So many store bought granola out there are super loaded with added sugars, even the ‘healthy’ ones and can often be pretty pricey too! Well, I say no more to pricey sugar cereal! Here is a recipe of mine that is tried and tested a million times, loaded with tonnes of nutritious ingredients like chia seeds, pistachios and almonds and is naturally sweetened with honey. This sugar free healthy nutty granola recipe yields 6 servings so you can make a batch, keep it in an air tight container and enjoy with Greek yogurt all week!
Did you know that many store bought breakfast foods like blueberry muffins, pancake mix and granola actually don’t contain real blueberries?! They are sometimes totally fake ‘blueberries’ or ‘blueberry pieces’ which are made up of sugars, corn syrup and food colouring, some of the brands that do this may shock you – I know it shocked me! It can be disheartening when you are trying hard to eat clean and you find out that the ‘healthy’ breakfast you were eating and instagraming actually isn’t as nutritious as you thought. The appeal of store bought breakfast foods is that they appear healthy and convenient and although some of it totally is, that’s not always the case. Wherever possible, I try to make my own breakfasts for the week in batches so that I know 100% all the ingredients and I can just grab it before work and go.
Something about the combination of nutmeg and apple I find so comforting, it reminds me of fall and as an anti-summer person – it’s just so hot, right?! – these apple and nutmeg muffins always take me back to comforting memories of light layers, crisp days and the fact that fall means winter is coming soon and winter means mulled wine.
Man oh man do I love me a muffin in the AM. These are great to make over the weekend since they will keep for 4 or 5 days in an airtight container, weirdly they actually taste fresher as the days go by…sort of like a Benjamin Button of the muffin world, if you will. Totally refined sugar and gluten free, these muffins are substantial but light, making them a perfect for a breakfast addition or a mid morning snack.
I SERIOUSLY, big time, could eat them all day, every damn day, love pancakes. I love them so much that sometimes when I am really craving pancakes, they are all I see, including people, who take a sort of snowman formation in my mind, only instead of snow balls they are made of pancakes and instead of coal and carrots for a face, it’s a fruit face – blueberries for eyes and strawberry mouth, obviously. These are gluten and refined sugar free, super tasty and miniature in size…cute, right?!
When I first gave this smoothie to James and asked him how tasted he said it was good and then immediately looked very suspicious and demanded to know why it was so dark green but tasted sweet. I replied by telling him ‘oh you know, just fruit and stuff…certainly not a high protein bacteria extract from the bottom of a lake somewhere…’ Little did he know that in that there 100% was a bacteria extract, otherwise known as spirulina in this little smoothie which is also bursting full of vitamins B, C, D, A, E, antioxidants and iron as well as natural sugars to give a nice energy kick – fool! Well, at least he’s a healthy fool, and you can be too.
One thing I really loved before I gave up refined sugar was cinnamon oatmeal cookies, well now that they are a thing of the past and as heart-breaking as that is, in the wise words of Celine Dione, my heart must go on. Where it lacks in being-a-cookie-ness, this porridge makes up for in taste. This warm, comforting porridge is sweetened with maple syrup and cinnamon and has crunchy toasted flaked almond for texture. It may just be a rebound porridge, but it’s really helping me move on from my first love, sugar.
Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t really find the idea of eating raw kale and spinach particularly appetizing at 6:30am but I do find the nutritional benefits appealing. The best way to get around this is to trick your taste buds – fools! – into thinking they are having a sugary treat which is actually super nutritious and the only thing making it sweet is natural sugar, yay!
Due to some ongoing health issues I have been having of late – I will bore you with the details at a later date, I have decided to completely rule out refined sugar. The first 24 hours of it was fabulous, I had more energy, felt an immediate relief from my health issues, was 60% more smug – you name it, I was it. Until the junk food cravings kicked in around about 36 hours into my ‘new lifestyle.’ Knowing that Snickers and KitKats weren’t an option, I turned to the old faithful crisp. Ah the crisp, made from my favourite food group, potatoes, so salty, so vinegary and refined sugar free, right…?! Wrong! I felt devastated, betrayed even that the food I thought I could turn to in my time of need let me down. ‘Does everything have refined sugar?!’ I asked James frantically, who simply replied with the crunching of a beautiful, perfect salt and vinegar crisp and a nod.