As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jumps-starts our metabolisms and provides us with the nutrients we need to work and think. It also happens to be my least favourite meal to make, and the one I often find myself overlooking amongst the hustle and bustle of our busy weekday mornings. This isn’t to say that I don’t make my children breakfast every day, because I do’but I find it to be the meal for which I have the least amount of culinary creativity, and as I stumble down the stairs early each morning I never feel eager to fix up plates of food for my family.
Lately, that’s all changed though, thanks to a new book that crossed my desk last month. Whole-Grain Mornings, by Megan Gordon, has renewed my interest in the morning meal and inspired me to add a few new recipes to my breakfast repertoire; healthy, do-able dishes that span the seasons and are categorized into sections like busy weekdays, slow Sundays, and brunch. I so appreciate books that simplify a recipe search for me, and the three recipes that fall into the ‘busy weekdays’ sections of the winter chapter are already inspiring a slew of new meals around my table.
My favourite of the lot is the hazelnut cacao nib granola. Naturally, we’re all familiar with the too-good marriage of hazelnuts and chocolate, and pairing them in a homemade breakfast cereal is a brilliant way to mimic the flavours found in a jar of Nutella. This healthier, whole-grain take on that favourite taste from childhood is guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. You’ll probably want to double the recipe and freeze the extras so you always have some on hand.
Megan also includes tips on how to make a better granola in this chapter of the book:
- You Need Oil: While there’s a tendency to try and make granola as healthy as possible, if you don’t use oil you will be left with nothing but dried oats. Feel free to use olive or coconut oils, and don’t hesitate to experiment with other neutral-tasting options.
- Choose Oats Wisely: You want to use rolled oats, not quick-cooking or instant oats. Quick-cooking oats don’t soak up moisture in the same way as rolled oats do, producing a dry, dusty granola.
- Use a Firm Press: When pouring granola onto a baking sheet, make sure the baking sheet is full; otherwise you’ll end up with burnt oats. Also, apply pressure with a spatula to create a nice uniform layer, which ensures the granola bakes evenly.
How do you feel about breakfast? What is your favourite meal to make for busy mornings?
See the full printable recipe for Hazelnut Cacao Nib Granola.