During the school year my husband makes breakfast while I pack lunches. Everyone eats together. It’s a beautiful system. But come summertime, when the kids sleep in until after he is long gone at work, I have to do it all. Which is fine.
I mean, it’s whatever.
Okay, so actually I hate it. Because of this, we made a plan to try something different. On Sundays, through the summer months, we were going to prep the weekday breakfast meals so the kids can just grab and eat as they need, instead of our formal sit down. We thought of items we could make ahead, like scrambled broccoli and egg cups, paleo muffins, and hard boiled eggs. We’d keep a bowl in the fridge with cut-up fruit.
My favorite new make-ahead breakfast item so far is this nut- and coconut-based “cereal.” I love it because of its nutrient density, which you’ll read more about below, but also because I can make a big batch and keep it in a container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. I eat it for breakfasts and snacks, or even a small bowl with lunch. The cereal is slightly sweet from the dates, and even though it’s made up mostly of nuts, when combined with the fruit and milk it becomes a different thing all its own – a hybrid of cereal and muesli.
Make Ahead Nut and Coconut “Cereal”
with Berries and Milk
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 3/4 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
Pulse the above together a few times until chopped.
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
Stir together and store “cereal” in the refrigerator.
To serve: in a bowl add 1/4 cup “cereal,” fresh mixed berries, top with milk of choice (I prefer unsweetened coconut milk), and enjoy like a cereal.
Sometimes, for fun, I add pomegranate seeds or peaches – because, why would you not?
For a protein boost, add a tablespoon of collagen and stir into the cereal.
Starting my day off with healthy fats, thanks to the coconut and nuts, not to mention the magnesium, protein, calcium, and zinc they provide, combined with summer’s bounty of berries, dotting my bowl with pops of blue and red and black, give my body energy from whole food sources, while putting me in a state of giddiness. I buy into the whole bit.
I watch my kids shovel this into their mouths and think thoughts like, “those cacao nibs with all their polyphenols are giving them pure life. All those berries? They may never get a cold again. And all that brain health from the fats will surely ward off Alzheimers. And can you even imagine the benefits to their mitochondria? I’m pretty much the best mother in the whole world for feeding them this,” and other idealistic, narcissistic thoughts.
You can do this, too. It’s easy. Just think of any health-related term you’ve ever heard (medium chain triglycerides or omega 3’s, anyone?) and then attach it to one of the nutrient dense ingredients in your dish and credit yourself for bettering a particular function of the body. My favorites include “the gut microbiome” and “improved neuroprocessing,” but you can go crazy with this. It doesn’t even have to be correct, because you are only talking to yourself after all, not writing a column in the paper for the public or anything. In your kitchen you can declare that broccoli increases the absorption of lutein and zeaxanthine ten fold, thus improving circadian rhythm and improving sleep. It doesn’t and the two are not related, but the world is your oyster in your kitchen.
So go forth and put this nutritious berry cereal bowl in your breakfast rotation this summer. Speak of all the benefits to anyone who will listen. Lets face it, at the very least you are going to mention something about “antioxidants.”
We both know it.
PS- The whole prep ahead summer breakfast thing didn’t happen in full disclosure. We are three weeks to school starting, and this berry nut bowl is the only thing I made. The rest of the time we continued to make full on hot breakfasts for the kids every morning because we can’t seem to get our crap together. Cutting fruit on Sunday’s is too hard, I guess.