Growing up breakfast usually consisted of Cheerios covered in sugar. Sure on the weekends we might have something a little more labor intensive like pancakes and bacon, or eggs, but that might have been when we had breakfast for dinner.
You see, I have no clear vision of breakfast other then the cheerios, fast, poured in a bowl, covered with milk, sugar and eaten in a sleep stupor I am sure. That was my fuel to walk to school a mile away, yes it really was a mile away AND no side walks!
Breakfast in college didn’t improve, as I am sure I ate whatever was available and if I had bought granola bars I considered those a healthy breakfast on the run instead of the leftover cold pizza sitting in the box from the night before. Hey I was in nursing school, I took a nutrition class, I knew pizza came from all 4 food groups!
Move on, and I am a responsible adult. I have a real job… nursing, which means shift work, which means eating is a whole different beast! As I ventured through the early years I found that I ate what I was hungry for, when I was hungry for it and no food was relegated to “just” a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal… really!
I would like to say as I have “matured” that something had changed, but as far as foods only being for certain times of day, that would be a big NO! I eat spinach for breakfast, well at least I do in my smoothies!
What has changed is my choices of foods for anytime of the day! I really do try on my days off to sit down and eat a meal at a certain time but other then that I am a grazer of all things good, green, grainy and healthy.
Which leads me to the ultimate destination of this post. I stumbled upon this recipe in I believe the Yoga Journal for muesli breakfast bars and I was intrigued. They looked yummy in the picture and as I looked at the list of ingredients I thought they would be something worth munching on. According to the print at the end of the recipe I suppose a thank you goes out to the Mayo Foundation where the recipe first appeared.
Most of you know I can’t leave a recipe alone. This one is no different. What can I say. I didn’t have everything in the ingredient list and I wasn’t about to rush out to the store. So I made my usual tweeks. I think I have mentioned that I am cutting back on oil, so for me I didn’t use it, which might be why this were a little more crumbly for me, hey I figured I could use the crumbs as cereal with some almond milk! 🙂 Anyway, the recipe follows, it really is quite yummy! While they are called breakfast bars, these little gems can double as a snack, dessert or yea breakfast!!
I hope you will give them a try, and don’t be afraid to add your own touches. Happy Eating!
Meusli breakfast bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
¼ Cup whole-wheat flour (I used spelt flour)
¼ Cup ground flax seed
½ Cup dry milk or soy protein powder (optional, I didn’t use)
½ Cup toasted wheat germ
½ Cup chopped, toasted walnuts (I used almonds, because that is what I had)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or a combination
(I used raisins, and dried apricots)
1 cup honey
½ Cup natural salted peanut butter (I used almond butter)
1 Tbs. olive oil (I omitted the oil, or use coconut oil)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil, or lightly oil it with olive oil (or coconut).
2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, flaxseed, dry milk (if using), wheat germ, walnuts, and cranberries.
3. In a small saucepan, stir together the honey, peanut butter, and olive oil over medium-low heat until warm and well blended. Add to the dry ingredients and mix quickly until well combined. (The mixture will be sticky and hard to stir.)
4. With lightly oiled hands (I used coconut oil), pat the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then cut into 24 bars. When cool, remove the bars from the pan and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I noted above the changes I made to this recipe in parenthesis, but left the original in case that was your thing. I wanted to share with you that it is okay to make the recipe your own. Quite tasty I couldn’t stop eating! Such a good breakfast “meal” on the go!
FYI: To toast the wheat germ and nuts use a large skillet, get it hot, put the wheat germ/ nuts in skillet and stir around till slightly browned. Or you can do this on a cookie sheet in the oven.