A new year brings new goals, resolutions changes, and improvements. As this new year begins, I think about what changes and improvements I want to make.
Making a resolution of eating better is one of the top goals year after year. Healthy choices when it comes to decisions about what to buy and what to make is always a goal to be improved on. More and more these days we are finding ways to eat local, know what is in the food we eat and improve on the nutritional ingredients.
We all hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s what gives us energy as we start the day, but we also want to make sure it sticks with us, so we don’t eat one or two more times before we even get to lunch. Choosing the right foods will give us the energy we need and helps us maintain a healthy weight. For a lot of us, we have so much to do before we run out the door in the morning, that we don’t have much time to prepare breakfast. There isn’t time to put a bunch of ingredients together, so we need something fast and easy. We need to eat fast and take off for work and school. Or maybe we need to eat on our way.
Try these make-ahead homemade granola recipes to help give you the energy that will stick with you throughout the day.
Make-ahead Homemade Granola
I found a great homemade granola recipe where the title explains it all. Super Simple Granola is a perfect way to make a batch of a healthy cereal with only six ingredients. This can be made in less than 30-minutes on the weekend or weeknight and is a quick, nutritious meal before you run out the door in the morning.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- ½ cup raw honey
- 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients in a glass baking dish and toast them in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the oats are toasting, combine the wet ingredients.
- After the oats are toasted (they should be very aromatic), drizzle the honey mixture over the oats. Stir until well combined.
- On a baking sheet lined with wax paper form a single layer of the oat mixture.
- Place the baking sheet back in the oven and turn the oven OFF. This will allow the granola to finish toasting without burning. Let it sit in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
This is so easy and can be made quickly in the morning by using a hot chocolate mix and adding a spoonful of Peanut butter or Nutella. Hot chocolate will provide more nutrients than coffee or tea, and the Peanut butter will give you extra protein. The Nutella doesn’t give you as much health benefits as Peanut butter, but it’s oh so good!
One of the tricks I use is the Breville Milk Café Milk Frother. This allows me to add my milk and the hot chocolate mix and the frother does all the heating and mixing. I can also select the temperature I want. Cooler for a “kids” hot chocolate all the way to really hot if I’m taking this with me in a thermos and I want it to stay hotter longer.
Once the hot chocolate is done, pour the hot chocolate over a spoonful of peanut butter into a mug or thermos and stir. It’s so easy!
Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
Do you eat on the run? Here’s another easy homemade granola recipe that will give you much-needed energy and nutrition.
- 2 bananas, ripe and mashed
- 2 Tbs honey
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2¼ cup oats (rolled oats, quick cooking)
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup walnut halves/pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries (you could also use dried cherries)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl microwave, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla for 30-seconds.
- In another bowl mash bananas with a fork.
- Combine bananas and peanut butter mixture and stir, then add in the brown sugar and stir.
- Next, add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, it may be a little hard to stir. I like to fold the ingredients together (folding under and over with a spatula).
- When everything is mixed spread it into the prepared baking dish and flatten the top so that it is even.
- Bake for 20-minutes, or until edges are golden brown, you may need to bake for a few more minutes (I’ve had to bake these all the way up to 30 minutes one time).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, then, using a sharp knife cut into 20 bars.
- These granola bars store really well in the freezer. Simply individually wrap them in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag and remove when ready to enjoy, or store in an airtight container in the fridge.