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So-called ancient grains—such as kamut, farro and spelt—have gone mainstream. We're all about them, but want to make the case for humble corn, too. Cornmeal (especially the pebbly, stone-ground variety) is a fantastic ingredient to keep around for last-minute breakfasts. Mix it with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, egg and oil for 15-minute muffins (Internet recipes abound); or simmer it with water for grits (which are simply coarse-ground cornmeal). You can also make Oprah's corn fritters with this handy staple.
soft boiled egg

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Soft-Boiled Eggs
We hear so much about baked eggs (with tomatoes, inside avocado shells...) and putting fried eggs on everything from burgers to pizza. But when it comes to quick, easy and healthy ways to cook eggs, it's hard to top soft-boiled. You simply set the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with cold water, turn the stove on medium-high and bring the water to a boil. Then you turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot and let the eggs sit in the water for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Break off the top and spoon out the egg (cup optional) or dip slices of toasted bread inside.
peanut butter

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Peanut Butter
As cashew and almond butters continue their quest for world domination, we'd like to take a moment to remember the classic that started it all: peanut butter. Sales may be declining, but our love for this workhorse sure isn't. Peanut butter tends to be cheaper than its trendier competitors, and can elevate practically any breakfast, from oatmeal to yogurt to smoothies.

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When it comes to fall fruits, apples far surpass pears in popularity (per-capita consumption of apples is 15 pounds versus about 3 pounds for pears. Pears, which are a sweet source of fiber, deserve your love, though; if not for their delicious taste than for their unexpected versatility. Roast a halved pear and sprinkle it with cinnamon, a dollop of yogurt and a spoonful of nuts for a sweet-savory breakfast that's more surprising than the usual apple and cinnamon. Or dice a pear and mix it into cereal or granola; a ripe pear is easy to chew and provides a nice complement to the crunchy grains. Or slice one thinly and put it on toast with a smear of ricotta or cream cheese (add ham or prosciutto for more substance).