MEAL PREPARATION Make-ahead tips offer fast, tasty breakfasts

The family will have time for these morning treats.
Making time for breakfast needn't be as complicated as getting the dog walked, lunches packed and the family out the door. These morning meals can easily fit into your schedule.
Try these fast-forward planning tips. Bake a batch of muffins at the beginning of the week and freeze them; a quick reheat in the microwave will turn out pastries that beat toaster snacks any day. Also, keep a variety of fresh or sliced refrigerated fruit on hand for recipes and healthful snacks. Such smart starts will give your body the necessary fuel to tackle the busy day ahead.
You can make this drink at a moment's notice when you have a handy supply of banana slices in your freezer. Simply toss fresh slices in lemon juice, and freeze up to six months in zip-top freezer bags.
1 medium-size ripe banana, cut into 1-inch slices
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium mango, peeled and cut into pieces
11/2 cups pineapple-orange juice, chilled
1 (8-ounce) container nonfat vanilla yogurt
Toss banana with lemon juice; drain, reserving lemon juice. Place banana slices on a baking sheet, and freeze 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Process frozen banana slices, reserved lemon juice, mango, 1 1/2 cups pineapple-orange juice and yogurt in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.
Makes 4 cups.
Calories (per 1-cup serving): 154 (2 percent from fat); Fat 0.4g (sat 0.2g, mono 0.1g, poly 0.1g); Protein 4g; Carb 36g; Fiber 1.8g; Chol 0.9mg; Iron 0.4mg; Sodium 41mg; Calc 116mg.
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon light sour cream
3 small ripe bananas
1 large egg
11/2 cups pancake mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Vegetable cooking spray
Stir together pecans, brown sugar and sour cream. Set aside.
Mash bananas in a medium bowl; add egg and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat cups with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling three-fourths full. Carefully spoon pecan mixture evenly in center of each muffin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks.
Makes 1 dozen.
Calories per serving: 181 (31 percent from fat); Fat 6.2g (sat 0.8g, mono 3.2g, poly 1.8g); Protein 2.8g; Carb 30g; Fiber 1.5g; Chol 22mg; Iron 0.8mg; Sodium 205mg; Calc 49mg.
You can freeze muffins, if desired. To reheat, microwave at high for 1 minute.