Recently, actress Salma Hayek was announced as the latest celebrity to be milk-mustached by the Milk Processor Education Program, otherwise known as the "Got Milk" people. Hayek's ads will promote the new The Breakfast Project campaign, which touts milk as key to a good breakfast. In the commercial, Hayek makes an attempt to go straight to the source to get her milk. Which is kind of where we go to for breakfast inspiration: the farmer's market.
According to consumer research firm NPD group, one in 10 Americans skips breakfast, mostly because they don't have the time to prepare it. And although most of us are fully aware of the benefits of the first meal (and second, and fifth...), it can still be a struggle not to run out of the house in the morning on an empty stomach. So in solidarity with Salma, turn the page for our top five quick farmers market-inspired breakfast ideas. (And the video.)
5. Breakfast Whole Wheat Couscous:
When it comes to grains for breakfast, the choice seems to be between slow-cooking (but quite delicious) steel-cut oatmeal and quick-cooking (but completely dreadful) instant oatmeal. In his guide to conscious eating, Food Matters, Mark Bittman suggests another quick-cooking option: breakfast whole wheat couscous. Available at most markets either boxed or in the bulk bins, whole wheat couscous cooks up on the stove and in the microwave as quickly as instant oatmeal. As Bittman suggests, milk is optional, although you might try toasted nuts of some kind. Also consider adding some kind of fruit, usually dried cherries in the winter or, during the summer, fresh stone fruit from Tenerelli Orchards.
4. Yogurt Parfaits:
Yogurt has long been a quick breakfast staple -- and the growing popularity of Greek yogurt has caught the attention of brands from Yoplait to Ben & Jerry's. There's also the option of goat's milk yogurt, which has enough body to support a strata of granola and some whole berries and honey. Best of all, with parfaits there's no cooking, very little ingredient prep and not much clean-up -- just a little creative layering.
3. Breakfast Cheese Plate:
Usually the worst part of a cheese plate is that you have to wait until the end of the meal to enjoy it. A breakfast cheese plate waits for no one. In fact, it's the ideal breakfast on the go because it can be highly portable and doesn't require utensils to eat. There isn't much difference between a regular cheese plate and one that works well in the morning. Items such as dried persimmons or slices of fresh Asian pear, along with some walnuts, are great accompaniments to cheeses. As for the cheeses, a lighter one like mozzarella is a good idea, with the smoked variety echoing the most comforting of morning flavors.
2. Mini Frittatas:
Often the best way to make anything quick and easy is to plan ahead. Mini fritattas, or egg muffins as they're known among the South Beach/Paleo/Atkins crowd, gained their popularity in part because they're easy to make ahead and freeze for eating throughout the week. They're also a great way to get more vegetables into breakfast: Just fold into the egg mixture whatever's in season, like cauliflower from Weiser Farms or greens from Maggie's Farm. Another great addition is cubed up Bowers Sausage and a sprinkle of Parmesan before popping the muffin tin in the oven. It's a good thing that when making these mini frittatas, most recipes make 12 at a time, because eating just one for breakfast can be quite difficult.
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The Got Milk campaign has tapped into a variety of personalities for their promotions. Last year, it collaborated with Guelagetza's Bricia Lopez to introduce a new generation of licuados, Mexican smoothies. Licuados are as easy to make as smoothies, but since they're milk-based they're a bit thinner. For that reason licuados are more refreshing and drinking them doesn't feel like drinking a bunch of fruit -- including the bowl after finishing one. Licuados are also an excellent way to enjoy seasonal fruit from favorite vendors year-round.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Milk Processor Education Program as responsible for the the angry almond mik mom commercial. That commercial is put out by the California Milk Processors Board.