Breakfast “Crunch”? – How to Ace the Morning Madness

granola

Apparently I missed the fact that the new school year starts in about three minutes. I am already feeling behind! What happened to summer? The pool is still OPEN for Pete’s sake; and I just bought fresh bottles of sunscreen! Remember when school started after Labor Day, when it wasn’t sweltering outside and you could sort of get your head around wearing something besides flip-flops and zinc oxide?

Well, friends, time marches on and I spend my insomnia-filled middle-of-the-night anxiety sessions trying to simplify, um, everything.  I am constantly on a quest to find the easiest, quickest, healthiest ways to feed my crew of four, myself, my husband, and the gaggle of neighborhood friends that pop in and out of our door. Planning ahead seems to be the best way to accomplish this goal and still stay sane. It also helps avoid a morning filled with heavy sighing and lots of eye-rolling (from me), and the mad dash to the bus sans tied shoes and brushed teeth (also from me).

This Coconut Macaroon Granola, recently highlighted by health guru and all-around smarty pants Kris Carr, is an ideal make-ahead dish. Double this recipe and keep the goods sealed in an airtight container; it makes a great on-the-go snack that you can eat with one hand while trying to answer an email or unload a dishwasher or dress a Barbie doll.

I use this granola as part of a mini breakfast buffet. I place all non-perishable items out on the table the night before school (granola, bowls, spoons, napkins, cups, the overdue library books, an unmatched sock, etc.) and then add milk, yogurt, cinnamon, whole fruit, and berries in the morning. Kids and adults can choose from an array of mixtures and toppings, but there is nothing on the table that isn’t full of good stuff to keep the body and mind (no matter what the age) going. Plus, I’ve seen my children empty an entire box of $4 cereal which makes me want to cry almost as much as a teacher in-service day.

Coconut Macaroon Granola (thank you Abra Pappa and Kris Carr!)

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Serves: 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of organic oats
  • 1/4 cup of almond butter
  • 1/3 cup of agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup of organic slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300° F
  • Combine almond butter and organic oats in large mixing bowl. Mix until even.
  • Add organic agave nectar, almonds, coconut flakes and chia seeds. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
  • Evenly spread mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 15.
  • Remove from oven, toss with spatula and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
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