Reboot Breakfast: Super Easy Homemade Granola + More Quick, Healthy Ideas
Commercial granola can be as sugar-laden as certain breakfast cereals. Here’s how to make your own granola from scratch.
PHOTO BY LEAH LIZARONDO
It’s resolution season! Jaded? Skeptical? I understand. Some statistics show that fewer than 1 in 10 succeed in their New Year’s resolutions. Most fail before January is over. Odds are against us.
Who cares? Because guess what? If you don’t try, you lose by default.
The No. 1 New Year’s resolution is, not surprisingly, to be healthier.
Maybe one of the reasons resolutions are so hard to keep is because we set a high bar without a clear path toward achieving our goals. I think the best way to achieve resolutions is to make small steps that cumulatively move you forward throughout the year.
My contribution to this worthy endeavor is to give you ideas on how to re-engineer your meals so that they are healthier. Throughout the first half of the year, I’ll be posting ideas on how to REBOOT your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not full makeovers maybe but little changes that you can incorporate.
Let’s start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. If you’ve been reading this column, you know I am not a fan of sweet breakfasts. I don’t think it does us any good to start the morning with hefty dose of sugar. It’s not healthy. AND you will crash — making you want sugar more in order to compensate. That’s how that vicious cycle starts.
So ditch the sugary cereal.
What’s that? You opt for yogurt and granola? Hmm. That may be good depending on what yogurt and granola you buy. Some of the worst yogurt brands have up to 9 teaspoons of sugar per cup. Add some high-sugar granola, and you can be consuming up to 12 teaspoons of sugar in your breakfast. #gag
So here’s a small step for man: Ditch the flavored yogurt. Opt for plain dairy or non-dairy yogurt and top with some healthy granola plus fruit. OR I love doing what Bryant Terry suggested: Serve with almost-frozen almond milk. So good that way!
Granola is so easy to make. It’s basically oats, nuts, some natural sweetener and a little bit of healthy coconut oil. Mix in a bowl and place in the oven. The easiest and most low-maintenance way to make granola is to bake it in a low temperature for a long time. This is something I learned from Terry Walters in her cookbook “Clean Food.” This cooks the granola slow and low, so you can put all your ingredients in one tray all at once. Otherwise, at higher temperatures, you have to keep on checking your granola and you really can’t put all your ingredients at once.
And there you have it. Your New Year’s resolution just got that much easier.
I share my favorite recipe below PLUS some of my favorite healthy breakfast options.
The Brazen Kitchen House Granola Recipe
Makes 10 cups (12 cups if adding optional items)
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups nuts (I like using a mix of pecans, walnuts and slivered almonds)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup juice (apple cider or apple juice), optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
- 1 cup hemp seeds
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, except raisins/cranberries. Make sure it’s well-distributed.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients. Pour over the dry mixture and stir very well to distribute and coat.
- Spread on a large baking sheet. Place on the top rack of the oven and bake for an hour.
- Remove from oven and cool. Once cool, add the raisins/cranberries and hemp seeds and then transfer to an airtight container.
- Granola will keep in the fridge for a month.
Click here for other Brazen Kitchen breakfast ideas.