I am a firm believer that no matter what time you choose to break your fast at, whatever it is that you are eating should be nutrient dense and delicious. I also understand that breakfast can be one of the trickiest meals to maneuver. We are usually just waking up and want to find something quick and easy to fill our bellies. As a result, we often look to prepackaged foods to start our day.
One of my favourite breakfasts, is granola, yogurt and berries. Even though this breakfast sounds pretty healthy, there are a few things to consider before hopping on board.
First of all, is your yogurt sweetened & flavoured? If you answer is yes, you will find yourself well on your way to overconsumption of added sugar for the day. The WHO recommends that children consume no more than 3 to 4 teaspoons of added sugar daily. For adults, the recommendation is no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons. The average daily consumption of added sugar for children and adults alike is 33 teaspoons! Shocking yes, but so easily done when you consider how many foods that we purchase have added & excessive amounts of sugar. In one cup of your average flavoured & sweetened yogurt, you are looking at about 4 teaspoons of added sugars. My vote? Look for a plain unsweetened yogurt. You get added points for extra protein by choosing Greek or skyr options. It may take you some time for your taste buds to adjust, but it is well worth the effort. Remember, we are eating this yogurt with our homemade granola and fruit and these additions will bring their own sweetness to our bowl.
Secondly, many store bought granolas are also high in refined sugars and they simply just don’t capitalize on the opportunity to add all kinds of extra goodness to their packages by skimping out on healthy fats and fibre from a variety of seeds & nuts.
Come along with me for a little granola experiment of your own. Gathering these simple ingredients and investing a bit of your time will leave you with a bowl of goodness, a full belly and a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
Amy’s Best Ever Granola
3 cups rolled oats, not instant or quick
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans
6 tbsp. sunflower seeds
6 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp flax seeds
½ cup unsweetened coconut
½ tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp real maple syrup or local, raw honey
Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix ingredients and spread out on 2 baking sheets. This allows for adequate heat distribution. Bake for about 40 minutes stirring 4 times. After 40 minutes, turn off the oven and just leave the trays of granola in the oven to continue to achieve that great crunch factor from the residual heat. Store in glass jars once cooled. Enjoy as a yogurt topping, with milk of your choice (cow, almond, rice) or nibble on as a snack. Store in a glass jar. Note: Sometimes I like to play with the spices adding ground cardamom to the mix too.