I’ve been trying to come up with healthy breakfast ideas for O lately that can be made ahead. He’s been eating a ton of oatmeal lately (both the refrigerator kind and quickly-cooked that morning), and there’s always some sort of fruit involved. For a few days he had whole-wheat waffles with peanut butter and maple syrup, but then the toaster tried to kill me.

Seriously, flames shot out of the bottom. That’ll wake you up.

I bought some barley for the cauliflower salad I made to go with my beer chicken, and I thought it would make a nice breakfast for O. Barley is full of good things like fiber (not that my kid really needs more fiber…) and whatnot.

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The only problem is that it takes about 40 minutes to cook and we just don’t have that kind of time in the morning.

Oh, hello there crock pot.

Yes, my favorite kitchen item (besides my 8 inch chef knife) can also do breakfast duty. 

This is seriously the easiest thing in the world, and it’s entirely customizable. You can stir in peanut butter or maple syrup, nuts, granola, dried fruit, fresh fruit, chia seeds, almond milk… Whatever makes your heart sing!

Overnight breakfast barley

1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
4 1/2 cups water
Optional:
Honey
Frozen berries
Sliced almonds
Cinnamon
Milk

Before you go to bed, use a mesh strainer to rinse barley, then dump it in the crock pot. Add water, give it a stir, and set it on low. I got mine started around 11:00, and I woke up around 7:30. I’d say at least 6 hours should do it.

That’s it!

To serve, I threw some frozen berries in a bowl, spooned the barley on top, and then stirred in some sliced almonds, honey, cinnamon, and a little milk.

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The frozen berries cooled the hot barley, and the heat from the barley thawed the berries. It was a delicious breakfast that was really simple and healthy.

I spooned the leftover barley into an air tight container and put it in the fridge, but you could easily freeze it in individual servings.

What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?

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