Smoothies and homemade granola bars will get your day off to a good start even when you’re rushing. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

We all do it — eat on the run. We fully intend to sit down for a healthy breakfast but things happen: we hit the snooze button, add a mile to our morning jog, help our toddler look for her favorite stuffy … the list goes on.

So – who doesn’t like a smoothie? This is a very kid-friendly recipe and the ingredients are flexible. It’s worth it to squeeze an orange but if you don’t want to take that extra minute, pour some from a carton. No coconut water on hand? Use water or cool green tea. Cinnamon is nice and so is fresh ginger, turmeric, or a quarter teaspoon of vanilla. I whip up my smoothie, pour it into a pint Mason jar and run out the door.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at

Another grab-and-go choice with tons of nutrition and staying power are these granola bars. I typically mix up a batch on Sunday evening so I can have a stash on hand in the freezer for the busy week ahead. Use what you have on hand, or have fun with your favorite ingredients.

I don’t deviate from including maple syrup and oats, and if I use peanut butter I use the all-natural variety that must be stirred first. The recipe below is my numero uno combo – dried cherries and dark chocolate! – but you can use any nut or sunflower butter and any type of milk, rice cereal, dried fruit, nuts (raw, roasted, or toasted), or chocolate (including white chocolate chips or the chopped-up ears of an Easter bunny). Coconut is a nice addition and so is cinnamon or nutmeg.

I haven’t tried it yet, but if you want to roll the mixture into balls, or drop it by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet for breakfast cookies, adjust the baking time and give that method a whirl.

I wrap the bars in parchment paper and store them in a zip-close bag in the freezer. You may think, “Geez, this woman goes through a lot of parchment paper!” Yes, I do. I get it at the dollar store.


Everyone has their favorite egg bakes and this is one of mine. Often a brunch staple, this is also a great addition to your on-the-go repertoire.

Again, use your favorite ingredients, but don’t skimp on that cheese. Bake it up in muffin pans for individual servings if you like (adjusting the heating time to about 10-15 minutes), but since I despise washing muffins tins, I do it this way then cut the casserole into squares, wrap each in parchment paper, and store them in the fridge or freezer in a zip-close bag. These can be warmed for 30-60 seconds in the microwave.

No more excuses for skipping breakfast!

Morning Glory Smoothie

1 cup fresh or frozen berries

1 frozen banana, sliced

1/3 cup fresh orange juice


1/3 cup coconut water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 ice cubes, if needed

Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Yield: 2 cups

Granola Bars with The Works

1 cup almond butter

1/2 cup almond milk


1/2 cup maple syrup

2¼ cups oats

1 cup rice cereal

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Mix together almond butter, milk and syrup in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Press mixture into baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert pan onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting. Yield: 10, 3½-by-1½- inch bars.

Confetti Egg Bake

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped


1/3 cup scallions, diced

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups ham, diced

1/2 cup flour

1¾ cups milk

8 eggs, beaten


2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cheeses and place 3 cups in a glass 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms, red pepper and onions in butter until tender. Drain and spoon over cheese in pan. Sprinkle on ham and the remainder of the cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Stir in eggs and seasonings. Carefully pour into pan over cheese, ham and vegetables.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Yield: 12 servings

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