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Parents, grab these healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes: Blueberry bars, overnight oatmeal

Is your morning time in the kitchen in the limited? Tired of serving your family cold cereal or Pop-Tarts as you rush out of the house? Jenna Helwig, food editor at Parents magazine, has healthy breakfast ideas that are nutritious and can be made ahead. Get ready to sleep in and serve your family these delicious morning meals: Blueberry bars, DIY overnight oatmeal and quinoa with pink applesauce,

Is your morning time in the kitchen in the limited? Tired of serving your family cold cereal or Pop-Tarts as you rush out of the house? Jenna Helwig, food editor at Parents magazine, has healthy breakfast ideas that are nutritious and can be made ahead. Get ready to sleep in and serve your family these delicious morning meals: Blueberry bars, DIY overnight oatmeal and quinoa with pink applesauce, banana flax pancakes and more.

Today

Blueberry breakfast bars
Makes: 12 servings 
Prep 25 mins 
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups regular rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries 
  • 1 10-ounce jar blueberry preserves (about 1 cup) 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure there is enough overhang so the paper can be used as handles to lift the baked bars out of the pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using your hands or a pastry blender, rub the butter cubes into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a small bowl and reserve.

3. Add the egg white to the remaining flour mixture in the large bowl. Sir to combine. Add the blueberries and stir gently. Pat the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan, using your fingers to press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Using an offset spatula, spread the blueberry preserves over the baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved flour-butter mixture evenly over the top of preserves. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes more or until golden brown.

5. Let the bars cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Using the parchment paper handles remove the bars from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Today

Pink applesauce
Makes: 14 servings
Serving size: 1/2 cup 
Yield: 7 cups
Prep: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr 30 minutes 

  • 5 pounds red apples (we used Fuji) 
  • 1/2 cup water 

1. Rinse and core apples; discarding seeds. Cut apples into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Transfer apple pieces to a large, heavy pot. Add water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until the apples start to break down, about 10 minutes. 

2. Stir apples. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes more, stirring often so that the applesauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Check the apples with the tip of a knife for softness. If still slightly firm, continue to cook, with lid ajar, until apples are broken down and slightly chunky, 10 to 20 minutes more. Applesauce will be chunky at this stage. For smooth applesauce, let cool and process in batches in a food processor. Let cool; refrigerate up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 1 month. 

Serve on oatmeal or oatmeal and quinoa recipe (see below)

Today

DIY overnight oatmeal and quinoa

Makes: 4 servings 
Serving size: 3/4 cup 
Yield: 3 cups
Prep: 10 minutes 
Chill: 24 hours 
Total Time: 24 hours and 10 minutes 

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

1. The night before, combine the water, quinoa, oats, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, transfer to a covered container and chill overnight.

2. In the morning, reheat the cereal in the saucepan on the stove-top. Add the maple syrup. Customize each serving with spices, fruit, and nuts.

For serving: Any combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh berries, chopped apple, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped toasted pecans, or walnuts.

Today

Triple banana flax pancakes
Makes: 6 servings 
Serving size: 2 pancakes 
Yield: 12 pancakes 
Prep: 25 minutes 
Cook: 18 minutes 
Total Time: 43 minutes 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal (or sub in flour or wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
  • 1 egg 
  • 4 medium bananas, one mashed and 3 sliced 
  • 2 teaspoons canola oi
  • Maple syrup 

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, buttermilk, egg, and mashed banana. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not over-mix.

3. Heat the canola oil on a griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop the pancake batter on the pan by 1/4-cupfuls; spread if necessary. Arrange 3 to 4 slices of banana on the uncooked side of each pancake. Cook the pancakes until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

4. Top each serving of pancakes with the remaining sliced bananas. Serve with maple syrup.

Today

Strawberry surprise bran muffins
Makes: 12 servings
Serving size: 1 muffin 
Prep: 25 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes

  • 1 1/4 cups whole bran cereal (such as All-Bran)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 12 small to medium strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups or coat each with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Place the bran cereal in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and stir to moisten; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

4. Add the buttermilk, egg, molasses, and canola oil to the bran cereal mixture. Stir to combine. Stir in the flour mixture until combined.

5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove and let muffins cool completely on a rack.

6. Using a small knife cut a strawberry-shaped chunk from each muffin, starting at the top and center of each; set piece aside. Insert a strawberry into each muffin and replace the muffin piece, pressing down. Spread a little jam over each muffin.