In many parts of the United States, school has begun. For others, it's a few weeks away - but we all know that back to school season is hot and heavy. We've all bought the book bags, the lunch boxes, the new shoes and the "must have" jeans. We've conquered the lunch box demons, signed up kids for football and cross country and filled out our pertinent information in triplicate. In short, we've covered every base - except one. The most important part of the day may have been forgotten.
We've heard for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet, for many of us, it's the one we are most likely to avoid. After all, by the time we get the kids up, dressed and at least somewhat vertical, it's most likely time to leave for school. It's very often in my house that we grab something on the way out the door - and that something might not always be the best choice nutrition wise.
Why not take advantage of your last bit of free time and stock your freezer with homemade muffins? I will typically spend one Sunday afternoon - bonus points if it's a rainy Sunday! - and bake a bunch of muffins. Once they are cool, pack them in ziploc freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. They will keep beautifully for a month - but you'll be long finished with them well before that time! Pull a muffin out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter while you get the rest of your morning going, and it'll defrost in just a few minutes. I often make a smoothie to enjoy with my muffin. It's a quick, hearty breakfast that takes just seconds and lasts all morning.
Make sure that you bake the muffins in muffin paper liners, to facilitate quick and easy packaging and less mess when you bake. Using the liners has the added benefit of keeping the muffins moist and tasty - and helps you to avoid dropping crumbs in your car - always a bonus.
Some favorites in my house are pumpkin (mix in a few chocolate chips or top with streusel), banana, oatmeal, pear, and, oddly enough, cheddar sausage. The cheddar sausage are an extra easy variation, and one that my kids inhale.
Do you have a favorite muffin recipe? Are muffins a favorite in your house?