Archives for category: breakfast

Healthy Maple Granola

Written by Dr. Scarlett Cooper, ND (www.drscarlettcooper.com)

As a guest writer on the blog of Dinutrition, I’m happy to share with you today my favourite homemade granola recipe. There are two parts to the reason I love this particular granola and what makes it so unique.  While I was a student at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, my roommate and I created this recipe, and it made for a memorable study break.  We were inspired by the Paleo diet, as we found ‘Paleo-nola’ recipes to be a little too rich for our tastebuds and yet we wanted to create a recipe that was lighter in grains, sugar, and oil than most store-bought granolas.

Staying true to the philosophy of naturopathic medicine, we aimed for balance in our recipe.  Rather than using rolled oats as the primary ingredient, or eliminating grains completely, we complemented them with a wide variety of nuts, seeds, spices, and the natural sweetness of real maple syrup (honey is a great alternative!).

We also used almond cashew butter along with coconut oil and a generous amount of pure vanilla extract to mix with the dry ingredients.  Cashews have a buttery, somewhat sweet flavour, and while using plain almond butter is a fine substitute, the flavour won’t be quite the same.  I recommend trying ‘Nuts to You’ almond cashew butter!

Since this recipe uses a higher proportion of nuts & seeds to grains, it is richer in fat than most granolas, making it more filling and satisfying.  Nuts especially are known for their heart-healthy fats and protective effects against cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering the risk of weight gain and development of gallstones.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  To good health and good eats!

Healthy Maple Granola

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 3/8 cup almond cashew butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients except cranberries in a large mixing bowl.  Melt coconut oil over low heat in a small pot and mix in rest of wet ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Spread on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven at 300-325 F (depending how hot your oven is) for 15 minutes; remove and stir, then bake at 250 F another 10-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  If adding cranberries, add them in toward the end and allow to bake for only 5 minutes.

Sprinkle generously on a bowl of fresh fruit and serve with almond milk or yogurt.  Store leftovers in an airtight glass jar and enjoy as a snack anytime!

Dr. Scarlett Cooper is a licensed naturopathic doctor and trained nutritionist in the province of British Columbia.  She works with patients to build a foundation for health, complementing dietary and lifestyle approaches with additional naturopathic treatments, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and supplements. Dr. Scarlett enjoys working with all patients interested in improving their health; she has a general family practice with particular interest in pediatrics, digestive and skin conditions, stress management, and mood disorders. Dr. Scarlett sees patients at Fourth & Alma Naturopathic Medical Centre in Vancouver, BC.  Please call 604.222.2433 or email info@naturopathicdocs.com to make an appointment today!  For more information, visit www.drscarlettcooper.com.

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I tried adding avocado to a smoothie for the fist time today. It was amazing. The avocado adds a smooth, creamy texture, while the strawberries and vanilla yogurt provide just the right amount of sweetness to this nutrient-rich smoothie.

Ingredients:

flesh of 1/2 medium-sized ripe avocado

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (soy, alomond, or coconut yogurt works as well)

3/4 cup milk (or milk alternative)

4 fresh ripe strawberries, stems removed

1/2 cup ice cubes

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!

Nutrition (made with 1% milk and low-fat vanilla yogurt):

  • Calories: 340
  • Carbs: 38 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Fibre: 7.7 g
  • Calcium: 350 mg (35% DV)
  • Magnesium: 55 mg (18% DV)
  • Phosphorus: 312 mg (45% DV)
  • Potassium: 965 mg (28% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 38 mg (51% DV)
  • Folate: 102 mg (26% DV)

I discovered this recipe years ago and it is unlike any granola I have tasted. It has a mild sweetness and the citrus flavour pairs nicely with yogurt. Make the recipe your own by adding your favourite seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

juice and rind of one orange

juice and rind of one lemon

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). In a large bowl mix the oats, nuts, seeds and cinnamon. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the honey with the brown sugar. When melted, stir in the juice and rind. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased large roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container. Makes 6 cups.

