Cold cereal is probably one of the worst foods you can eat. No matter what is says on the label, it is not real food; it is a food-like product. And I’m not just talking about Lucky Charms and those “sugar cereals” as my mom used to call them. Even the ones labeled “healthy,” even the organic ones, are created through the same process, called “extruding,” wherein perfectly good grains are mixed with water to create a slurry and then heated and pressurized to create cool shapes and a product that is almost completely devoid of nutrition and potentially toxic to your body! Find out more about how cereal is made, and why you shouldn’t eat it here.
I haven’t bought a box of cereal in years! Not even Lucky Charms!
So… What do we eat for breakfast?
Eggs, usually. With fried potatoes and sauerkraut. And homemade lattes.
Oatmeal, sometimes. With plenty of butter and fruit.
I really like a hot, filling breakfast. The kind of breakfast that doesn’t leave you hungry two hours later. And I like to sit down as a family and take a few moments to connect before we all go off in our own directions.
But then there are the mornings where that is just not going to happen. The kind of mornings where the idea of getting the kids to school on time seems only slightly less do-able than climbing Mt. Everest in sandals.
Which is why it is nice to have some of this kicking around.
It is also especially good at answering the question: What am I going to pack the kids for lunch? Put a serving of granola in a small container. Put a serving of yogurt in a larger container. Have the kids add the granola to the yogurt at lunchtime. Problem solved.
Fact: This is not the healthiest granola recipe out there. The oats aren’t soaked. Even the nuts aren’t soaked. But it’s quick and easy, and if you’re using it instead of boxed cereal, then you are awesome and should go for it. 🙂
Easy Homemade Granola
In a large bowl, mix:
4 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of almonds, slivered, or sliced
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use this kind.)
Melt: 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (I use this kind.)
Add to the oats mixture:
The melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
Stir well. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals.
Remove from oven and leave to cool.
When the oats mixture is completely cool, add:
3 cups of dried fruit (for this batch I used about a cup each of strawberries, blueberries, and peaches)
Store covered. I use mason jars.
And I’m not really sure how long it will keep — it tastes too good! 🙂
This recipe is completely forgiving. You don’t like almonds? Try pecans or walnuts. You’re out of pumpkin seeds? Sesame seeds are delightful in here. You don’t have any coconut on hand? Skip it and add in another half-cup of oats instead. It will still be delicious!
It’s summer, and there is fresh fruit available? Skip the dried fruit all together and toss in some fresh fruit just before serving!
A word about dried fruit.
It can be hard to find good-quality dried fruit. A lot of it has added sugar, or is coated with questionable oils. For now, do the best you can… but come summertime, I highly recommend getting a dehydrator and drying your own local fruit! All the strawberries, blueberries, and peaches used in this batch were home-dried, using my fabulous dehydrator!
This is the dehydrator that I have, and I absolutely love it!
I also recommend this book, which is where I got the directions (and the idea!) for dehydrating peaches in the first place. It turns out that dehydrated peaches are a family favorite!
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