Welcome to the third (September 2004) edition of Susie's Strawberry Jammin' E-zine.
September is in full swing, which means that temperatures (and humidity) should be dropping, fall weather is just around the corner, and the kids are back in school. If your household is anything like mine, mornings are getting more hectic as everyone races to get out the door on time. Backpacks are scattered near the door...misplaced homework is frantically being searched for....lines are forming outside the bathroom door, and where are the keys to the car?
Sound familiar? :) Amidst all this havoc, we have to pack lunches and/or distribute lunch money. Needless to say, we have little (if any) time for breakfast....am I right?
Unless you're super organized and get up half an hour early, I'm going to bet that breakfast is the number one meal that you're willing to forgo....despite the fact that we all know in our heart of hearts that (you guessed it) "breakfast is the most important meal of the day."
I fall into the category of people who have to eat breakfast. I've passed this on to my four children, and I'm happy to say that they make their own "breakfast" each morning. Oh, don't get me wrong....I'm not talking about a sit down feast. It could be as simple as a bowl of cereal (topped with strawberries) or a piece-of-toast-while-standing-in-front-of-the-TV....but nonetheless, rest assured, they've got something in their stomachs before they get on the school bus or find their way to the workplace.
But, hey, I'm not naive--I think that my family might be the exception rather than the rule. With that taken into consideration, I am here to suggest some nutritious, take-it-with-you-on-your-way-out-the-door type breakfast alternatives that are tasty as well as nutritious. And guess what the all important ingredient is? That's right.....my favorite fruit....the STRAWBERRY.
Strawberry Streusel Muffins
Make these muffins the night before for a buttery, berry flavored breakfast treat. The kids can grab one on their way to school!
You'll be providing them with a source of fiber, vitamins and minerals that are important to good nutrition.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries or drained, thawed frozen strawberries
For streusel topping:
In a medium sized bowl combine 1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in 6 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Briefly rub the mixture between your fingers to blend in butter. (Leftover steusel can be stored in the freezer and used to top pies, baked fruit or more muffins).
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease muffin pan.
In a large bowl, beat together butter (margarine) and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg. Beat until well blended.
In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cimmanom, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk, sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk mixture. Beat just until batter is combined. Gently fold in strawberries.
Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. (Fill about two-thirds full). Sprinkle tops of muffins wit the Streusel Topping.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffins in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin cups. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Nutritional information per muffin: protein: 5 grams; fat: 16 grams; carbohydrate: 38 grams; fiber: 2 grams; sodium: 266 milligrams; cholesterol: 59 milligrams; calories: 318.
Banana Strawberry Smoothie
Easy to prepare, full of vitamins and potassium, this smoothie recipe can be whipped up in seconds and will serve your family as a much needed energy booster.
2 ripe small bananas
1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries
1 8-ounce carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup milk
Peel bananas, break into chunks. Place banana chunks, frozen strawberries, yogurt, and milk into blender container.
Cover blender and blend on high speed about 1 minute or until mixture is smooth. Pour into plastic cups so the kids can drink it on their way to school. This tastes great served with pieces of toast spread with peanut butter.
Nutritional information: calories: 259, total fat: 5g, saturated fat: 3g, cholesterol: 13mg, sodium: 113mg, carbohydrate: 49g, fiber: 3g, protein: 9g.
Easy Strawberry Jam
Make this jam tonight and serve it with peanut butter on bread to make a breakfast sandwich you kids can take with them to school.
3 cups strawberries
3 cups sugar
Put the strawberries in a saucepan.
Add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for four minutes.
Add the second cup of sugar and boil for three minutes.
Remove from stove, cool, stir occasionally.
Pour in jars and seal.
That brings me to the end of another monthly e-zine. I hope that you found these suggestions useful. Please remember that breakfast is an important meal and that if time permits, it should be eaten while sitting down :). The "events" described above are purely fictional. In a perfect world, we all have time to prepare a meal and sit down with our loved ones to share good food and good company. I heartily encourage you to consider reinstating breakfast as an important time to spend with your family. It could be the start of an important tradition for you.
"See" you next month....
P.S. You'll find more recipes like the ones provided here on my website: easy-strawberry-recipes.com.