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There are few breakfasts more delightful than a warm muffin.  Muffins are not only tasty, but a fabulous way to incorporate whole grains and fruits into your morning, as whole wheat pastry flour and cut up fruit melt right in during baking.  Not only are muffins portable for a meal on the fly, but it’s quite easy to make a double batch and freeze half for a quick breakfast during the week.

Whole grain banana chocolate chip muffins

This recipe is actually for banana bread, but on mornings when we’re hungry and we want breakfast sooner, I make it into muffins instead.  I’ve fiddled with this recipe over the years, increasing the whole grains and using applesauce instead of oil.  Often I’ll put blueberries or strawberries into it, but on this morning we had a handful of chocolate chips sitting in the pantry, so I tossed those in.  Mmm.

Mix ½ c. of applesauce and ¾ c. of sugar together.  Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth.  Blend in 3 mashed bananas and 1 tsp. vanilla.  In a second bowl, mix 1 c. of white flour, 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and ½ tsp. nutmeg.  Add dry to wet, stirring only to moisten.  Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in preheated oven at 350 for 18-20 min, or into a greased loaf pan for 45-50 min, until toothpick comes out clean.  Let stand 10 min, cool on wire rack.

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Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many days in a row can one eat cold cereal?  On the other hand, what busy mom has the time to make a full, hot meal every morning?

The smoothie is a great intermediary.  The possibilities are endless, it comes together super quick, and if you do it right, you can hit many food groups in one serving.  Even more importantly, with a fancy straw, you just might get your child (or fruit-averse husband) to consume some nutrients that wouldn’t normally stand a chance.  Begin with the base of your choice (yogurt or milk are perfect for getting in calcium; cranberry-pomegranate juice is nice if you’re going non-dairy), add your favorite fruits (fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, or mango are great), and a handful of ice for a nice, thick consistency.  For an extra kick, try a sprinkle of wheat germ or ground flaxseed, and a drizzle of agave nectar or honey.

A velvety smoothie

This PB-banana-flaxseed smoothie recipe comes from Cooking Light.  It’s rich and decadent, and allures everyone in my family.  With fruit, protein, dairy, and flaxseed (omega 3s), it stands alone as a meal, and will keep you full for the entire morning.

To find out what’s cooking in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  Happy blending!

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