Easy toast breakfast

Last week, my daughter texted me a photo of her breakfast…

It was a giant bowl of Brussels sprouts that she had roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and honey, then drizzled with Sriracha. It’s her favorite way to eat them, and I’m used to the request on repeat at dinner, but still: Breakfast? I replied.

Why not? She texted. I only have a few more days to treat myself!

With in-person school starting up again in our neck of the woods (and maybe yours?) so is the morning rush, and subsequently, the evergreen need for healthy, throw-together breakfasts that don’t require techniques more complicated than pressing the “toast” button or heating up an electric tea kettle. I am always in search of breakfasts that don’t ask me to do anything ahead of time (sorry, overnight oats and 30-minute chia puddings); I don’t want to engage in pre-coffee Brussels sprouts peeling and prepping (sorry, Abby), and as much as I love the idea of having a stash of those grab-and-go already-made zucchini muffins in the freezer (“just pop in your bag to thaw!”) I know myself by now. Half of those muffins would be gone before they get stashed, probably eaten for dessert at dinnertime, and before mid-week, I’d be out of luck.

So I challenged myself to come up with three brand new breakfasts — all throw-together, all vegan, some helped along by something store bought — and here’s what I landed on. Please feel free to suggest your own.

“Blueberry Pancake” Toast 
Combining blueberries and maple syrup instantly beams me to all my favorite places (childhood kitchen, Maine, iHop) and this is my attempt at a quick, healthy version of that: Dave’s Killer “Good Seed” Bread + almond butter + blueberries + drizzle of maple syrup. (This is a 2020 version of the breakfast my kids grew up on: Whole wheat toast with peanut butter, bananas, and honey)

Pina Colada Bowl 
I made this up for Abby, who orders virgin pina coladas whenever possible: So Delicious plain coconut yogurt (I find the flavored ones are too sweet for me) + chopped pineapple + squeeze of lime + crushed macadamia nuts. (I realize these nuts are pricey — blanched raw almonds are also a good option. You just want a little crunch.)

Banana-Cocoa Oats
It’s tempting to buy those on-the-go oatmeal cups you see everywhere now, but I find they’re always too sweet and a little overpriced for what they are. I buy a pound of instant oats for $1.50 in the bulk section at Whole Foods, then doctor up the bowl on my own. You can play around with the add-ins, but the general formula is: Combine 1/2 cup instant oats, a pinch of sea salt, and 3/4 cup hot water in a bowl, then cover (I cover with a small salad plate) and let sit for 2 minutes. Remove cover, then stir in desired toppings — I like 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa, a pinch cinnamon, and one sliced banana drizzled a quarter cup of almond milk (or the milk of your choice; the milk is important no matter what toppings you’re adding). If you are missing sweetness, you can add a pinch of white or brown sugar to taste.

P.S. A breakfast toast party and two-ingredient pancakes.