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Feeding the Growing Family: Breakfast

Feeding a growing family can be as complicated or as simple as you allow it to be. I am grateful to have a husband who is definitely on board with keeping meals simple, especially since it allows me to do other things on our homestead. But there have been, and probably will be again, times when I spend more time making elaborate meals.

Right now, with four children under eight, a homestead we are building, and freelance work; elaborate is really not an option. I need lots of filling, nutritious food fast and it has to come from scratch. My intention here is to share some ideas for each meal of the day, and hopefully get a few from everyone here – no matter the number around your table.

The need for nutritious, filling food from scratch applies to every meal. I have a soft spot for breakfast foods, though, so I thought we could start in the quiet of the morning when I sneak around making coffee and tea and a host of foods full of protein, properly-prepared carbs, and some sort of enzymatic element.

Equipment

First, let’s talk equipment. For a cooked breakfast, which is what we eat most mornings of the year, cast-iron is a must in our home. I have a 12″ skillet, a 10″ skillet and then I have this beauty.

Instead of flowers, my husband likes to surprise me with cast-iron cookware, and I love it. This latest piece, the two-burner griddle, has fried countless dozens of eggs, cooked endless gluten-free sourdough pancakes, and fried more potatoes and onions than you could shake a stick at. I used to just use the 12″ skillet for these breakfast foods. Now that I am using this griddle, my time at the stove top has literally been cut in half.

Eggs

I used to think I couldn’t just serve eggs every morning, at least not in the usual fried or scrambled state. I also used to just scramble up some eggs with not much more than sliced fruit and could get away with it. Neither of those is an option any longer.

Instead, we now use eggs – either homegrown or from a neighbor – as the protein source most mornings. And they are almost always scrambled or fried. When we can get fresh goat’s milk that also becomes a source of protein and fat.

Carbs

We were, at one point, a grain-free family. I am really grateful for that period of time because I believe it helped us to heal up some health issues before we moved off-grid and were partaking in much more manual labor.

Now, every breakfast usually includes either a potato or a grain. That grain most often comes in the form of something sourdough – either pancakes, muffins, or tortillas. This is essential for filling up bellies and giving our little helpers energy.

Enzymes

I can’t emphasize enough how important enzymatic food is for every meal, especially breakfast. Having something raw – fruit, raw milk, or raw eggs – is helpful. Fermented foods tend to be even higher in enzymes so we also like milk kefir, yogurt, or a vegetable ferment with our breakfast.

Pulling It Together

Generally speaking, I plan the morning’s breakfast the day before. I need that time to sour whatever grains we’ll be eating, and make sure we have enough eggs. First thing in the morning, I turn on the kettle for tea or coffee and then light up the oven (muffins) or the griddle (pancakes or potatoes).

And, if I’m actually on my game, by the time the little ones are stumbling out of bed, I’ve got a warm breakfast waiting for them on the table. Then I can talk with my husband, feed the baby, or eat my own breakfast without someone pulling at my skirt because they’re hungry.

That’s if I’m on my game.

A few of our Favorites

I’ve shared some of our favorite breakfast dishes with you before, like:

Now it’s your turn! How do you do breakfast in your home?

 
  Leave a Reply

 
  • Love that griddle too but just noticed the previous comment… I have a flat electric stove as well, bummer! I’m also a cooked breakfast nut but the past few weeks have mostly resorted to gluten free toast and raw milk as I’m in survival mode with three little boys and very little sleep :( Thanks for the recipe links in one place! One of my go tos is an old family recipe called oven pancakes, basically a tray-sized popover. 4 (or 5 small) eggs, 4 cups milk, 2 cups flour or gf substitute. Whisk till frothy and pour into 9×13 pan that’s been prepared with 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter and bake at 400 for 50-60 min. Should be puffy, brown, and crunchy on outside but firm creamy and eggy inside. Yum. Serve with maple syrup, yogurt and fruit or jam, or even use savoury toppings like sauteed veggies.

    Reply
    Elisabeth May 25, 2014 AT 11:17 pm
     
  • I’ve been looking for a cast iron double griddle I can use in a flat electric cooktop – everyone I find has the “grease catching” lip. Great for gas …. any suggestions?

    Reply
    Teresa May 24, 2014 AT 9:31 am
     



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