I've often said that I could eat breakfast food three meals a day. As much as I love eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, scones, quiche, cereal, fresh fruit and coffee, god, don't get me started on my addiction to coffee, the truth is that even I would grow tired of the carb-heavy menu after some time.
In the winter, I start most weekdays with oatmeal. I often buy an economy size container of oats to leave at my desk. Two minutes in the microwave and a pinch of brown sugar and I have a filling breakfast that I can eat while I type.
But in the spring and summer - and I know it's only March but I'm already experiencing a little cabin fever - I like to change things up without sacrificing the serving of fiber and whole grains that I get during winter months. Yogurt alone leaves me famished before lunch so I try to take most nutritionists' advice and eat a blend of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Enter, granola. A pleasant mix of rolled oats, nuts and raisins (though any dried fruit is acceptable) and sweetened with honey, this is not only satiating but offers nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium, as well as fiber and protein.
There are lots of good brands on the shelves, but making your own really couldn't be easier if you have a baking sheet and about fifteen minutes for prep time. It's also economical to make your own - store bought granola tends to be pricey. Since I typically eat it with yogurt a little goes along way - although this is so good, I wouldn't even discourage you from eating it by the handful.
Honey Nut Granola
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup almonds
½ cup raisins (or the dried fruit of your choice)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour oatmeal into large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 cup honey, then toss with cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
2. Bake for a few minutes (not even five, just until the honey starts to loosen) then stir until the oatmeal is evenly coated. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so to prevent clumping.
3. Remove from oven, stir in syrup, almonds and raisins. Stirring every few minutes will prevent pieces from forming clusters - to an extent, I like these in my granola but if you prefer fewer clusters, stir more often.
What's your favorite breakfast? Does it change with the season like mine do?
If you're skipping breakfast today, come and see me over at Mad About Martha, where I'm making Southern Mac & Cheese.