Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fruit Sweetened Granola Recipe and Other Healthy Breakfast Ideas!

A while back I did a breakfast "recipe" round up - I've decided to do another one because I love breakfast and I really think that it is important to start the day out with a good meal. For many of us, schedules are about to get extra hectic as school starts back. Hence, we all need some quick and easy to prepare breakfast options. A bowl of prepackaged cereal is okay (well some of them are okay), but there are lots of other speedy morning meals to choose from! The ones I offer below require putting in a little work before hand to make things super speedy in the morning, but they are well worth the effort!

1) Purely Fruit Sweetened Granola: I have been making granola for a long time. I used to use honey or agave to help the oat mixture stick together and to sweeten the granola. Now I use a mixture of applesauce and mashed ripe bananas. The result is a cereal that is very crunchy, only slightly sweet, and very nutty. I serve my granola with almond milk or soy yogurt and fresh fruit - the fruit provides plenty of sweetness for me. You could also add some dried fruit to the granola after it is cooled for extra sweetness and feel free to substitute whatever nuts you like for the ones I have listed below. FYI - this makes an extra big batch!

Fruit Sweetened Granola
5 Cups of Old-Fashioned Oats
3 Cups of Puffed Millet (you could use rice or whatever other puffed grain you like)
1/2 Cup of cracked buckwheat, aka Kasha (optional - could substitute ground flax seeds)
1 Cup Finely Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
1 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1 Cup Pepitas
1 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Ground Spices (I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and coat two large baking pans with a little oil to prevent the granola from sticking to the pans. In a large bowl combine the grains and nuts. In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, banana, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the wet mixture to the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. Spread the granola evenly over the two pans. Bake the granola for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring it every half hour, until it is golden and crunchy. Let the mixture cool completely before transferring to an air tight container for storage.

2) Buckwheat Pancakes: I use this recipe for buckwheat blueberry waffles, minus the oil (they don't need it!) and blueberries. These are the easiest (fewest ingredients) and tastiest whole grain gluten free pancakes I've come across. They also happen to be vegan (and therefore, egg and dairy free). I make a full batch on the weekends, let them cool, wrap them in foil and then pop them in the toaster (just like an Eggo) on weekday mornings when I need an easy, but tasty and filling breakfast.

My favorite topping is nut or seed butter (I love tahini) and sliced bananas! It makes for a very happy plate.

Berries and pure maple syrup are also a sure crowd pleaser.

I'm picking up a waffle maker this weekend (I love Craig's list!), so I'll be making these as waffles very soon!

3) Stuffed Sweet Potato with Sauteed Greens: This one is probably the weirdest, because it's not something you would traditionally think of as "breakfast," but it is so very satisfying. The creamy sweet potato, crunchy toasted pecans and savory greens are the perfect combination.

This is another recipe a partially prepare ahead of time. Whenever the hubby grills (we use a charcoal grill) I wrap a few sweet potatoes in foil, and when we're done with grilling for that night I stick the potatoes on the grill, close the lid and let the residual heat bake them (a usually leave them in for at least a hour - it will depend on how hot your coals are). Of course, you could also bake or steam the potatoes inside. In the morning I spend about five minutes chopping and sauteing some greens (spinach, turnip, chard) and reheating my potato. I then split open the potato, toss in some pecans and stuff my face!

4) Fruit or Veggie Oatmeal: I love oatmeal - especially in the cooler parts of the year. While cooked oats are great on their own, they are also the perfect medium for sneaking some extra fruit or vegetables into your morning. One of my favorites options is this Zucchini Bread Oatmeal.

I also like to add mashed bananas or finely chopped apples and dates to my oats. Then no sweetener is needed! In my book, toasted nuts are a must for sprinkling on top - they add some much needed and much loved protein!

Happy back to school everyone and I hope these breakfast ideas help you start each day off with a happy belly!

As usual, I've also included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free and Healthy, Friday Foodie, and Friday Favorites. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. Oh my goodness, that is just so yummy. Fantastic foods, I like to try them all.

  2. YUMMMM!!! How delish are these!!?! I'm happy to be your newest follower of your delightful blog! Be sure to come by FrouFrouDecor..I love having new friends! I also have a link party every Friday and would love to have you link up!
    ~Terrell @ FrouFrouDecor~

  3. Thanks Self Sagacity!

    Terrell - I love having new friends too :), I'll definetly be stopping by your blog soon!

  4. Wow!! 3 recipes today? Aren't you the overachiever!! :-) Love the new blog layout! Looks great Ashlie! These recipes look wonderful! I keep meaning to try my own granola!

  5. Yummy ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

  6. Thanks Carrie - I wish I was an overachiever, but I think I'm more of a girl who is putting off real work in favor of blogging :)

    Thanks Olivia, I'm glad you liked them!

  7. Great ideas! It's always good when you can find new and different things for breakfast!

    Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites!

  8. These recipes all look SO wonderful. the granola especially is speaking to me! I have never made it before! Must try soon.
    ALSO wanted to invite you to participate in a weekly event I host titled Seasonal SUndays. Several of these recipes fit the theme! :)
    xo, Brittany

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