I think you may see where the movie portion of this week is headed, but first let’s talk about breakfast. I LOOOOOVE breakfast!!! I like breakfast for lunch, breakfast for dinner, and -of course- breakfast for breakfast. As far as eating breakfast goes, I’m more of a continental eater. My stomach just isn’t awake that early in the morning (or the rest of me for that matter), but I know I need to eat before I do much else. Since my stomach’s not awake til 10-ish and I don’t feel like cooking either, most mornings I usually have a small bowl of cereal or some fruit. My ideal breakfast would take after the French: a pastry and some fruit. (Does anyone want to bring me a croissant from Paris every morning?) Now don’t get me wrong, I love pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, French toast, etc. I just eat them for a later meal like brunch, lunch, or dinner. Today, I’m going to give you some recipes that can be made ahead of time and eaten during the week for an easy (and delicious!) breakfast. As a bonus, these recipes can double as an afternoon snack or treat.
The first recipe I want to share is for some easy granola bars. These aren’t the solid, crunchy bars you get at the grocery store; these are moist and flavored with your favorite jam or jelly (though raspberry is what’s called for). These came together very quickly and had a really great texture. I also love how adaptable these are; not only can you switch up the jelly filling, but you can change out the type of nuts in the crust for a slightly different texture and flavor.
12 tbsp. butter
1 c. roughly chopped pecans
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. rolled, old-fashioned oats
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. raspberry preserves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment. Melt the butter in a small pan; remove it from the heat and let it cool.
2. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake til lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, salt, baking soda, and pecans. Pour in the melted butter and mix til well combined. Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the prepared pan and press firmly to create a packed layer.
4. Spread the preserves over the dough. (They spread easier if they’re room temperature.) Sprinkle the remaining dough over the preserves. Bake, rotating halfway through, til the top is golden brown and fragrant, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Now this next recipe is more like the type of granola bar you’d buy at the grocery store. In fact, they’re a homemade version of the popular Clif bars. I’d never really had the Clif bars, but my best friend’s husband liked to eat one after jogging. I showed her the homemade version that one of my favorite bloggers had made, and she decided to try it for herself. Obviously, she let me try them, and I found out just how delicious they were. (The peanut butter has a lot to do with that for me.) You can mix these up with add-ins, but they’re delicious just like they are. Another benefit to these is that they’re already gluten-free and vegan (depending on the type of chocolate you use).
Homemade Clif Bars (from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 c. pitted dates
1 1/4 c. rice krispies (You could cut down the sugar even more by using puffed brown rice.)
1 c. quick cook oats
1/4 c. coarsely chopped peanuts (I forgot about needing peanuts, so I just used almonds.)
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed (I didn’t have this, but it would add more nutritional benefits.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/3 c. brown rice syrup (You can also use honey, though it won’t be vegan then.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
1. Grease an 8 inch square pan. In the food processor, pulse the dates til they’re finely chopped. In a large bowl, combine the dates, rice cereal, oats, peanuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter and brown rice syrup over medium heat. Stir til they’re melted and completely blended. Remove the syrup mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Pour the syrup mix over the oat mix and stir til well combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the mix into the pan and press to firmly pack it. (I still need to work on that.) Let sit til cool and set, at least 1 hour. Cut into bars, wrap them in plastic, and keep them refrigerated.
Before we get to the last recipe, I have another kid’s movie to share. This time I watched Bedknobs & Broomsticks. The story follows Miss Price, a middle-aged spinster, who’s trying to become a witch to help the war effort (WWII). Because she lives in the country, she has to take in 3 orphans from London which doesn’t fit in with her plans. Still, they manage to get along and go on some adventures while she tracks down the spell for substitutiary locomotion and tries to thwart a German invasion. Overall, the movie is just fun and silly. As a big fan of Murder, She Wrote, I enjoy watching Angela Lansbury and all her excitement over things like “my first broom.” Though the big finale is my favorite part, I also really enjoy the scenes with “Portobello Road” and “Bobbing Along.” Though they discuss several types of food, I didn’t think you’d want to eat elm bark, glyssop seed, or wortle yeast. Instead, I decided to make something that could be served for afternoon tea and that had a slightly healthier aspect to it. With whole wheat flour and rolled oats, these scones contain a tender crumb that belies its heartier flavor. Don’t worry, it’s not too hearty, and it has a great sweetness from the maple syrup.
Maple Syrup and Oat Scones (from Smitten Kitchen)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 heaping tbsp. baking powder
1 heaping tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. cubed butter
1/4 c. maple syrup (I used Grade B for a more pronounced flavor.)
1/4 c. milk
1 beaten egg
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter til the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. In a small dish, combine the milk and maple syrup; add to the flour mix. Bring everything together to form a soft dough. If necessary, add a little more milk, but not enough to be sticky.
2. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough to 1 1/4 inch thick. (That’s really thick. I didn’t do mine near that thick, and they came out just fine.) Cut into rounds (I nearly always do triangles so that I don’t have to waste dough or re-roll it.) and place on the pan so they almost touch. Glaze the tops with the beaten egg and bake 20-25 minutes or til lightly golden. (I prefer my scones to have a glaze on them, so I made a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze with milk and maple syrup.)
These are definitely some of my favorite breakfast treats. What are some of your favorites?