Here are three quick and easy breakfasts you can make and freeze on a weekend to make your weekday mornings a whole lot better!
You've probably heard the quote "Do something today that your future self will thank you for." It can relate to any number of things, but I think of it most often in terms of food.
I am giving a gift to my future self when I put dinner in the crockpot so she (future self, that is) can just dish it out when everyone's hungry. Future self is thankful when I wash/peel/chop fruits and vegetables and place them in tupperware in the fridge so she can just grab them and pop open the lid when she needs something healthy to munch on. And future self loves when I bag up snacks ahead of time so that she can quickly toss them into lunch boxes and backpacks in the morning.
Unfortunately, regardless of how much future self appreciates those gifts, she doesn't get them as often as she'd like. What can I say? Past self is a bit of a slacker.
To make up for it, past self occasionally does something fantastic, like prep a bunch of breakfast food on the weekends. It makes those weekday mornings so much better for all of us — my kids get a nutritious, filling breakfast and I don't have to do anything except push some buttons.
Bonus: My kids love to help me cook, so the weekend breakfast prep is an activity we can do together.
My 4 favorite make-ahead breakfasts for the freezer:
Just like pancakes, muffins freeze really well. You can either thaw them by putting some out on the countertop the night before, or just pop them into the microwave in the morning for about 30 seconds. I personally prefer using the microwave because it means that the muffins are not only really fresh, but also nice and warm.
Just choose your favorite healthy muffin recipe (I highly recommend my sweet potato muffins), and double or triple it if you have the time and ingredients. Once they are cooled, put them side by side in a gallon freezer bag and freeze. Use paper muffin/cupcake liners to ensure they don't stick together in the freezer.
Pancakes used to be a special, "weekend only" breakfast, but now my kids eat them all the time. On weekends I'll often cook up a double or triple batch of pancakes, serve some immediately, and freeze the rest in a freezer bag. To reheat them in the mornings, I just pop them in the microwave on a plate and heat until warm (it usually takes 1-2 minutes).
My favorite kind of pancake to make is a semi-homemade version. I buy a good basic pancake mix, follow the directions, and then add in some extras to boost the nutritional factor. The version I make most often includes some finely chopped walnuts (for protein), mini chocolate chips, and some flax meal. I also swap out canola oil for coconut oil if I have some on hand.
Here are a few more ideas for things you could add:
- pumpkin puree
- smashed banana
- peanut butter
- sweet potato puree
If you do add something extra to your pancake batter, just make sure the consistency is OK. If you include puree or grains, you might need to add a little extra milk or oil to even it out. It should be pourable, but not too liquidy. You can always do a small test pancake to make sure it's OK before cooking up the whole batch.
Waffles freeze and reheat as well as pancakes, so to switch things up, we often make waffles for breakfast on the weekend and freeze the rest. Here's a favorite Red Velvet Waffle Recipe to try! Of course, you can skip the red food coloring to make delicious waffles with a hint of cocoa by following the same recipe.
If you like to drink smoothies in the morning, but hate all the prep, you can create individual smoothie packets to freeze.
My personal favorite is a green smoothie made with banana, mango, pineapple, almond milk, orange juice, and spinach.
To create your freezer smoothies, first put all of the non-liquid ingredients into a large bowl and combine. Then portion the ingredients into individual serving sizes and place each serving into quart-size freezer bags. When you're ready to make your smoothie in the morning, just plop the contents of your bag into your blender, add the liquid, and blend.
I know it can be hard to motivate yourself to make large batches of food, but for a few extra minutes on a weekend morning or afternoon, you can save yourself a ton of time throughout the week. Your future self will be very appreciative, and so will the people you need to feed!