“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet? "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said. ~A.A. Milne
If you haven't noticed, I, like Pooh, get very excited about food... especially breakfast. But just like any relationship, the way we look at our food and how we eat it, has to be nurtured and respected in order to make it work. There were times when I'd be in such a rush, I'd make unhealthy choices, like grabbing a super-sized bagel, slathered with cream cheese. Or end up making my way through the fast food drive-thru, answering, "well, sure, I'd like hash browns and a diet coke with that." And even some days when I skipped it altogether. And I ended up not only feeling less productive in the morning, but I then ate even more than I typically would, throughout the rest of the day, because I was suddenly “starving.” Low energy and hungry are not a good recipe for success.
But, these days, I do it a differently. Sure, it takes some planning, and yes, I might even get 10 minutes less sleep in the morning. But, now I cherish the mornings, with my cup of hot Irish Breakfast Tea, and a breakfast that includes real foods, like eggs or toast (yes, I eat carbs now), or like this one.
And, what could be cuter than food in jars? Or more convenient?
So, this week, I decided to create a recipe using all the wonderful fruits on sale, but I didn't stop there. I also saw lots of vegetables, like carrots and zucchini marked down. And I couldn't help but think of my beloved Morning Glory Muffins from my B&B days, but lightened up. Then I thought how good they'd be baked in jars with fresh fruit, allowing you to make a week's worth of breakfasts in one shot. So healthy, so simple to put together, and versatile enough to use whatever fruits or vegetables you have on hand.
Have leftover muffin mix? Roll it into balls and cook them up as breakfast cookies to snack on, on the go.
Morning Glory Muffin and Fruit Jars
For the muffins:
2 cups oats (I used organic, but for gluten-free, make sure the package notes it)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, grated
1/2 apple, grated
1 large banana, mashed
1/3 c. rice milk (I used organic Rice Dream)
2-4 tablespoons honey, depending on desired sweetness level (I used less when cooked in the jars, as the fruit added some sweetness. And more when they were cooked alone as a cookie)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the fruit:
2 cups cut up fruit for the base- I used peeled apples, pears and blueberries, but you could use anything that you like baked, including other berries and peaches when they come into season.
Combine all of the muffin ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for about 20 minutes to moisten the oats completely. Next, spray 6 small jelly jars with non-stick spray. Add in the cut up fruit and top with the muffin mix. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until fruit is soft (I check it with a sharp knife). Remove to a cooling rack and serve. Store in the refrigerator with the lid on, for up to 1 week.
Cost per serving: .64 cents
*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.
For more recipes, plus couponing tips and matchusp, head on over to WRAL's SmartShopper Blog, where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful and frugal.