There are some things in my life that I just like to be consistent and routine – maybe comfortable is the right word. When my life feels go-go-go, it’s nice to have some constants to rely on. Breakfast is one of those for me. As creative as I get with my lunches and dinners, I pretty much eat the same thing every morning, and in the same routine. My typical breakfast consists of either oatmeal or yogurt with walnuts and fresh berries, and hot jasmine green tea. I am one of those strange people who wakes up hungry, so I either have to eat right away or right after my barre class or jog. I truly look forward to my usual little breakfast, which I eat at my desk as I read over emails or the latest health & science news in the NYtimes. It’s just so comforting.
But lately I decided that maybe it’s time to mix it up a little. I didn’t want to stray too far from my go-to breakfast, but agreed maybe I could replace my oatmeal, nut, fruit combo with something a little more exciting and hearty. So I thought of everything I’d ideally eat with breakfast, and came up with the recipe below: a blend of my favorite nuts, seeds, fruits, and spices in one simple cereal. And I can even eat it with my yogurt! It has now become my favorite breakfast, but also dessert. It’s equally delicious with ice cream, yogurt, milk, or simply by itself. If you prefer a more chunky granola, it’s easy enough to do by forming larger pieces on the baking pans, and not stirring so much. I’ve also heard adding egg whites to the mixture helps it clump together. But I prefer my granola like this, so that I can taste every flavor individually, and so that sprinkles nicely over my little bowl of yogurt.
This granola combines so many powerfoods into one: oats, pepitas, almonds, flax seeds, goji berries, coconut, and cranberries. You are welcome to substitute out different nuts/seeds/dried fruit that you have on hand, but I highly encourage you to keep a wide variety because the textures and flavors balance each other out very well. This combination also provides an excellent serving of protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s, healthy fats, amino acids, and various other vitamins and nutrients. If you haven’t tried goji berries yet, you should – they are spendy but worth it! They have more antioxidants and vitamin C than any other fruit, and they are said not only to be a superfood for your health but also your brain power and energy. Interestingly, they are in the same family as tomatoes and eggplant! But don’t worry – they taste more like a cross between a dried cranberry and strawberry – so yummy. All in all, this granola mix has a nice balance of salty and sweet, with just enough crunchiness and chewiness in every bite!
- 3 cups oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, vegetable oil, or coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine oats, almonds, pepitas, flax seeds, coconut, spices, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Heat maple syrup and butter/oil in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add in vanilla.
- Pour over oat mixture and stir well to evenly coat.
- Spread mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir each batch once halfway through baking.
- Let cool completely, combine batches in large bowl, and add cranberries and goji berries. Stir to combine. Enjoy!