Delicious and Fresh Breakfast

What is breakfast?

Well, let me rephrase that. What should breakfast not be? It shouldn’t be something that makes you want to go back to bed the moment after you push your syrupy, greasy plate away. It shouldn’t make you and your family amped up on sugar, leaving you with the idea that the marathon you’ve always wanted to run is a mere 42 mile sprint away from becoming realistic. To put it simply, breakfast should not be something you feel guilty about. That’s not a good way to start the day.
Heading over to a morning spin class should have reasons beyond working off that bacon and the jam-filled chocolate croissant you just inhaled. Right?

Does this all hit a little too close to home? For me, the answer is “yes.” Once in awhile it’s fine. Christmas breakfast, for example, is a perfect and acceptable time for overeating, sleeping and celebrating (in any order). But let’s be real. Not every day can be like Christmas.

So what do we do? What do we feed ourselves? What will get us going and make everyone in the house function at the highest level?

According to the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia, Breakfast (literally meaning “breaking the fast” of the night) is the first meal taken after rising from a night’s sleep. So, with that in mind, it seems to me that it’s a pretty important meal, or at least that is what I keep being told by almost every cereal campaign and Mr. Quaker Oats himself. We’ve all heard it, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

When I was young, I would visit my grandparents who lived about an hour away in the country. The country scared me (still does, actually — too dark and too many bugs), but the real consolation for me was the fabulous breakfast my grandpa would whip up in the morning. It was all there – bacon, eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles, juices and many other morning delights. Delights that were never offered up at home.

Coming home, I would be spoiled and wonder why my mother never rose at the crack of dawn to prepare me a feast. I told myself, and my mother, that when I had my own children, I would prepare them a feast just like I was given. I would do this every day because I would be a perfect mother and my children would be deserving of such a spread. What the heck was I thinking?

Do I want my kids to be obese from my bacon grease and endless pancakes? No, I don’t. It turns out that this “feast” is not a valid option. So what’s the alternative?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and this is my solution: granola. I know it’s a bit hippy-dippy and there are so many connotations that come with the grainy treat. But instead of going out and buying everyone in the house his or her own boxed cereal (boring) or Pop Tart (yuck), make breakfast interactive. Granola is so easy to make and the flavor options are endless.

The first step is simple. Go to the grocery store. Whole Foods is the best since it has so many items in bulk (although, I’ve noticed Reasor’s now has some bulk items, too), but not essential to making this work.

Let your child pick out his or her very own (within reason) granola ingredients. Not only will this make children appreciate what goes into making breakfast, you’ll be able to introduce them to a variety of new fruits, grains, nuts and oils.

Next, make the granola together. Perhaps it goes without saying, but I can’t stress enough how important time together in the kitchen can be. In the end, no matter how delicious, the granola is merely a tool. It’s the making that’s truly important. Have fun!

Mango and Almond Granola

• 4 cups of Rolled Oats
• 2/3 cup of Grade A Maple Syrup
• 4 Tbs Honey
• 1 Tbs Vanilla
• 1 Tbs Cinnamon
• 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
• 1/2 cup Olive Oil
• 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
• 1 cup Slivered Almonds
• 5 dried Mango Strips (diced)
• 1/4 cup Flaxseed
Mix all ingredients together and spread onto two baking sheets. Bake for 30-50 minutes in 250-degree oven.
Stir every ten minutes. Cool completely and store in airtight container.



Categories: Food