Feeding a growing family can be as complicated or as simple as you allow it to be. I am grateful to have a husband who is definitely on board with keeping meals simple, especially since it allows me to do other things on our homestead. But there have been, and probably will be again, times when I spend more time making elaborate meals.
Right now, with four children under eight, a homestead we are building, and freelance work; elaborate is really not an option. I need lots of filling, nutritious food fast and it has to come from scratch. My intention here is to share some ideas for each meal of the day, and hopefully get a few from everyone here – no matter the number around your table.
The need for nutritious, filling food from scratch applies to every meal. I have a soft spot for breakfast foods, though, so I thought we could start in the quiet of the morning when I sneak around making coffee and tea and a host of foods full of protein, properly-prepared carbs, and some sort of enzymatic element.
First, let’s talk equipment. For a cooked breakfast, which is what we eat most mornings of the year, cast-iron is a must in our home. I have a 12″ skillet, a 10″ skillet and then I have this beauty.
Instead of flowers, my husband likes to surprise me with cast-iron cookware, and I love it. This latest piece, the two-burner griddle, has fried countless dozens of eggs, cooked endless gluten-free sourdough pancakes, and fried more potatoes and onions than you could shake a stick at. I used to just use the 12″ skillet for these breakfast foods. Now that I am using this griddle, my time at the stove top has literally been cut in half.
I used to think I couldn’t just serve eggs every morning, at least not in the usual fried or scrambled state. I also used to just scramble up some eggs with not much more than sliced fruit and could get away with it. Neither of those is an option any longer.
Instead, we now use eggs – either homegrown or from a neighbor – as the protein source most mornings. And they are almost always scrambled or fried. When we can get fresh goat’s milk that also becomes a source of protein and fat.
We were, at one point, a grain-free family. I am really grateful for that period of time because I believe it helped us to heal up some health issues before we moved off-grid and were partaking in much more manual labor.
Now, every breakfast usually includes either a potato or a grain. That grain most often comes in the form of something sourdough – either pancakes, muffins, or tortillas. This is essential for filling up bellies and giving our little helpers energy.
I can’t emphasize enough how important enzymatic food is for every meal, especially breakfast. Having something raw – fruit, raw milk, or raw eggs – is helpful. Fermented foods tend to be even higher in enzymes so we also like milk kefir, yogurt, or a vegetable ferment with our breakfast.
Pulling It Together
Generally speaking, I plan the morning’s breakfast the day before. I need that time to sour whatever grains we’ll be eating, and make sure we have enough eggs. First thing in the morning, I turn on the kettle for tea or coffee and then light up the oven (muffins) or the griddle (pancakes or potatoes).
And, if I’m actually on my game, by the time the little ones are stumbling out of bed, I’ve got a warm breakfast waiting for them on the table. Then I can talk with my husband, feed the baby, or eat my own breakfast without someone pulling at my skirt because they’re hungry.
That’s if I’m on my game.
A few of our Favorites
I’ve shared some of our favorite breakfast dishes with you before, like:
- Soaked Breakfast Muesli
- Farmer’s Breakfast Hash
- Making Delicious, Crunchy Hashbrowns (oh my, these are delicious)
- Sourdough Pancakes
- Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Flour Pancakes