The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

We all know that breakfast is probably the most vital meal of the day. In fact, studies show that eating breakfast is essential for a healthy diet as it prepares you for the day ahead, both mentally and physically. This is due to the fact that eating a nutritious meal first thing in the morning can stabilize blood sugar levels, which control appetite and energy and increase your metabolism for the day. On the flip side, skipping breakfast can lead to increased tiredness, lack of concentration and poor performance at work or school (so it is essential that your kids have a healthy breakfast!).  And, if you think skipping breakfast will help you loose that extra weight, think again. Skipping breakfast actually reduces your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body uses calories) which will cause your metabolism to be sluggish. Therefore you will store more, not less, fat. Eating a nutritious and flavor-packed breakfast on the other hand gives your metabolism a kick-start, so you will not only feel more energized but your body will burn more calories throughout the day too! Eating breakfast also has other long-term health benefits as well; It can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. One of my all time favorite breakfasts is Granola. It is not only packed with healthy and antioxidant rich foods but it is absolutely delish-ous paired with some fresh vanilla yogurt and fresh mixed berries! Ingredients ½ cup (125 mL) shredded coconut 4 cups (1 L) organic old-fashioned rolled oats ½ cup (125 mL) toasted wheat germ ¼ cup (50 mL) flaxseeds ¼ cup (50 mL) sunflower seeds 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts 3 tablespoons (45 mL) sesame seeds 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon Large pinch of sea salt ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground nutmeg 1/4 cup (50 mL) organic clover honey ¼ cup (50 mL) organic maple syrup 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 2 cups (500 mL) dried fruit including cranberries, blueberries, raisins, dried apricots Directions Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread shredded coconut over entire surface in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss together oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together honey, maple syrup and melted butter. Pour over oat mixture and using a large wooden spoon, stir well. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheets, in an even layer. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Break up granola; sprinkle with dried fruit and toasted coconut. Store in airtight container.