I was talking with girlfriend (I’ll just call her “girlfriend” for the sake of anonymity) at school the other day, and she said, “No, I don’t really like breakfast. Well, maybe I would like it, but I don’t ever have enough time to eat it.”
W-w-wait…did I just hear that correctly?
Just to put my reaction into perspective, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Who wouldn’t want to start their day off with a stomach full of sweet fruit, piping hot eggs, or creamy oatmeal? Heck, why not all three? I understand that it’s hard for my girlfriend–along with, unfortunately, many of my peers–and I to find a time to eat somewhere during our zombiesque prowl around the house between waking up and dashing off to school in the morning, but how couldn’t one make time for it? Thankfully, I have a morning routine that leaves me exactly 5 minutes for breakfast. When I’m running on schedule, I mean. Which is hardly ever. By which I mean never.
Now, you may wondering, “How the heck do I make and eat breakfast in 5 minutes?” Technically I eat on my way to school in a Tupperware bowl (hey, I never said I was classy), so I guess I do cheat the time a little bit. However, it’s easy! My official 5-step plan for my friends’ and girlfriend’s breakfast woes that I follow every weekday breakfast is:
See? It’s that simple! Full of fiber, protein, vitamins (depending on the fruit), and amazing flavor to keep you going for the next few hours.
This weekend, I actually had some extra time on my hands, so I decided to make something that would benefit me in the long-term. I made a jar full of homemade granola for the week!
Based on a Jamie Oliver recipe found on Eat. Live. Travel. Write.
Ingredients (makes enough to fill a large jar)
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant; I used McCann’s Irish Oatmeal for an extra crunch)
1 heaped cup mixed nuts (I used sliced almonds and pecans)
1/3 cup mixed seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower)
3/4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used 1 cup cranberries & ½ cup banana)
5 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
5 tablespoons olive oil
To prepare your granola:
Preheat the oven to 350. Put your dry granola ingredients including coconut and cinnamon, but not the dried fruit on a sheet pan. Stir well and smooth out. Drizzle with the maple syrup and a little olive oil and stir again. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so, take the granola out and stir it, then smooth it down with a wooden spoon and put it back in the oven. While it’s toasting, chop up any large dried fruit. When the granola is nice and golden, remove it from the oven, mix in the dried fruit and let it cool down. Store in fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
If you’ll notice in the pictures, I made one mistake: I put the cranberries in before I baked my granola. This wasn’t terrible, but as the cranberries were now very oddly textured, they didn’t go very well with the granola.
So I took them out. Yes, all of them. Well, at least 95% of them. I’m glad I had some leftover dried cranberries, so I just replaced what I took out!
The perfect way to enjoy this meal? Just follow my 5-step plan above, as pictured here:
P.S.: As you may have noticed, there is a calculator in the second picture of this post. Yes, I was doing AP Calculus homework while baking this granola; I’m a nerd, I know.