Breakfasts and Sweet Recipes
The Best Granola
Granola is a great start to the day with some berries and yoghurt. It gives us a slow release of energy throughout the morning and tastes delicious too. It is also great as a snack in the day when we are running out the door. However, shop bought granola is full of sugar, I know it is beautifully packaged and so easy to pour straight out of the package, and it tells us on the front how healthy it is for us, but the truth is it is so easy to make your own and then you know exactly what is going into it. It is great value too, so give it a go, it will take you 10 mins to make and 10 mins to bake…
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
80 ml maple syrup
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g rolled oats
100g quinoa flakes
50 g each of pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds
3 tbsp ground flax or linseeds
100g flaked almonds
pinch of coarse sea salt
100g dried sliced cranberries
60 g coconut flakes
Combine the oil, syrup, honey and vanilla in one bowl and all the dry ingredients, except for the dried fruit and coconut in another. Simply mix together and spread over two baking trays. Bake in a reasonably low oven, about 150C, for 15/20 mins, you want it lightly browned and a little crunchy.
Let it cool a little then mix in the cranberries and coconut. Store in a kilner jar.
Breakfast cereals are a big bug bear of mine, high in sugar with little nutritional value, how are the kids going to concentrate at school after eating that?
I make a granola for the children without the dried fruit and coconut and I add 3 tbsp raw cacoa powder to the mix before I bake it, they love it.
Healthy Breakfast Pancakes
My kids are obsessed with pancakes, so I wanted to find a way to give them a healthier pancake, not just white refined flour and milk, as I found they were hungry about an hour later after these.
1 cup of oats, finely ground
1 cup of brown spelt flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
3 tbsp cottage cheese
3 tbsp greek yoghurt
2 tbsp agave nectar
c. 300 ml of almond milk – enough to make it the consistency you like, mind like thin crepes.
Invest in a proper pancake pan, like the Le Creuset 28cm one, you won’t regret it, it makes great pancakes. Brush with a little oil or butter and swirl the mixture in, they won’t flip like normal pancakes but they are delicious.
Ok so I do let them put maple syrup or nutella on them (thin layer!) but at least the pancake will fill them up!
I eat them too, with some granola fruit and yoghurt.
These are so delicious and I always have some in the house to grab for breakfast if I am training early or to have with a coffee mid for a mid morning energy boost.
1 cup of pitted dates
½ cup of apricots
4 tbsp honey
2 cups of oats, finely ground
1 cup of dried chopped berries (cranberries, blueberries, cherries)
4 tbsp ground flax or linseed
1 cup of hazelnuts toasted and chopped
1/2 cup pistachios toasted and chopped
½ cup almonds toasted and chopped
a good pinch of coarse sea salt
Put the dates and apricots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring them to the boil and cook for 5 mins then cover and take off the heat to let them absorb the water. When they have cooled a little, puree to a pulp, you may need to add a little more water).
Put the oats, dried fruit, ground seeds, chopped nuts, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix in the date puree and honey until everything is well covered. Put the mixture into a brownie baking tray, about 10x8 inches, and bake for about 25 mins until golden brown on top. Cut up while still warm and store in a Tupperware.
Raw Brownie Bars
I made these for Kate Oakley on Lorraine’s Change One Thing as when you are trying to lose weight you don’t want to feel as though you are missing out on anything and these feel naughty, but aren’t! These are made with raw nuts rather than toasted in the granola bar recipe. Both ways of eating nuts are good, but the raw ones have a slightly higher nutritional value and have been shown to keep you fuller for longer as they are slower to digest and swell more in the stomach.
2 cups of dates
2 cups of rolled oats, finely ground
½ cup of raw almonds finely chopped
½ cup of raw hazelnuts finely chopped
1 cup of raw walnuts
½ cup raw cacao powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
Like with the granola bars, put the dates in a saucepan and cover with water, simmer for 5 mins then cover and when cool puree to a pulp. Put the oats, nuts, cacao, salt and almond butter in a bowl then add the date puree and maple syrup. Mix together, you need some strength here, you can add a bit of water if too stiff, then press into a brownies tray and refrigerate until set, then cut into squares.