Thursday, September 8, 2016

Breakfast-to-Go in the Freezer

Breakfast-to-Go Revolutionized Our Mornings.


Our schedule changed significantly this year and in preparation for it, I planned to make some freezer breakfasts. Guys, this decision was a game changer! Also, I super wish I had thought to do this a way long time ago!

I'm not a big fan of cereal for breakfast for the kids, but too often it was the easy solution and while my kids are far from picky, a couple don't love oatmeal (okay, by a couple I mean ME and a kid). I soldiered on and made oatmeal and eggs at least 4-5 mornings a week most weeks because I wanted healthy, filling, protein packed breakfasts. Enter...breakfast in the freezer to go.

I made a quick plan initially and did pretty well - I had about six weeks of breakfasts in the freezer. It took less time than I thought it would and pretty much all of the recipes were hits.

Here are some of the things I love about it: 

1) Everyone is in charge of their own breakfast except for the kindergartner - we help her with warming up her choice.
2) Everyone gets their choice of what's available - aka no one has to eat the same thing.
3) When we are running behind (ahem), they can be heated and transported.
4) They are higher protein breakfasts.
5) They are healthier because I control the ingredients.
6) Less stress for all.

That last one makes for smoother mornings in general. At least half of us are not morning people, so that's important for us.

I just did a second day of breakfast prep and this time I did it with a sister. We worked together and split the meals. GO GET A FRIEND. It's way more fun to do with someone! We are already planning our next prep day. I don't think more than 2 people would work very well because of juggling the oven time unless you have a commercial kitchen available.

In about 2 hours we made:

40 egg, sausage and cheese burritos
36 egg sandwiches
24 pumpkin greek yogurt muffins
36 baked oatmeals
48 potato egg muffin cups

So we each went home with over 90 items. IN TWO HOURS. 

(May I take this moment to tell you that Aldi had eggs for $.39/dozen! I often buy organic ones, but at that price and the volume we needed - 10 dozen - we went ahead and got those)

We had plans to make some Lemon Muffins, Greek Yogurt Popsicles (my kids fave!), and waffles, but alas, we had to go pick up our kids from school. Next time we will shop ahead and I think in 3 hours we can add at least 3-4 dozen more items/person.

Here are our tips for a successful day:
1) Plan ahead - print recipes, make lists, and shop.
2) Start with a few recipes - I always plan too many.
3) Have good quality packaging - there is nothing more frustrating than needing 5 dozen pieces of plastic wrap and it's impossible to rip. (I think wax bags would be awesome.)
4) Use muffin liners when you can to reduce the need to wash the pans in between each item, but spray the liner so it releases easily from the breakfast item.
5) Post a whiteboard or sign on the outside of the freezer with the available options so the kids don't leave the door hanging open while they look. :) (Not that I know anything about that. HA!)
6) On the whiteboard or sign, list the approximate amount of time it needs in the microwave or toaster oven. don't have to be an amazing cook and you don't have to have lots of time. This is super doable. My kids love it, I love it, my husband loves it... It is totally a sanity saver for us!

I'll keep adding recipes that go with this theme - and for the additional recipes not yet linked above!

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