Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many reasons, but here are three which come from recent medical research:
1. People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off are faithful members of the “breakfast club.”
2. People who eat breakfast may be better equipped to fight off colds and flu. An impressive study found that those who developed more than one illness over the 10-week study were less likely to be breakfasters. The reasons why breakfast might be a protective factor are not entirely clear.
3. Skipping breakfast doesn’t reduce one’s daily calorie intake. The truth is if you skip you will more than make up for it later in the day. But those who eat breakfast find it easier to resist high fat foods during the day. It remains a well-known fact that breakfast boosts metabolism all day and fires up your brain cells for faster, clearer thinking.
2-hour rule. Eat when you can but within two hours of waking.
Eat what you enjoy. You are more likely to create a life-long habit if it’s something you enjoy.
Make it convenient. If breakfast is time consuming and complicated you are not likely to stick with it. Have on hand “grab and go” breakfast items that are both tasty and affordable.
Resist drive-thrus. Fast food is expensive and typically unhealthy.
If you are tired of cereal, made-from-scratch healthy muffins are a perfect solution for your breakfast dilemma.
Freezer trick. Generally, muffin batter needs to be baked as soon as mixed. Or, you can freeze the batter in the cups! Make up the batter and follow the instructions for filling the paper- or foil-lined cups with batter. Now pop the pans in the freezer.
When the muffins are frozen hard, transfer them to a plastic bag or freezer container; write the baking temperature on the bag so you don’t have to search for the recipe again later. When you are ready to bake them, put the frozen muffins back in the muffin pans and place them in a preheated oven, increasing the baking time by only 5 or 6 minutes. You can bake all the muffins at once or one to two at a time in a toaster oven.
Whole Wheat Applesauce Date Muffins
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- Heat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups. Thoroughly mix four, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Break eggs into another bowl. Add brown sugar to eggs and beat until smooth. Add applesauce and oil. Whisk until well blended. Stir in dates. Pour over dry ingredients and fold in just until dry ingredients are moistened. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until brown and springy to the touch in the center. Remove to a rack to cool. Place in a plastic bag. These are best one day after baked.
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
Here’s a recipe that breaks all the rules about either baking or freezing muffins as soon as the batter is mixed. This batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six weeks and baked as needed! With a batch on hand you can enjoy the luxury of fresh-baked muffins every morning. This recipe makes 28 muffins for about 12 cents each.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup black coffee or water
- 2 cups liquid buttermilk OR 6 tablespoons dried buttermilk and 2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups Kellogg’s All-Bran, Bran Buds or other wheat bran cereal
- Put eggs, sugar and butter in a large bowl; whip with a wire whisk to mix. Whisk in liquids; mixture will look curdled. Add flour and baking soda. Whisk until just mixed. Stir in bran.
- Scrape batter into a refrigerator container. Cover and refrigerate. (If you want to bake batter without storing, let it stand 15 to 20 minutes for bran to soften.)
- To bake: Heat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups. Stir batter gently to mix. Scoop 1/4 cup into each muffin cup. For baking just a few, a toaster oven works fine. Bake about 20 minutes, or until springy to the touch in the center. Let cool 5 minutes before serving hot.