BASICS, BREAKFASTS, TRENDING

BREAKFAST: Granola and Muesli

Stove Top Granola

THIS EASY GRANOLA comes together quickly and is a perfect breakfast food when you don’t want to heat up the oven. Be careful toasting the oats on the stove top—they go from toasted to burnt in a flash.

MAKES TWELVE ½-CUP SERVINGS

5 cups rolled oats

¾ cup date molasses or brown rice syrup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 cup chopped dried fruit (such as apples, apricots, dates, raisins, cranberries, or blueberries)

1. Toast the oats in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer them to a large bowl.

2. In the same saucepan, add the molasses and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 1 minute. Add the toasted oats, cinnamon, and salt to the molasses and mix well. Pour the cereal onto a nonstick baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature.

3. When the cereal is cool, transfer it to a large bowl and stir in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Basic Baked Granola

LEAVE OUT THE sugar and the oil found in most commercial granolas, and what do you have? A great-tasting granola that’s really healthy.

MAKES SIXTEEN ½-CUP SERVINGS

8 cups rolled oats

1½ cups pitted and chopped dates

Zest of 2 oranges

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.

2. Add the oats to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Line two 13 × 18-inch baking pans with parchment paper.

3. Place the dates in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep the dates from sticking to the pan. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to a blender with the orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and process until smooth and creamy.

4. Add the date mixture to the oats and mix well. Divide the granola between the two prepared pans and spread it evenly in the pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool before storing in airtight containers (the cereal will get even crispier as it cools).

Banana Almond Granola

THIS RECIPE WAS inspired by my favorite banana almond muffins. Whether in muffins or in cereal, bananas and almonds pair perfectly.

MAKES SIXTEEN ½-CUP SERVINGS

8 cups rolled oats

2 cups pitted and chopped dates

2 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.

2. Add the oats to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Line two 13 × 18-inch inch baking pans with parchment paper.

3. Place the dates in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep the dates from sticking to the pan. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to a blender with the banana, almond extract, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

4. Add the date mixture to the oats and mix well. Divide the granola between the two prepared pans and spread evenly in the pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool before adding the slivered almonds, if desired (the cereal will get even crispier as it cools). Store the granola in an airtight container.

Banana, Date and Coconut Muesli

THIS IS MY favorite way to eat muesli. It’s sweet without added sugar, and I love the flavor of the toasted coconut.

SERVES 2

1 cup rolled oats

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ cup pitted and chopped dates

¼ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

1 banana, peeled and sliced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let soak 15 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Muesli

GRANNY SMITH APPLES give this cereal a mild tartness, but feel free to use your favorite apples, or even pears.

SERVES 2

1 cup rolled oats

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ cup raisins

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons date molasses or brown rice syrup, optional

1 Granny Smith apple

1. Combine the oats, almond milk, raisins, cinnamon, and date molasses (if using) in a bowl and let soak 15 minutes. When you are ready to serve the cereal, grate the apple into the cereal (or core and chop the apple separately before adding it to the cereal) and combine well.

BREAKFAST: Granola and Muesli

Banana Granola Parfait

PARFAITS—LAYERED DISHES OFTEN served in glasses, and often for dessert—can also be served for breakfast. This elaborate presentation is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends or family, or for other occasions when you’re entertaining guests. If you don’t have fancy parfait glasses, you can use wine glasses, or just serve it family-style in a large bowl (preferably glass, so that the attractive layers of the dish are visible).

SERVES 4

FOR THE BANANA CREAM:

One 12-ounce package extra firm silken tofu, drained

2 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup date molasses or brown rice syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch salt, or to taste

2 cups Banana Almond Granola or Banana, Date and Coconut Muesli

½ batch Fruit Salad, or about 4 cups

TO MAKE THE BANANA CREAM:

1. Combine the tofu, bananas, lemon juice, date molasses, vanilla, and salt in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

TO ASSEMBLE THE PARFAIT:

2. Have ready four individual 6-ounce parfait glasses.

3. Spoon ¼ cup of the Banana Cream in the bottom of a parfait glass. Top with ¼ cup of the granola, followed by ¼ cup of the fruit salad. Repeat until you have filled the glass, then do the same with the remaining parfait glasses.

Cherry Pecan Granola Bars

THIS IS A perfect bar for breakfast on the go. Store these bars in an airtight container and they will keep for 3 or 4 days.

MAKES 12 BARS

2 cups rolled oats

½ cup dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup chopped pecans

1 cup fruit-sweetened dried cherries

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch salt, or to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Spread the oats on a 13 × 18-inch baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until they start to brown. Remove from the oven and place the oats in a large mixing bowl.

3. Combine the dates and orange juice in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

4. Add the date mixture to the bowl with the oats and add the pecans, dried cherries, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Mix well.

5. Press the mixture into a nonstick 8 × 8-inch baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. Let cool before slicing into bars.

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