3 farm moms share their easy back-to-school breakfast ideas
While there’s always an air of excitement around a new school year, the transition can be hard as families adjust from running on “summer time” to getting back into more of a routine.
Illinois farm moms know this feeling, too. Farm life, no matter the season, can often require lots of juggling as they strive to produce affordable, nutritious, sustainable food for their families and yours – whether it’s planting, harvesting, calving, milking, baling or something in between!
But whether you’re a Chicago mom or farm mom – kids gotta eat! And nutrition is especially important to keep kids full and healthy as they start the new school year. So, we asked three Illinois farm moms to share their back-to-school breakfast ideas – all featuring the easy button (because let’s be honest, who has time for anything more than that?). Enjoy!
MINI BLUEBERRY MUFFINS | DEANNE FRIEDERS
Illinois farm mom Deanne Frieders has been making these mini blueberry muffins for her family the past few years, and they always disappear like magic! The best part, they can be made ahead and frozen for later, making them an easy back-to-school breakfast grab.
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- non-stick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- Melt the butter in a small bowl by microwaving 30-60 seconds. Set aside to cool but not re-solidify.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine milk, egg and vanilla extract. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter. Stir to combine without over mixing. Fold in blueberries.
- Use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop to fill each muffin well with batter.
- Bake for 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before removing from the muffin tin.
- These can be baked and frozen for later. Bake, cool and place in an airtight container or Ziplock baggie. Freeze for up to three months.
- Be sure to generously grease your muffin tin.
Recipe shared from This Farm Girl Cooks.
Deanne is a town girl turned farm mom. She and her husband farm in Waterman, a rural village just west of Chicago, where the family grows corn and soybeans. Deanne is the cook and baker of the family and has a real knack for serving up on-the-go “field meals” during planting and harvesting seasons. You can follow along with her kitchen adventures on her blog, This Farm Girl Cooks.
PURPLE OATMEAL | KATHRYN MENTZER
A go-to breakfast in Kathryn Mentzer’s house is purple oatmeal. She loves getting to incorporate fresh fruit they picked throughout the summer and froze, making this a staple for busy mornings throughout the year. The oatmeal turns a nice purple shade that the kids love, and the peanut butter adds a protein source to keep bellies full and happy.
- Frozen blueberries or blackberries (frozen is key to having the right texture after cooking)
- Peanut butter
- Add water to lightly soak the oats.
- Mix in the berries, honey and peanut butter (measure each to your own liking!).
- Cook for 1:30-2 minutes in the microwave (could also make on stovetop).
- Add a splash of milk and enjoy!
Both Kathryn and her husband Kenneth grew up around agriculture and spent time working off the farm after college. Kenneth now works on the farm with his dad and will take over full-time when he retires, while Kathryn works as a nurse anesthetist. As a corn farmer, she appreciates the products made from corn that are used every day in healthcare: soaps, medications, lubricants, adhesives and so on.
BACON, ROASTED SWEET POTATO & FARM FRESH SCRAMBLED EGGS | EMILY REUSCHEL
While farm mom Emily Reuschel admits that half the time her family is grabbing a Lärabar and banana out the door, her favorite breakfast recipe to make includes eggs from their own chickens. Plus, she’s got tips to make this ahead of time for an easy and nutritious back-to-school breakfast!
- Sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (adjust as you like based on temperatures and times you typically use for roasting).
- Remove skin and chop sweet potatoes.
- Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Lay bacon on another parchment paper-lined baking pan.
- Put both pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (or until both have reached desired crispiness); drain bacon grease part way through.
- Meanwhile, collect eggs from your chicken coop (or you know, the fridge).
- Grab a skillet, toss in some butter and heat on stove.
- Crack eggs into skillet and break up yolks with wooden spoon.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook until done, stirring part way through cooking.
This is a weekend favorite for the Reuschel family, best served alongside a bowl of fresh berries. But often Emily will cook extra bacon and sweet potatoes, pop them in the microwave and cook up fresh eggs for a quick weekday breakfast.
Emily didn’t grow up on a farm, but since getting swept off her feet and away to an actual farm by her husband Andrew, she’s learned by asking a lot of questions along the way. Together they grow about 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans and are raising the sixth generation of Reuschel farm kids. Understanding what it takes to farm has informed Emily’s own perspective on what it means to eat more mindfully. Read more about her perspective on mindful eating.
Did you enjoy these back-to-school breakfast ideas? Check out more of our farm recipes!