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Quick and Easy Breakfast: One Recipe, Four Ways!

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Posted by : Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite, Thu, Jul 14 2011

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Breakfast. It's the meal that divides us. You're either a breakfast person or not. When I first met my husband, he was a coffee-only type. Gradually I have introduced him to the wonders of the morning meal - as a teacher, I know the importance of starting off the day right and I can tell who does and doesn't eat breakfast in my class.

One of the dishes I have made in my efforts to turn my husband and the students in my boys' cooking club into breakfast eaters is granola. Sound simple? Well it is!  I remember when granola used to be a "special event meal" in my house in the early '80s in Australia. It seemed so exotic and glamourous. Well slowly, granola has eked its way into the everyday and it's found everywhere in various combinations and permutations of ingredients.

Making your own granola on the weekend is one way of making sure that you start the day off right during the week, because once you have a jarful, you can make a whole lot of different dishes with it. Today, I am sharing a version of a Jamie Oliver recipe I made with my cooking club last year that got rave reviews from both parents and students.


 

Best Ever Granola, adapted from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Ingredients

2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pepitas
3/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup cacao nibs, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons olive oil

Method 

Preheat the oven to 350.?Mix the dry ingredients (including coconut but not the dried fruit) in a bowl with the olive oil and the honey.
Put the dry ingredients on a cookie tray and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture about every 5 minutes.
When the granola is golden brown, remove it from the oven and mix in the dried fruit and cacao.

Of course, once you have a jarful of granola, you don't just have to serve it plain with milk...  How about adding yogurt and fresh fruit to make a fancy granola parfait?

Or, even better, how about a banana-granola muffin, loaded with goodness?  These muffins, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe are tasty and satisfying - it's like having a bowl of oatmeal in portable form...



Banana Granola Muffins

Ingredients for 12 muffins:

3/4 cup granola
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 small ripe bananas, mashed

Method

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners. Soak the granola in the 1/2 cup milk for about 20 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, and butter. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix in flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the granola and bananas.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full - this will be a heaped 1/4 cup measure. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin. Serve warm with butter or at room temperature.

These keep well for a few days - to freshen them up, pop them in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds.



Or, for the ultimate "on the go" meal, how about filling Ziploc bags with pre-measured amounts of granola to keep in the car, the office or in your gym bag. This way you can either eat it as cereal with milk or yoghurt or as a trail mix. Of course, once you have your granola, you will want to put it in everything - cookies, home-made granola bars, the possibilities are endless.  But take that 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon to whip up a batch of granola and discover all the possibilities for yourself!

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Posted: Thu, Jul 14 2011 by Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

Get to know:Joy D'Souza

Hey there fellow foodies,

I can't wait to discuss all things food with all of you!

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