I have always struggled with breakfast, and making sure to jump-start my metabolism each morning was a hard-learned lesson for me at SlimGenics. Part of the problem is that I just don’t feel hungry in the morning, and the other part is that I’m a nighttime worrier and like to get to my desk as soon as possible in the morning to tackle my to-do list. With that, I found it very helpful to create breakfast recipes that required little attention from me. I work from home, so recipes like my Vegetable Omelet Muffins from September 2011 are useful because I can do the prep work in the evening, when my energy levels are higher, and then sleepily pop them into the oven the next morning.
Bread pudding (one of my favorite food groups, by the way), when prepared the SlimGenics way, is the perfect make-ahead breakfast food. I like starting my day with a combination of protein, starch and fruit, and bread pudding is a great way to do that. Once you have the basic recipe down, bread pudding is also very forgiving. You can use most any on-plan fruit to flavor your pudding, complimenting it with any number of different flavorings or extracts–and there are many!
This week’s recipe uses lemons and blueberries, but don’t hesitate to try raspberries with vanilla, blackberries with orange or even minced apples with maple and cinnamon. What is more important than the fruit you choose is the bread you use. Of course you want an on-plan bread, but try to find an option that is as dense and chewy as possible. Read the labels in the bakery section and you may be surprised by what you find.
Finally, you can make these puddings the night before you bake them. Just cover with plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Let rest at room temperature while preheating your oven, and then just bake and eat. The overnight soaking will actually enhance the flavor and texture of your pudding, making this a very hearty and welcoming breakfast that you can enjoy well within an hour of rolling out of bed.
If this portion is too big for you, or you don’t have the large ramekins called for in the recipe, you can also bake the mixture in a muffin tin. Have one muffin for breakfast and another for dessert.
- 4 slices on-plan whole wheat bread
- Zero-calorie cooking spray
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 C. skim milk
- 1 Tbsp. Splenda “measures like sugar” sweetener
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 C. blueberries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut bread into small squares and spread out on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, toss and spray again. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for up to 10 minutes, until bread cubes are crisp.
Reduce heat on oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk and next six ingredients (through vanilla). Stir well with a whisk. Add bread cubes and any crumbs to egg mixture and press to cover. Let sit for one minute, then toss and press again. Add blueberries and stir to combine. Bread cubes should be saturated with egg mixture.
Divide mixture between two 16-ounce ceramic baking dishes that have been coated with cooking spray. If desired, sprinkle a small amount of Splenda on top and spray with cooking spray to promote browning. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm in the center. Serve warm.
Makes 2 servings