Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Give A Moose A Muffin: A Better Alternative

Julie here, I'm thrilled Mary Curry, winner of numerous writing awards including Love Inspired's Killer Voice contest, is joining us today and even more thrilled by what I learned! And be sure to keep an eye out for her debut Love Inspired Suspense coming out this fall. 

Good morning everyone. It’s been awhile since I posted here on the Yankee Belle. Thanks, Julie, for asking me to fill in today.

I have a question for you. What’s for breakfast?

That’s a problem that is making me crazy.

Do you know the children’s book If You Give a Moose a Muffin?

That’s me at breakfast. Give me a muffin and I want another one. Or a cookie. Or a donut. I need something carby with my coffee.

But carby with your coffee = weighty on the hips.  Besides, I think breakfast carbs are probably bad for you in inverse proportion to how good they taste.

So I need alternatives.

Oatmeal doesn’t work for me. Even the steel cut kind leaves me hungrier than I was before I ate. Plus I crash about an hour later.
I like Icelandic or Greek yogurts - especially Siggis because the protein grams are way higher than sugar grams. But I can’t eat it every day.

So, what’s a teacher who is going to be stuck all day, with nary a bathroom break, to do if she can’t eat muffins and donuts???

My daughter introduced me to her favorite vegan restaurant here in Brooklyn where they make all kinds of amazingly healthy meals. My favorite breakfast is what they call their Earth Cup. I feel healthy just looking at it. They serve it with an optional topping of coconut kefir (which I always get because I will eat anything coconut). Basically it’s sprouted buckwheat grouts, fresh fruit, milk (they use rice mylk because it’s vegan), and sunflower butter.

But that yummy Earth cup? It’s expensive!!! (Those 2 things cost over $20) Certainly not something I can do every day, and they’re not even open before I head to work.

I was overjoyed (Yes, really!), last week when I stumbled upon a similar recipe at a cool website called The Simple Veganista.

Have you ever had overnight soaked oats? You put everything in a cup and soak in the fridge overnight and in the morning it’s all ready for you to just add some fresh fruit or a dab of yogurt. Some recipes do call for you to cook it the night before and then chill. It makes a really nice alternative on hot summer mornings.

I love this website because of a number of recipes (Cranberry Walnut Chickpea Salad is AWESOME!), so I was excited to try Overnight Buckwheat Steel Cut Oats.

Another cool website - Oh She Glows - has a raw version (Overnight Buckwheat Parfait) that’s mixed with chia seeds. I think the overnight raw version is closer to my beloved earth cup, minus the chia.

The addition of sunflower butter is the best part though even though these recipes don’t include it. I love this because I have so many students with severe nut allergies this year that I can’t have anything with nuts in the classroom.

You can buy it at the store.    

Or you can make your own - really easily and cheaply! You buy plain, unsalted, SHELLED, sunflower seeds, roast them, then blend in your blender until it’s a nut butter consistency. (You can read a really enthusiastic recipe on how to make them here -

So, what do you eat for breakfast?


  1. Oh my stars, a meal in a cup! I love coming down to the city, you can find everything, and I do mean everything, there. I'm always amazed at the choices... and then I order same old, same old! I'm not a breakfast eater, never have been, but when I do get hungry mid-morning, I'm trying to be good and eat a couple of scrambled eggs or snack on (Kav, don't look!!!) meat to stay high protein. I find that doubling my writing time makes it way too easy to put on weight and we middle-aged gals (I'm stretching middle age until age 80, minimal!) have to think twice, dagnabbit.

    I love the freshness value and the oats/grains idea behind this, Mary! And I went into apoplectic shock at the $20 price tag.

    Ah, New York! :)

    Thank you for the host of links to keeping us healthy! Love it!

    1. Ruthy, I've never been able to eat early, but since I'm in a classroom all day, I need to eat something in order to keep up with the kids. Protein bars usually fill me up but most of the ones I like have nuts so I can't eat them this year.

      No one is allergic to chocolate croissants though. :)

  2. Well, I'm swooning with delight over all those neat links. I'm going to share them with my daughter. I got her the Oh She Glows cookbook for her birthday and the recipes are amazing. Not a dud in the lot of them. And such a pretty cookbook. I like pretty.

    The soak it overnight oatmeal has me grimacing a bit though. Does it really taste good? Cold regular oatmeal doesn't. I'm going to give it a try though because I have oatmeal every morning even in the summer. And I'm a breakfast eater. Can't think straight without it. I usually have peanut butter on toast too, but I'm going to hunt down some sunflower butter and see what that tastes like. My daughter is nut allergy so that's an option for her as well.

    Oh -- one more thing -- my daughter works at a coffee shop and she often has to start at six a.m. Poor sweetie isn't a morning person but she's useless without breakfast too so she's been struggling to find quick brekkie solutions (and she's vegetarian as well) so this overnight oatmeal might do the drink. Hmmm...maybe I'll let her try it first. Bwahahahaha!

  3. Hi Kav. I seriously recommend you check out the chickpea cranberry salad on Simple Veganista. It's so good.

    My daughter did that early morning coffee shop thing for 8 years so I hear you. She also does the overnight oatmeal thing regularly so I'll ask her, but she has never complained about it being mushy. With the buckwheat groats it's actually crunchy which I .ove. Gotta have texture in my food.

  4. A great column Mary! I learned something new--I had only thought of making the oatmeal in a crockpot to have in the morning, but not having it in this way before. Thank you so much! And I love the moose. And his muffin. I always made muffins when I read that book to my son. *sigh*

    1. Books always bring back such great memories, don't they, Piper? Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi Mary! I have a vegan friend who runs a vegan lunch cafe here and is always force-feeding me her creations (roasted garlic home made hummus with fresh from the oven sesame pita chips was yesterday's leftovers) and I tell you it is a trial.
    I love these recipes and can't wait to share them with her. Thanks for coming to the cafe!

    1. Oh, Virginia, you just made me so hungry! My daughter has been a real inspiration to me, taking the mystery out of recipes I would have thought too laborious or difficult.

  6. Mary, thanks for coming back and for sharing! I, too, crash when I eat carbs for breakfast. I mean it's like knocking me out if I eat something sweet! So I go for high protein and fiber. I usually eat a high fiber tortilla (12 grams!) with either peanut butter and jelly or with melted cheese. Every single day! Yes, I get sick of it sometimes. So I'll have to try one of these overnight oats recipes! I do love oatmeal. :)

  7. BTW I'm not sure if we had that book when my kids were little. But we did have If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. :)

  8. Then I shouldn't update you on the new books by Laura Numeroff. There is a book called "If You Give A Dog a Donut."

    I love breakfast. I've tried oatmeal, and although I love the health benefits, I didn't like oatmeal. I like Corn Flakes and Cheerios. I like scrambled eggs and toast. I like fruit and a bagel. Thanks for the post.

  9. It depends on the time whether you call my first meal of the day breakfast, brunch or lunch. I start the day with orange juice. Period. Then there's coffee an hour or so later. I DO like muffins, but I have a recipe that's more of a biscuit to which I add fruit, so it's not sweet.

    One of my favourite mid-morning meals is Breakfast Bites. Didn't I get the recipe here? I can't remember. It uses a package of pre-shredded potatoes, beaten eggs, some shredded cheddar cheese and seasonings, and you pour the mixture into mini-muffin tins to bake. If I make them for the family I rarely have leftovers, but they're wonderful frozen and reheated in the microwave. I also have a frittata-style recipe that is baked in muffin tins, and they're yummy even eaten cold. With eggs and cheese in them, there's enough protein to keep me going. I really should eat breakfast more often.