We all love a quick, easy, delicious and minimal-mess start to our day, but when The Kookaburra or Panther or fast food chain aren't an option out there in the far reaches of adventure, we have to stand together and share our creative powers.
A Mama Facing an Oatmeal Mutiny
Another sailing mom recently reached out to me asking what I feed my kids for breakfast. She said her four children were staging an “oatmeal mutiny” and explained that in her situation (cruising on a boat, while homeschooling four hungry kids) cereal needs too much milk, toast takes too long to prep and clean up for everyone and that in this phase of life it basically has be a one pot/bowl wonder on school days.
I totally understood her predicament and I offered her all I could on the matter.
The Egg vs The Oat
I explained that we try to buy 3 dozen eggs every time we run out and we have them different ways (harboiled, scrambled, egg & cheese wraps, eggs with veggies), but mainly because Kyle isn’t a fan of oatmeal... although, going into our (75-day Bahamas Expedition and extended cruising) he decided we WOULD do oatmeal nearly every morning and I provisioned accordingly with whole oats and steel cut oats. Thankfully, our kids beg for the quick, easy glop—sometimes I do oatmeal for the three of them (with various toppings) and something more sophisticated for Kyle and I!
The Power of the Wrap
I asked if instead of toast, could she do wraps/tortillas with fruit and peanut butter, or other toast type toppings like avocado or hummus. Wraps, a completely contained, mess-free pocket of pure self-sufficient eating, are a mom’s best friend! They’re so portable they can be eaten on the morning commute. You can take your culinary skills to the edge and back—and can even hide VEGGIES inside if necessary! The tortillas themselves can even be stockpiled and frozen.
At one point, on the Bahamas Expedition, Kyle wanted me to shift away from cooking three full-on meals every day. The idea was to prep larger quantities and to have leftovers for other meals. I think he was inspired by our good and wise friend, Miss Paula, who can be found munching on chicken thighs and livers in the early mornings.
So since I often capitalize on leftovers, I relayed my strategy to the mom in need.
First and foremost, I should be completely transparent. I consider myself a Creative Cook—not a by-the-book, follow-the-recipe type. If you know me, then you know I’m always determined to make something hearty and delicious (perhaps with loads of butter) out of what I have on hand. That said, my cooking portfolio includes a lot of one-off, “one-pot” masterpieces!
Therefore, leftovers (incorporated into the breakfast meal) are my favorite as the creation is able to be enjoyed one last time. Rice dishes, meats, chili/soup, pasta—you name it!
Many leftovers can simply be re-heated in the cast iron and scrambled up with eggs. Again, I love working with leftovers, as they offer me a chance to take my creativity to the next level!
If time and kitchen facilities permit, prep larger batches. By prepping several quiche or doubling up on your normal amount of pancakes, you can save yourself the making of at least one, if not multiple, meals.
Non-cooked and Glorious
Non-cooked breakfasts are lifesavers for any parent—even if not living small on a hot, humid boat!
The possibilities are endless, but a few ideas for morning food (to hold crew over until lunch) are apples & peanut butter, crackers with cheese (Parmesan is a solid choice), dried meats, tuna salad, yogurt topped with cereal and fruit, smoothies/protein shakes and packaged bars.
It is difficult to find store-bought bars that aren’t full of sugar so with a little bit of planning you can make these Homemade Protein Bars with just four shelf-stable ingredients—All you need is chocolate or vanilla protein powder, canned coconut milk, whole oats and peanut butter.
Grandma’s Easy Protein Bars
This is my mom’s recipe.... one of the only recipes I do follow! It is actually so easy—I wouldn’t even consider it a recipe!
1 cup Coconut or Almond Milk
1 cup Oats
1 cup Peanut Butter
6-8 scoops Protein Powder
Mini Chocolate Chips, Shredded Coconut, Dried Fruit, Nuts (optional)
In medium bowl, stir oats into milk. Then add peanut butter, protein powder and chocolate chips (if using). Combine well. Add more powder if needed. Press into glass baking dish (top with dried fruit, etc. if desired) or roll into balls. Refrigerate.
Note: A can of coconut milk is larger than 1 cup. If using a whole can, do a 1.5 batch, which would be...
1 can Coconut Milk
1-1/2 cup Oats
1-1/2 cup Peanut Butter
10-12 scoops Protein
To purchase the protein powder or for more healthy recipes follow @mightygoodhealth on Facebook/Instagram(my momma)!