No doubt nutritionists thought about September being better breakfast month because it is typically when kids (young and old) return to school. We should probably think about “better” breakfasts all the time. Those same nutritionists tell us that we should have some kind of protein at this meal. But this also the meal that is probably the most hurried as those same children are hustled out the door and harried parents get their day going, too. (Oh, to be retired!)
Here is an easy (ie- no fancy ingredients, and a must in our households for nearly all recipes!) make ahead recipe that contains protein and along with some fruit, glass of milk or juice will get your breakfast into the “better” category. Make extra and freeze them ready to heat, serve and eat, on the run if necessary. Our littlest farmer loves a good muffin, and often spends quite a bit of time in the kitchen baking with Grandma Eloyce. This recipe was one she adapted from the internet. Feel free to do the same – adapt and add what you think would be tasty for veggies, use gluten free flour (we will definitely be doing that), or even vegetarian breakfast sausage!
Prep and Cook Time: 49 min
2 tsp olive oil
12 oz bulk breakfast sausage – any variety
½ C diced red bell pepper
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C corn meal
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp Garden Delights Savory Onion Herb Blend
1 C milk
1 C fresh sweet corn kernels
½ C chopped green onions
½ C grated sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on muffins
¼ C melted butter
Preheat oven to 375°. Place paper liners in 12 muffin tin cups. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and place sausage in skillet. Cook until the sausage is crumbly and thoroughly cooked, about 7 minutes. Add bell pepper; cook for about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Push sausage mixture to one side of the pan and blot up some of the rendered fat with wadded paper towels leaving about 1 tablespoon. Let mixture cool. Place flour, corn meal, baking soda, salt and herb blend in a mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Add egg/buttermilk mixture slowly to flour/cornmeal mixture. Add fresh corn kernels, green onions, Cheddar cheese, and reserved sausage mixture. Stir in melted butter; mix just until flour is mixed in. Divide batter among cups in prepared muffin pan. Top with a few shreds of Cheddar cheese. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
There are two common types: Summer savory – an annual, start from seed, milder flavor, more tender leaves; Winter savory – a perennial, best to start from a cutting or a plant. Flavors are considered interchangeable. Both grow to about 12- 15 inches tall and 8-10 inches across. They are considered disease resistant, and like full sun and well-drained soil. We prefer the winter savory because it is a perennial, and thus less maintenance. It also doesn't take up room in our veggie garden, leaving room for our annual herbal tri-fecta.
I’m often on the hunt for something than the traditional English Breakfast or Early Grey, which both have black tea in them - tasty but just not my cup of tea! In my never ending research, I did find some interesting things about Earl Grey tea. It uses bergamot, which is an oil made from a special variety of Italian orange. Funny thing – the orange isn’t really orange in color, but really green, more like a lime. It is a winter ripening orange that grows in a specific area of Italy (I liken it to our regional Walla Walla sweet onions!).
Some of you may be thinking, bergamot, that sounds familiar?! Well, Monarda, also known as bee balm, is also called bergamot sometimes. This beautiful, easy to grow herb was used traditionally by the native peoples of Canada and the US, and can be found growing wild through out much of these regions. The native peoples called it Oswego tea, and used it as a healing brew for a wide variety of ailments.
Bee balm is relaxing yet stimulating (like many of its fellow mint family members), with a bit of a spicy warmth that makes it a perfect herb for a fall tea blend, especially as we head into the coming cold and flu season, since it supports lungs and throats during those illnesses.
Fall Bee Balm Tea
3 parts bee balm
2 parts lemon balm
1 part German chamomile (can be left out for those with sensitivities and allergies)
2 parts mint (any kind of mint, although peppermint or orange mint would likely blend best)
Note: parts can be any measurement you want; this can be a good way to try out an herbal recipe to decide if you like it. If you want to make a small batch, start with a part = teaspoon (would work for a couple of cups worth of blend). If you find you really enjoy this blend, and want to make a larger batch, try part = ½ cup.
Don't have these herbs handy or not interested in making your own? Our Cold Calming Tea offers a lovely blend of bee balm, anise hyssop and other warming herbs perfect for fall and waking up!