I think we are all trying to eat healthier these days. But, it can be hard to fit meal planning into our busy schedules. And, more often than not, it falls on moms to come up with nutritious meals that everyone will eat.
Breakfast has always been the toughest meal for me to cook (and eat). Besides not being a morning person, trying to get everyone out the door on time, fed, clothed and with all their school gear was always a nightmare.
For a while, the solution was to have my husband pick up big boxes of “healthy” bars that we could all grab on our way out the door. And, then one day I actually read the ingredients list and the nutritional information on the sides of the boxes. Yikes! Some had more carbs than a candy bar. And, almost all of them had emulsified this and chemically-altered that listed in their ingredients.
So, I did a little research and realized that it is easy to create your own bars (no cooking necessary!) with whatever you have on hand. Here is my go-to, easy-to-adapt recipe for power bars:
Ann’s Protein Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats (separated)
- ½ cup protein powder (I use a chocolate whey protein powder)
- ½ cup mini chocolate or carob chips (you could sub in nuts or leave these out completely)
- ¼ cup chia seeds (I keep these in the freezer)
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds (these too)
- ½ cup raisins (or any diced dried fruit: apricots, dates, figs, currants …)
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter …)
- ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup, agave …)
- ½ cup canned coconut milk (may add more, a TBS at a time, to wet all your ingredients)
Put 1 ½ cups of the oats into a blender and blend until it resembles flour. Pour the “flour” into a large bowl. Add the leftover ½ cup oats, protein powder, chocolate chips, chia seeds, ground flax meal and your diced, dried fruit. Stir together.
In a medium bowl, measure your peanut butter and honey (remember to spray your measuring cups with cooking spray so they will easily slip out). Microwave the PB and honey for 15-20 seconds until they can be stirred together. Add in the coconut milk and pour the mix over your dry ingredients. Stir together (adding extra splashes of coconut milk if needed).
Once all the ingredients are moistened, press the mixture into a square, sprayed 9 x 9” cake pan. Cover and chill until firm. Cut into bars. Wrap in waxed paper or throw them into snack bags. Store the bars in the fridge or freezer.
My guys like these so much that I have trouble keeping them around for breakfast! I also love that these can easily be changed up. My last batch had a combination of dates and currants in them. Next time, I’m going to experiment with unsweetened coconut flakes and nuts.
I hope this helps you busy moms get your families to eat a healthy breakfast!
What are your quick go-to breakfast ideas?