Break the Fast!!!

I’ve always loved breakfast.  I can’t wait to get up and have my cup of coffee for the day (after I meditate, of course) and fix my current breakfast of choice.  Right now this consists of plain yogurt, fruit of your choice, chopped walnuts, and granola (I am particularly fond of some kind of vanilla almond).  I have the pleasure of having a college student working with me this semester and she has offered her own version of her love for breakfast. Read on–you might be able to mix up a little homemade granola if you’re snowed in like I am today.

“Breakfast” by Margaret Wilson

I think of breakfast as the perfect meal to get in whole grains and fiber for the day. I always feel great after breakfast, because it usually includes something with either whole wheat flour (i.e. pancakes, waffles, bread), oatmeal, or whole grain cereal. All of these things are packed full of nutrients and fiber, so no wonder it keeps me satisfied and full of energy for such a long time!

I would encourage you to take advantage of breakfast foods. Make breakfast the most important meal of the day since it can—if you let it—include some of the most healthy foods there are.

A great way to include a variety of these healthy foods is granola! Not just any granola though, but some that you can make yourself. Granola is a fun food to make, because there really are no limits to what you can put in it. Be creative, and customize it exactly to your liking! You can also make it extremely healthy, which is sometimes hard to find in store since it is usually packed with sugar.

I have developed a very filling and healthy “base” recipe for granola

  • 3 cups oatmeal
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 cup wheat bran
    1 ½ cup water
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    ½ tablespoon salt
    a little shy of ¼ cup brown sugar

With this base, you can add anything else you want, and as much as you want! Here are some ideas:

Raw quinoa (adds a nutty flavor and a crunch)
Peanut butter
Almond butter
Brown sugar or turbinado sugar or honey
Chopped dates
Dried cranberries
Dried cherries
Dried apples
Dried bananas

Eaten with yogurt or skim milk

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • After mixing together the base ingredients in a large bowl, it should be crumbly (not powdery), with small and medium chunks.
  • At this time, you may add all the other ingredients that you want (nuts, etc). However, be sure NOT to add cranberries or raisins as they will burn very fast. Add these particular ingredients at the very end of baking.
  • Pour the mixture on a long cookie pan (with raised sides), and pat it a little bit to the bottom of the pan. Try to make sure that there aren’t any very big chunks, since they won’t bake very easily if they’re too big.
  • Stick in the oven for 15 min!
  • After 15 min, take it out of the oven and stir it with a spoon (or “rake” it with a spatula), and then spread it on the pan evenly again.
  • Stick back in the oven for 10 or 15 min.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on it, to make sure it doesn’t burn. Just repeat these steps until it is toasted to your liking. About 5 or 6 minutes before it is finished baking, add any raisins or cranberries you’d like.
  • Be sure to cool it completely before storing.