It’s 7 am and I stumble around in the kitchen (I have yet to make coffee) looking around thinking, “What’s for breakfast? What should I feed my kids? What will they eat? I know CEREAL!” as I reach for the box.
Most cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Cereal today is not what cereal once was!
Have you ever wondered why cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals?
Have you ever heard of a truly nutritious food being “fortified”? As if to say, “Here have this spinach and strawberry salad, it’s fortified!”
I am bringing this up because it begs consideration.
Truly nutritious foods don’t need to be fortified with things they already have like vitamins and minerals.
Why is cereal fortified? I can venture an explanation. Cereal is fortified because without the added nutrients it wouldn’t have any redeeming qualities! Today’s cereal is engineered corn, fractionated and reconstituted to look like vibrant colored loops or chocolate flavored “grains”.
Do we eat cereal at our house? Yup, we sure do.
What if we could take steps to eat real food? What if we eat food that is what it tastes like instead of “naturally flavored” to taste like nutritious food?
Have you ever looked at the ingredients label on blueberry flavored yogurt to find out there are NO BLUEBERRIES in the yogurt?!?
For breakfast, this means we will need to think outside the box…
So what to eat? Yogurt and granola is okay but it gets expensive and my children, at least at this point, won’t eat it.
I have found a breakfast that is easy and my toddlers love! What’s even better is that my husband and I love it too.
And it’s not waffles or pancakes, praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to cook breakfast every morning. I’m too out of it. I want easy food.
In the desert section of my recipe box I found a recipe for “Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars”. I thought to myself, “Why can’t this be modified into a healthy gluten-free breakfast option?” So I tinkered with the recipe and here’s what I came up with:
My Recipe for Easy Gluten Free Breakfast Bars
- 1/2 Cup Butter (Yes, I said butter!)
- 3/4 Cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup old-fashioned oatmeal
- 3/4 Cup *ground old-fashioned oatmeal (this is your flour substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup nuts and/or raisins or berries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons protein powder (optional)
- 1 Cup pureed spinach or kale and carrots (optional)
Mix the dry ingredients (except the whole oats) then add the wet ingredients. Stir until well combined. Prepare your baking dish with butter. Spread out the mixture and sprinkle the whole oats on top. Then drizzle with honey if you like.
Bake @ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-13 minutes (the baking time varies on the size of baking dish and whether you increase the batch). They’re done when lightly golden in the center. If the edges start to look like they may become dry pull it out of the oven and let it sit in the baking dish until the center is firm (about 5 minutes).
When cooled cut them into rectangles and put in a Tupperware in your fridge.
*I use our coffee grinder to make flour out of the old-fashioned oats. You could also use the dry blade on your Vitamix! Or just substitute another flour.
I recommend doubling this recipe because they get gobbled up quick! These also freeze well if you want to make a monster batch (say quadruple the recipe). These are so easy to take on outings or just for a quick breakfast outside the box!
Dear Jesus, I pray that this recipe will be useful to others who would like to avoid boxed cereals. Please show me more ways to make breakfast healthy and enjoyable for my whole family. Amen.