Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day for our family. I embarked on a journey in January of 2012 to attempt to rid our house of all processed breakfast foods. And it was challenging. Both Scott and I work outside the home and our daughter is in an all day preschool. Some mornings we all leave home by 7:45am. Since it's a mad rush it seems impossible to eat a nutritious breakfast without the processed part. We worked on it -- some were a big fail but others fairly successful. To the point that in 2013, we sort of have a system down. And a lot of variety.

The most critical part is having either waffles or pancakes stored in the freezer. This requires a weekend prep - sometimes evening prep if we are having breakfast for dinner aka brinner. I make up a double batch and then flash freeze each waffle or pancake on a jelly roll w/ parchment paper. About 30min should do it. Then I stack the goods in glass containers and keep in the freezer. We reheat in the morning either toaster oven (waffles) or microwave (pancakes).

Another bread product that packs a decent protein punch is peanut butter banana bread. Again, when I make a batch I double it and then wrap the 2nd loaf whole (do not cut) in foil and then a freezer bag.

Another favorite of ours is oatmeal specifically steal cut oats. These babies take a while to make so I've been investigating recipes to bake the steel cut oats the night before and then you cut what you need. Scott likes to eat these as a snack before bed as well. You could do the same with quinoa.

Granola - I have several go to granola recipes but can never seem to get the granola crunchy enough. So the one product we have been buying is Love granola by Nature's Path. This stuff tastes amazing, is packaged in a nice resealable bag and has a big stamp of non-GMO on the front. My kind of item. With this I usually make a parfait - alternating fruit, yogurt and granola.

Another go to item for us are cheesy eggs. Just had a little bit of cheese to an organic cage free egg on a hot pan and in a few minutes you have a nice scramble. Pair with toast from Great Harvest (honey whole wheat, non GMO wheat) and it's a healthy meal.

And finally, we sure do love our green smoothies. We try to set up as much as possible the night before - making sure the food is cut or accessible in our upstairs freezer. It's great to know that by the time dinner is finished Avery has had 3 helpings of vegetables already (she gets a vegetable in her lunch box as well).

My favorite go to recipe places are: Williams Sonoma & Smitten Kitchen. What I can't find there I do a general search or consult a cookbook: Ina Garten & Anabel Karmel are my favorites.

Here is a break down of breakfast items and links to websites or past posts:

Waffles: Our favorite waffle recipe is from William Sonoma called Spiced Orange Waffles. My husband likes waffles with everything! I was able to substitute 1/2 flour with white whole wheat - no taste difference at all! We've also done Lemon Poppyseed and Banana Chocolate. Just remember to get the dark chocolate bits. You do need a waffle iron. We have a basic cuisinart that I got post Christmas sale a few years back . . . with a coupon and a gift card I think it was free. Totally worth it.

Pancakes: Our favorite pancake recipe is from Joy the Baker: Pumpkin Pancakes. Another recipe from the archives is found here: go to pancake recipe. You can substitute 3/4 cup unbleached flour w/ half white whole wheat flour from King Arthur. I don't notice a difference. Another great tip for pancakes is adding ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Williams Sonoma has 4 recipes listed - I've used one before but do not remember which one. They are very hearty.

Peanut butter Banana Bread: Here is our recipe from Lickable spoon. The blog isn't kept up so I would print and keep. I substitute 1 cup white whole wheat flour (KA) and crunchy peanut butter from Peanut butter and Co. Ahhh the sugar. This will require me to attempt some substitutions. You really don't need the sugar taste but the sugar does help bind the bread together. I will update when I try out some other ideas ie less or applesauce.

Granola: Links to the Granola Parfait (includes links to Love Granola), homemade granola (I would sub the vegetable oil for coconut oil), and berries & quinoa.

Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat. Best bread hands down. We haven't bought commercial bread in over 8 months. I buy several loaves at a time and ask for extra freezer bags. Avoid cutting the bread. I like to eat it with butter and homemade strawberry jam. Friend them on facebook and they often post specials. This past Sun it was bogo. My husband was all over that!

Green Smoothies: Green Plate Rule online and facebook has the best smoothies bar none. I love trying the new ones. That said, sometimes we are lazy and default to our "normal smoothie ratio" which is 1 part greens to 3-4 part fruit. Usually whatever is in season. But Green Plate Rule has an amazing cherry walnut smoothie that is a yummy breakfast addition.

Sometimes we go fancy and have a quiche over the weekend, a veggie omelet and bacon, french toast sticks, or muffins. Sometimes we go out to breakfast for a special treat. I've noticed we started spending a lot less money on breakfasts and their packaging. You do spend a lot of time upfront prepping but once you get the hang of it the process is easy and so much better for you. So get out of your breakfast rut, make up a batch on the weekend and enjoy your renewed faith in breakfast.