We're easing into the days of winter when we need all the help we can get. Pull yourself out from under the covers on cold mornings with these healthy, warming recipes. A kick-starting, cozy breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee might not raise the temperature outside, but it could raise your spirits.
The secret to home-cooked breakfasts on crazy mornings is a little forward thinking. Cook up one big batch of oatmeal that requires only a zap in the microwave in the morning. Stir together a batch of granola and then individually portion. Not up for baking in the morning? Join the club. Be a domestic goddess on the weekends, then extend the life of baked goods to make them weekday morning-friendly: tightly wrap muffins in plastic wrap and freeze individually. Thaw what you'll need in the morning overnight on the counter. Slice quick breads, wrap individual slices and freeze. Let defrost overnight, as with the muffins, or drop in the toaster straight from the freezer.
Cherry and tangerine oatmealCherry and tangerine oatmeal: Mix up this fruity, fragrant Irish oatmeal ahead of time and all it needs is a quick trip to the microwave.
Swiss oatmealSwiss oatmeal: Apple or pumpkin pie spice gives the oatmeal the cozy, comforting flavor perfect for a chilly morning.
Ready-when-you-are granolaReady-when-you-are granola: Keep this granola on hand by storing it in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer indefinitely.
Blueberry-maple muffinsBlueberry-maple muffins: Whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds give these maple syrup-sweetened blueberry muffins a delicious, nutty flavor.
Two-bran refrigerator muffinsTwo-bran refrigerator muffins: Whole bran and oat bran cereals make up these high-fiber muffins. Keep the make-ahead batter in the refrigerator for fresh-baked muffins each morning, or bake and freeze.
7-grain cereal muffins7-grain cereal muffins: These nutritious whole-grain muffins are made with a seven-grain cereal and whole wheat flour. Ginger and nutmeg and kick while buttermilk keeps the crumb tender.
Pear-hazelnut quick breadPear-hazelnut quick bread: Toasted hazelnuts and ripe pears add a sophisticated note to a homey quick bread.
Healthier banana breadHealthier banana bread: Stick with this moist and tender variation of a favorite quick bread. It's lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than the traditional version of banana bread because it is made with egg whites.
Apricot-walnut cereal barsApricot-walnut cereal bars:
Crisp and chewy, this bar is a good-for-you alternative to store-bought cereal bars. The secret ingredient, silken tofu, will give your day a protein-packed start. (Hate apricots and walnuts? The recipe works with other fruit-and-nut combinations.)
Energy barsEnergy bars: Moist and chewy. withdates, granola, raisins, nuts, and...beans? Yep.
Got any favorite quick healthy winter breakfasts to share? (Sometimes I take a little bowl of last night's grain--bulgur, spelt, brown rice, whatever--drizzle it with a little maple syrup, and add chopped fruits and nuts. Lazy woman's oatmeal.)