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup serving):

  • Calories: 136
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Fat: 5.4 g
  • Fibre: 2.6 g

This might be my favourite cereal. It is high in fibre, calcium and omega-3s, and is a source of iron. As well, it is very low in sodium, which is something that can’t be said for most breakfast cereals.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup roasted buckwheat groats

6 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp hemp seed hearts

1/4 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, chopped dates or apricots)

2 tbsp coconut flakes

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 1 1/3 cups dry mix.

To prepare the cereal: add 2/3 cup milk (any type) to 1/3 cup cereal mix. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (the chia seeds will create a gel-like consistency). Sweeten to taste. Serve with fresh fruit such as berries or sliced banana if desired. You can also prepare it the night before (keep covered in the fridge).

Nutrition: one serving (1/3 cup cereal mixture, made with raisins, without milk)

  • Calories: 250
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Fibre: 9 g
  • Iron: 1.25 mg (9% DV*)
  • Calcium: 115 mg (12% DV)
  • Sodium: 8 mg

*DV= Daily Value

This spin on rice pudding makes a healthy dessert or breakfast. It is high in fibre, low in fat and is gluten, egg, and dairy-free (if a dairy substitute, such as soy milk is used).

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups milk (dairy, almond, soy etc.)

1 cup apple juice

1 apple, cored and diced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp brown sugar or honey (or to taste)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The quinoa will be translucent when fully cooked. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving, made with 2% milk):

  • Calories: 195
  • Carbs: 35 g
  • Protein: 6.8 g
  • Fat: 3.4 g
  • Fibre: 2.9 g
  • Calcium: 112 mg (11% DV)
  • Iron: 1.4 mg (10% DV)
  • Zinc: 1.3 mg (9% DV)

I made this recipe for the first time this morning on a suggestion from my friend, Amie. Chia seeds are high in calcium, fibre, and omega-3’s. This pudding is gluten-free, dairy-free (if made with a milk alternative), and egg-free. Prepare it within minutes for a quick, healthy breakfast or dessert, or make it the day before (keep covered in the fridge). Serve it alone, or with fresh fruit such as blueberries.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk (almond, soy, rice, dairy etc.)

2 tbsp dried chia seeds

1/2 banana

1/8 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

optional: 1-2 tbsp almond or peanut butter (this will add 100-200 extra calories). 1 tsp sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Let stand a few minutes (to thicken). Enjoy! Makes 1 serving (about 1 cup)

Nutrition info (one recipe, made with almond milk and without nut butter): 

  • Calories: 200
  • Carbs: 29 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Fat: 8.5 g
  • Fibre: 10 g
  • Calcium: 285 mg (30% DV)
  • Zinc: 1 mg (about 10% DV)
DV= Daily Value (amount required per day)

This is a breakfast staple at my parents’ house, served with fresh fruit and maple syrup. This simple recipe is delicious, low in fat, high in fibre, and can be gluten and dairy-free (if made with gluten-free oats and a dairy alternative such as soy milk). They can last up to 4 days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer — simply reheat them in the toaster. 

Ingredients:

2 cups oats (quick or rolled)

2 cups milk (any type)

1 small banana

dash of salt

optional: 2 tbsp flax seeds or ground nuts

Directions:

Preheat a waffle iron. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Let stand 3 minutes to thicken. Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your waffle iron. (note: you will need to spray or brush the iron with oil, if it is not non-stick). The waffles will be done when they stop steaming. Serves 4 (about 8 square-shaped waffles).

Nutrition info (per serving–2 waffles, made with skim milk and without flax or nuts): 

  • Calories: 307
  • Carbs: 50.7 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Fibre: 5.7 g

Smoothies are an easy way to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet. This smoothie is high in fibre (10g) and contains many other essential nutrients including omega-3 fats, calcium, iron, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium.

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana

½ cup fresh or frozen mixed fruit

1/4 cup carrot juice

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 pitted date

1/2 cup fresh spinach (washed)

1 cup almond milk (regular, soy, or rice milk can be substituted)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Enjoy! Makes one smoothie.

Hemp and Flax seeds:

Nutrition info (made with almond milk): Calories: 330, protein: 8 g, carbs: 60 g, fat: 10 g (1/2 from omega-3 and 6), fibre: 10g, calcium: 27% DV, vitamin C: 38% DV, iron: 13% DV, vitamin E: 80% DV. DV= daily value.