Want a really easy resolution that will make a difference to your energy and health?
It’s simple: eat a good breakfast every day.
Want a second easy resolution? Listen to your mother. Basically, she was right when she told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s a great way to kick-start the day because it kick-starts your metabolism and in doing so paves the way to health benefits such as weight control and improved performance.
According to WebMD, studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast (i.e. not a just chowing down a doughnut or a pop tart) can help give you:
- A more nutritious diet (higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals)
- Improved concentration and performance (as important in the boardroom as in the classroom)
- Strength and endurance so you can engage in physical activity
- Lower cholesterol levels
Starting your morning with breakfast is a simple and important thing that anyone can and should do, but it is really important for kids. According to the American Dietetic Association (again quoted by WebMD) kids who eat breakfast “perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.”
Deep down, most people know this, but in the midst of the general chaos of getting the family out in the morning, feeding oneself often gets overlooked. Many people tend to exhibit an all or nothing approach: they love oatmeal but it takes too long to make and because instant oatmeal tastes like papier-mâché, they skip it altogether.
So, here’s a third easy New Year’s resolution: make your own granola. That sounds crazy, right? But doing so gives you a stock of simple and easy ways to start the day and saves you some money into the bargain.
With decent shop-bought granola costing between $5 to $7 a bag, it makes sense to make your own and have something that requires no preparation for those crazy rushed mornings.
The beauty of granola is that you can personalize it to your taste. As a nutty person (no comments, please) I prefer a really nutty version. But if you are feeling fruity then add dried raisins, apricots and cranberries to your heart’s desire.
All of the ingredients below can be picked up easily at Whole Foods, Fairways or Shop Rite and takes less than 10 minutes prep time.
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups mixed nuts – walnuts, almonds and pecans (chopped or not – your choice to chunk it up)
- ½ cup dried coconut – unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon of coconut essence / flavor
- ½ cup flax seeds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup mixture of raisins and chopped dates (optional)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or hazelnut oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- A generous pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until completely coated in the oil, syrup and essence and they are evenly distributed.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread in an even layer on the tray. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to evenly toast the granola ingredients.
Once your easy-peasy homemade breakfast has cooled to room temperature, store in an air-tight container.
Your house will smell amazing and you will feel virtuous that this is one resolution you can keep, until at least all the granola is gone.
But as long as you’re observing resolution #1 and #2, you’ll be OK. Trust me, I’m a mom.