Breakfast is the shit, ya’ll!
Basically, Corey and I cannot function without a good breakfast to start our day. Here are some easy waste-conscious solutions for a quick, easy, AND HEALTHY start to your day!
First, some helpful things to think about when you’re making up your mind what to eat for breakfast:
How is this/are these food items packaged?
Are there any ingredients that are “wasted” on/in my body? For example, excessive sugar, salt, chemical or GMO ingredients?
What is left over when I am finished preparing or eating this breakfast?
These questions will help center your meal choices around what is not only waste-conscious but also useful to your body.
The Shopping List:
- dried fruits in bulk (cranberries, raisins, dates, mango chunks, currants, etc.)
- nuts and seeds in bulk
- steel cut oats in bulk
- wheat bran in bulk
- flour of choice in bulk
- granolas in bulk
- fresh fruits (bananas, berries, apples, melons)
- whole grain bread
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
This is easy! Spray crockpot with cooking oil and then load it up with 2 cups of steel cut oats, handful of nuts, handful of dried fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste, 3 tablespoons butter, pinch of salt, and 6 cups of water. Turn it on low around bedtime and then turn it off in the AM right when you wake up. Enjoy hot delicious oats that are extremely filling. Mix and match ingredients. Last night I added shredded coconut and raisins, other times I have added chopped apples and lots of cinnamon. This makes a lot so Corey and I will usually eat off of if for a quick breakfast the rest of the week. You can also freeze in individual serving portions and then pop in the microwave with a little bit of water. voila! If you are purchasing oats, nuts, fruits, sugar, and spices in bulk bins there is no waste for this recipe!
Eggs (prepared any way)
A great source of protein, eggs can be prepared hundreds of ways! Usually, for a quick breakfast I will fry up a couple of eggs and then serve with some fruit, or on toast. Simple, easy and waste free. Egg cartons and shells can go in the compost!
Wheat Bran Muffins
I make a lot of muffins on my day away from campus. Muffins freeze and reheat easily and are a healthy alternative to granola bars, and other packaged breakfast items that are easy to grab-n-go. If you do not want to freeze, muffins can also last a while in an airtight container, and even longer in the same container in the refrigerator. Check out one of my past posts for an easy waste-free blueberry bran muffin recipe!
Granola with or without Milk
This one is easy. An alternative to boxed cereal– purchase granola in bulk and the enjoy with or without fresh milk. If you’re really fancy, your milk will come in a reusable glass jar that can be returned for a rebate, rather than thrown away.
Another easy waste-free concept, but one that takes a bit more preparation in the morning. Corey and I usually only eat pancakes or waffles on the weekends when I have more time to fix them. However, they make a good waste-conscious option when you purchase raw ingredients in bulk rather than in the premixed packages (wasted cardboard and plastic sleeve).
Smoothies are fast and delicious and can be just as filling as oatmeal and eggs. I will blend oatmeal flakes, yogurt, and/or protein power to get an extra calorie boost in our fruit smoothies. Sometimes I will pour the smoothie into a bowl and then top with bulk bin granola (yummy!). Smoothies can also be waste-free if you purchase your fruit on sale, in season, and then freeze in advance. You can use fresh or frozen fruit (we often use a mix). I always have frozen strawberries and bananas on hand, and will keep them in containers in the freezer. Be sure to peel and chop banana before freezing it for easy use. Put unused fruit parts in compost (strawberry heads, banana peels, etc.) With no packaging, there is little to no waste!
Things to stay away from:
These are quick breakfast option TRAPS! They usually come excessively packaged and pack in wasteful ingredients.
- Toaster pastries
- Granola bars/Energy bars
- Yogurt in individual cups (go for larger size to save money and plastic), or if you can, make your own!
- Cereals/Granolas in boxes
- Frozen breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and prepackaged meals
Finally, if you are not quite ready to start a complete waste-free breakfast menu, I encourage you to start moving towards more waste-conscious breakfast options. These are menu items where packaging can be recycled or reused and leftovers/scraps can be composted. Also, really consider the ways in which your current breakfast choices are “wasted on/in your body.” Does your go-to breakfast contain excessive sugar, salt, fats or other harmful ingredients?