Breakfast is on!

Summer Vacation has begun for many kids and adults alike. Many things go out of routine like scheduled wake ups, packing lunches and after school playdates. I think for some a big one that gets lost quickly is breakfast. Often the sleeping in mode might get you up later than your usual routine so that puts your whole day back which can mean missing an important part of your day!
You and your family need to keep your edge and stay on top of the fun you want to have each day to soak up the sun and fun that summer brings. So start off your day with some fun ideas that can be quick for those late mornings or lounge around and enjoy a full breakfast that will make the neighbours jealous as they see you enjoying your meal on the back patio in your pyjamas and fluffy slippers (does anyone still have those?).
I for one think that if you have kids you need to get them involved in this whole process. So of course if you do get to sleep in while they are bustling around for the television remote or racing to run and play in the backyard, get them to pull out some cereal and milk for everyone to enjoy a quick bite of energy. And maybe for fun pick up a box of cereal you don’t normally buy and mix it in with another cereal for a variety in the morning routine. I think its always fun to buy the mini boxes of cereal for the kids and let them think that we are at a hotel and they get to choose which box they will enjoy that morning (this is recommended only a few times a year, don’t want them to get to used to it!). I remember eating the cereal in the box with my milk as a kid, that was so much fun and I thought it was very cool, something unique.
Having leftovers in the fridge is also a great way to get your day started. A classic is always cold pizza that is easy for kids to grab out of the refrigerator but why not leftover chicken or ham that can be cut up for a quick tortilla roll up sandwich or tuck it into a bun for a munch on the drive to camp one morning. Don’t forget your vegetables too, they make for great breakfast fare. Grape tomatoes, cucumber chunks, carrot sticks, avocado slices, grilled zucchini are all dippable into some flavoured greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce or stuffed into a pita for a great breakfast meal.
Fruit like the best of Ontario’s local strawberries, is something that can be enjoyed on its own or with so much more! Now with the onset of fresh local vegetables and fruit we should be taking advantage and adding it to everything we can! Stir it into your favourite yogurt or cottage cheese, slice some onto your morning cereal or oatmeal. Wrap it up in a tortillas with some cream cheese and honey, smoothies-the list is almost endless especially because the fruit is so delicious.
A classic breakfast food of course are eggs, and did you know that all the eggs we purchase in stores, markets and farms are local to our area! I think that is great news that we are helping Ontario Egg Farmers when we buy and use eggs. Of course for breakfast this time around but so many other great uses for lunch and dinner.
Eggs are quick and be cooked stovetop or in the microwave, you can make them flavourful by adding fresh herbs, garlic or any vegetables you desire into them. Often my kids ask for scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast and I think it’s a great protein start to the day. The cheese has the added bonus of more flavour, dairy and protein so of course for breakfast they are key.
So here are a few recipes that you can try during your summer vacation so that you can continue to start your day off right and enjoy breakfast whether on the run or relaxing at home.

Egg and Ham Tortilla Roll Up
You can make stacks of the egg pancake ahead and store them in the fridge so family members can take one and roll and go. Try incorporating different vegetables to enjoy for various flavour sensations during the week.

1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil
1 green onion, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried oregano
Pinch each salt and pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) salsa or chunky chili sauce
1 slice lean ham or turkey
1 small whole wheat tortilla
2 tbsp (30 mL) diced red or green pepper or other favourite vegetable

In small nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion for about 1 minute or until softened.

In small bowl, whisk together egg, oregano, salt and pepper together. Pour into skillet and stir using heat resistant spatula for about 30 seconds or until beginning to set. Let cook, without stirring, for about 2 minutes or until egg is no longer runny.

Lay ham onto tortilla and slide egg pancake onto ham spread with salsa and sprinkle with pepper; roll up.

Makes 1 serving.

Cheese Option: Try sprinkling 2 tbsp (30 mL) crumbled feta or shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese over top of egg before rolling up.

Mixed Muesli
This is a true quick breakfast and great to keep on hand. A friend introduced me to this delicious and healthy start to any day.

1 cup (250 mL) large flake oats
1/3 cup (80 mL) dried cranberries or blueberries or chopped apricots
1/4 cup (60 mL) bran cereal pellets or sticks (such as Bran Buds or All Bran)
1/4 cup (60 mL) oat bran
1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced almonds or other favourite nut
1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled sunflower seeds or pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
2 tbsp (30 mL) wheat germ
¼ tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

In large resealable plastic bag combine oats, cranberries, bran, oat bran, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and cinnamon. Shake bag to combine mixture.

Makes about 2 1/3 cups (580 mL).

Storage: Keep in resealable bag or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

To use the Mixed Muesli: Combine equal amounts of muesli with equal amounts of milk and let stand in refrigerator overnight. In the morning stir in your favourite yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit or add more milk and enjoy!

Warm breakfast option: Pop it in the microwave and heat up before serving.

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie
This smoothie can have the addition of any of your favourite fruit, but two of my kids love purple so blueberries are always a big hit in our house for smoothies!

1/2 cup (125 mL) skim milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
3 ice cubes

In blender combine milk, orange juice, blueberries and vanilla. Pulse a few times to combine. Add ice cubes and whirl until smooth and thickened.

Makes 2 servings.


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