Instant Breakfast

2016-01-07 07.40.12RECIPE #142, DAY #165

ORIGINAL RECIPE: An amalgamation and refinement of different suggestions and way weirder recipes online*

TIMING: 5 minutes


TOOLS: A blender, although a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and a whisk would work, too


HEALTH: Drinking milk for breakfast is not the most well-rounded practice. Then again, either is a bowl of cereal or a stack of pancakes. If you’re looking for a mild, easy breakfast, this is just fine and dandy for an occasional thing. It’s basically like drinking a cup of milk with a little added protein and sugar (a little) and some cocoa.

EXPERIENCE: When I was a kid, I loved Carnation Instant Breakfast. It was a super easy breakfast and a super easy snack. Plus, it didn’t feel heavy, and I am one of those people who really don’t want to eat anything for breakfast until my stomach has woken up (around 10:30).

As an adult with very strict rules of food engagement, I wouldn’t buy or consume a processed food like Instant Breakfast. I would, however, search the internet for ways to bring this taste back in to my life. So, several years ago I did just that thing. I opted not to make something totally nutritious and weird (like with blue corn powder or (ack!) protein powder), but to recreate the original without the preservatives, colors, etc.

This is what we came up with. Kids love it, too.

NOTES: This recipe is for the chocolate Instant Breakfast, which is the only flavor that we ate in our house when I was a kid. (There was always a bucket full of strawberries and vanillas from the combo pack, way in the back of the pantry). If you want a vanilla drink, increase the vanilla extract (or use a vanilla bean) and omit the cocoa. If you want strawberry, add 1/4 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen; or 1/8 cup strawberry juice) and omit the cocoa.

This recipe will most likely serve 2 people.


  1. In a blender, combine 2 c milk, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons powdered milk, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, a drop of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Combine until smooth and frothy, just a few seconds.


Serve on the go, in a car-friendly cup.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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