Tasty Frugality

I’m not a morning person. Even though I managed to get up before 7 AM for years of my life, my preference would be 8:30 or a little later. Not really feasible with kids, but a girl can dream. I think related to my general abhorrence of morning is my lack of interest in breakfast foods. I don’t really like breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal — they’re all ‘OK’, but not really worth getting up early. So generally I’m a muffin and/or yogurt person for breakfast. Simple, time-efficient breakfast. Sometimes in winter I make oatmeal, generally with cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

This morning I started to make a pan of oatmeal and the scoop was missing from the container so I tapped the container to shake some in the pan. Avalanche! Suddenly there was quite a bit more in the pan than I wanted and I had to add water, which meant the oatmeal didn’t have as nice of a texture as it could have. It made more oatmeal than we were interested in eating and just as I was about to dump it out, the frugality gene went off.

I manage to keep the frugality gene suppressed most of the time. I don’t think of myself as very frugal at all. Sure, I’m not the kind to go out and buy big flashy items, but I will readily nickel and dime my way to an empty pocket. And it’s not as though I don’t throw away food. It’s embarrassing to consider the amount of fresh produce I’ve purchased only to allow it to rot in the refrigerator and be tossed out in a week or two or three — after it has clearly become inedible. Or those small boxes of leftovers that aren’t enough for another meal and linger in the back of the fridge until they are no longer identifiable. And, although I don’t think I would have said it aloud, if there is just a small amount of something very popular left and it looks like serving it would cause a fight to erupt over who gets to have it — I’d rather throw away food than have the children fighting. In many of the latter cases, I just make The Husband eat it so the kids won’t fight. Need a snack, dear?

So I don’t know what stayed my hand this morning and kept me from tossing out the oatmeal, but suddenly I looked at the pan and said, “You know? I’ll bet I could make some muffins out of this oatmeal. I shouldn’t toss it!”

The frugality gene went off just after New Year’s Eve too. I bought a bunch of lemons and limes and ended up not using them as I had intended, so I made a little lemon/limeade to drink and rather than just squeezing them and tossing the rest, I first grated the peels and put that in little bags in the freezer. It’s amazing how handy a little frozen lemon or lime zest can be. This morning I used the last of mine. I have a few more citrus fruits in the frig that are languishing and I’m thinking today we need to schedule a little citrus zesting/juicing.

So it was a happy coincidence that I thought of the lemon while I was holding the oatmeal pan and decided to make a little lemony oatmeal muffin. And I’m really happy to know that tomorrow morning, when I have no interest in getting up and thinking about breakfast, that I have these muffins waiting.

Leftover Oatmeal Lemon Muffins

about 1 1/2 c. cooked oatmeal (I didn’t measure mine)
1 c. plain yogurt
1 c. applesauce
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon zest

1/2 c. ground flax
1/2 c. wheat germ
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 – 1 c. raisins or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray; set aside.

Stir together first six ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Fill muffin tins and bake about 20 min or until done.

Makes 24 muffins.

Lemon glaze:
powdered sugar
lemon juice

5 Responses

  1. Freezing lemon and lime zest is a great/grate idea, I hadn’t thought of that!

  2. I’m not a morning person either – but these are a great way to make mornings better!

  3. I am certainly not a morning person either (just ask my husband! 🙂 ) And breakfast is terrible for me to have to consider when I’m in a hurry. This post has convinced me to make some muffins to have on hand for breakfast! I’ll do it tonight!

  4. These look so good!!!!

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