Homemade Pop-Tarts and 5 More Portable Breakfasts
These delicious, healthy and nonmessy morning repasts give bananas and hard-boiled eggs a run for their money.
Lately, foodie versions of the foil-wrapped breakfast treats are everywhere, with bakeries selling them stuffed with ingredients that are both familiar (brown sugar and apricot jam) and not so much (jalapeño cream cheese?). Making your own is easy and fun, especially if you follow Alana Chernila's simple recipe. Fill the treats with seasonal jam, such as Meyer Lemon Blackberry Marmalade from Valerie Confections
or Cherry Lime Preserves from Rare Bird Preserves
(no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavor here); they'll last for up to three weeks.
Get the recipe: Toaster Pastries
The 45-Second Smoothie
Rooting through the fridge, rinsing berries, and peeling and chopping mangoes isn't a part of our typical Monday morning agenda, and we're guessing it's probably not on yours either. Instead, stock up on fruit when you see it on sale and then bring it home and prep (chunks are fine, as are whole bananas; just wash and peel everything). We also like Sambazon's organic Smoothie Packs with unsweetened açaí
; add whatever fruits or natural sweeteners you'd like. Store it all in a zip-top bag or measure out portions into smaller bags if you prefer. In the morning, pour juice or milk into the blender; then add the solids (it blends better this way) and gradually raise the motor's speed until the drink is at the right consistency for you to sip through a straw. Pour the smoothie into a double-wall insulated cold cup with a lid and straw (like this one
) and off you go.
Get the recipes: Blueberry Brain Boost, Watermelon Agua Fresca and Greek Goddess Smoothies
The Best Fruit-and-Nut Bars You'll Ever Eat (Honest!)
There are many excellent packaged granola bars out there, but homemade ones are cheaper, customizable and tend to be much more satisfying, since it's hard to mindlessly scarf one down on your way to the office when you're thinking about how brilliant you were to combine, say, dried cherries and coconut. This recipe is a good one to build upon; make it once and then try subbing in different nuts, dried fruit and sweeteners.
Get the recipe: Sesame Fruit-and-Nut Bars
The classic grab-and-go breakfast, muffins are easy to freeze and, since they're small, defrost in a flash. Bake and let cool completely; then place them in a large freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as you can. Take one out and let it thaw in an airtight container or smaller bag overnight, or even in the morning—within an hour it should be ready to eat. The fiber in bran will keep you full; this recipe from Art Smith includes 3 cups of bran cereal such as Fiber One. For even more heft, pack an individually portioned packet of nut butter, such as Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
(which has a short, all-natural ingredient list and a strikingly nutty flavor), and dab some on top.
Get the recipe: Summer Ice Box Muffins
Savory Individual Pies? Yes, Please
You don't have to worry about rolling out dough and dealing with cracks, breaks or a not-quite-right texture with this recipe. A mixture of shredded zucchini, eggs, chopped onions, baking mix (like Bisquick) and shredded Cheddar form the crust on their own. Pour the batter into cupcake tins and bake; then freeze and defrost as you would muffins. Eat at room temperature or warm them up in the microwave or toaster oven.
Get the recipe: Savory Zucchini Pie
A (Not-So-Simple) Slice of Bread
We like to treat quick breads as muffins, meaning we throw in whatever mix-ins we want, from chopped dates to mini bittersweet chocolate chips. Here's a great starter recipe, with whole wheat flour and wheat bran, that you can make your own. When the bread is cool, remove it from the pan, slice it with a serrated knife (to preserve the delicate crumb) and wrap each piece separately in plastic. Freeze or, if you know you'll finish them within a few days, store at room temperature.
Get the recipe: Farm Spa Bread
Next: Chocolate...for breakfast?