Are you one of those people who think about the breakfast they’ll have the next day at night when they go to bed? I am. That’s how much I love them. I could probably eat breakfast for lunch and dinner too.
Breakfast is about celebrating the start of a new day, and that’s why they’re so special. I’ve found that taking the time to enjoy a delicious breakfast in the morning really sets the tone for the rest of my day. I’m more likely to have an awesome day if it starts on a high note, with something tasty and healthy.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I love starting my day with smoothies. This smoothie parfait is a fancier take on my traditional smoothies. It uses the wonderful flavours and colours of summer berries. There is an abundance of gorgeous, colourful, bright fruits at the market these days. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries. They’re everywhere and they make me happy.
Berries are by far my favorite fruits. They are lower in sugar than most fruits and have a low glycemic index, which makes them very interesting for people with diabetes, blood sugar issues or people who want to control their weight. Berries are also packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients. These special compounds reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Blueberries are the real superstar of the berries, having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings! The antioxidants in blueberries are beneficial for our brain and nervous system, and have been shown to improve memory.
Studies also show that organically-grown berries have a higher nutritional and antioxidant content than their non-organically grown counterparts, so I’d encourage you to buy from certified organic farms. Strawberries are also on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list for 2015, which singles out produce with the highest concentrations of pesticides. Their analysis found that single samples of strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece (eew!). If you want to avoid ingesting those pesticides, make sure to buy organic.
Homemade granola is a staple at home. We eat it on smoothies, cereals, yogurt, with fruits, or even as a quick snack on the go. But some days I’m feeling lazy, or I just want something quick and easy. And this is when this wonderful life-saving stovetop granola recipe comes in. Yes, you can make an amazing granola in a few minutes, right from a pan.
No need to turn on the oven.
Try to stay away from the granolas sold in grocery stores and make sure to read the labels. Most of them are packed with sugar, although they might be advertised as “healthy” options. Homemade granola is much healthier and tastes so much better. If you’ve never made your own granola before, this is a great recipe to start. It’s quick, easy, and it’s totally foolproof.
Notes: I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries here, but you can go with whatever berry you have on hand for this recipe. As for the granola, feel free to replace the pecans with other nuts of your choice. Almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts would be wonderful too. I used organic sheep yogurt but you can use your favorite sugar-free yogurt. For a vegan alternative, use coconut yogurt or any other plant-based yogurt.
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- + more berries to garnish
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 2 dates, pitted
- ½ cup almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
- A few spoonfuls unsweetened yogurt
- 1½ cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup shredded coconut (or coconut flakes)
- Make the granola: In a bowl, mix the oats, cinnamon and sea salt. Place the oat mixture in a large skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pecans and coconut shreds to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until slightly golden.
- In the meantime, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the granola and combine until well coated. Cook for one or two more minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Make the smoothie: Place the berries, flax seeds, dates and milk in your blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk or berries if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- To assemble, pour the smoothie into two jars. Add a few spoonfuls of yogurt. Add a layer of fresh berries, and top with granola.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
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