Delicious Make-Ahead Breakfasts from Curtis Stone

Don’t skip breakfast. Make it ahead with delicious ideas from our celebrity chef, Curtis Stone.

Jars of bircher muesli.
(Photo by Quentin Bacon)

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Breakfast. I have a love-hate relationship with what we Aussies call brekky. I know how unbelievably good it can be, but sometimes I just don’t have time for it. When I have an early start, I literally run through the kitchen thinking, Gosh, do I have my coffee now or at the restaurant?

While most people don’t think of breakfast as a make-ahead meal, it absolutely can be. Here are some simple and healthy ideas to help you meet the day head-on.

Named after Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-­Benner, who created it around 1900, Bircher Muesli is a no-bake, versatile, and wholesome breakfast treat, packed with grated apples, oats, yogurt, juice, and cinnamon, that you make the night before. For toppings, I use seasonal fruits, and you can add different nut varieties, too. Nothing simpler.

Banana Bread with Lots of Toasted Walnuts is another great breakfast standby. All those walnuts give each bite an extra burst of texture. The best bananas for baking have skins that are just flecked with brown spots — but don’t let them get too dark. With ripeness comes sweetness, so look for the brown spots and then bake.

My son, Hudson, wakes up in the morning and asks, “Make juice, Dada?” To create Hudson’s Good Morning Juice, we like apples, celery, spinach, and mint, with a hint of lime juice and ginger, but you can use whatever is available. Fresh and seasonal is the key.

Curtis Stone is the chef/owner of Maude and Gwen restaurants.

Bircher Muesli with Tangerine Syrup and Pecans

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 2 Gala apples, quartered and cored (not peeled)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups dairy-free plain coconut yogurt
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 small tangerines
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely broken

Using box grater, coarsely grate apples into large bowl. Mix in oats, yogurt, apple juice, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Using a Microplane grater, finely grate 1 teaspoon tangerine zest into a small heavy saucepan. Add maple syrup, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer gently for 3 minutes, or until syrup thickens slightly. Cool completely.

Divide muesli among four bowls. Drizzle tangerine-maple syrup over muesli and sprinkle with pecans. Peel and segment tangerines and place a few tangerine segments on top of each bowl of muesli.

Make-Ahead: The muesli will keep for up to 3 days, covered and ­refrigerated.

Nutritional Info

Per serving

  • Calories: 501
  • Total Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 86 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 3.75 starch, 1.5 fruit, 3 fat

Hudson’s Good Morning Juice

Glasses of fruit juice
(Photo by Quentin Bacon)

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, quartered
  • 4 Pink Lady or Fuji apples, quartered
  • 5 celery stalks, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • Ice cubes, optional

With juicer motor running, feed all ingredients except ice into juicer, catching juices in a bowl. Fill 4 glasses with ice cubes (if desired), pour juice over ice, and enjoy immediately.

Nutritional Info

Per serving

  • Calories: 175
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 45 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 47 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 3 fruit, 0.25 vegetable

Banana Bread with Lots of Toasted Walnuts

A loaf of banana bread, topped with walnuts
(Photo by Quentin Bacon)

(Serves 10)

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 9 × 5 × 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread 1 ½ cups of walnuts on large heavy baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until walnuts are toasted and a nut broken in half is golden brown in the center. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together to blend.

In large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar and eggs for 8 minutes, or until pale and thick. Gradually beat in oil. Beat in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix just until blended.

Using large flexible spatula, fold toasted walnuts into batter. Spread batter in loaf pan. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup walnuts. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until top is browned and a wooden toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. If bread is browned before it tests done, tent top with aluminum foil. Let cool in pan on wire cake rack for 15 minutes.

Invert banana bread onto rack and turn right-side up. Slice and serve warm, or let cool completely before serving.

Storing: The banana bread can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutritional Info

Per serving

  • Calories: 445
  • Total Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 256 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 53 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 2.75 starch, 0.75 fruit, 4 fat

Adapted from What’s For Dinner? by Curtis Stone. Copyright © 2013 by Curtis Stone. Adaptation by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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