Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is It That Time Already?

It hardly seems possible, but here we are just weeks before some children will be venturing back to the classroom. While some parents may be grateful for the break and glad to hear those school bells ring, others know the casual schedule that means summertime is winding down. Let's face it, mornings before school can be hair raising. We worry about being late, having all the children's things in order, and breakfast on the table- or at least in their hands as they run out the door. Breakfast is so important to young minds, all minds as a matter of fact, but for school children who must maintain concentration until lunchtime it is imperative that good nutrition start first thing in the morning. With this in mind, we want to share with you one of our favorite breakfast treats. This recipe packs a whopping 470 calories per serving with only 2.5 grams of saturated fat out 22 grams total fat. This means your young ones will have energy to burn during the class sessions which helps kids concentrate better. Ten grams of protein and 57 grams of carbohydrates (7 grams dietary fiber and 16 grams sugar) further fuel the brain with no cholesterol. There's 200 milligrams of salt which is on par with a regular bowl of cereal.
Almond Nutmeg Granola
Six Servings

Any dried fruit can be used in this delicious recipe. Dried apricots, cranberries, or raisins are especially good choices as are blueberries and apples. It is equally good eaten out of hand as a snack as it is covered in cold milk in a bowl.
Here's what you'll need:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup high oleic sunflower oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the oats, flour, and almonds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup or honey, oil, almond extract, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the oat mixture stirring well to coat.
Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for one hour, stirring occasionally to break up clumps. Allow granola to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Everyone in your house will love this morning treat and you can feel great knowing they won't feel hungry before lunchtime.

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