to the table and serve. I thought that at ages 9 and 13 years I could give my kids a choice about a meal as simple as breakfast.  Wrong.  They just drag it out.  Tomorrow I will offer them a choice of two items.  If they don’t want it, they are on their own.  I will leave on time, whether they have eaten or not.  Wish me strength.  I need it.