For years, I've been promising to make my own granola--mainly because I prefer not to buy packaged foods but also because I couldn't find a ready-made one that I loved. While visiting my brother and sister-in-law in California last year, I became even more determined to do it myself. As we were about to sit down to dinner at Marci and Michael's, Marci realized she hadn't planned dessert. With that, she rose from the table, grabbed some oats, nuts and dried fruit, mixed them up with honey and effortlessly threw a beautiful batch of granola into the oven in 5 minutes flat. After consuming her delectable, crunchy creation, I vowed to finally make it once I returned home. So back in New York, ready to rock some granola at Kitchen 511, I headed to Old World to gather the necessary ingredients. And that's when a brown bag of Hungry Unbound Granola caught my eye. Placed at the end of the cereal aisle (prime grocery-store real estate, I presume), the simply packaged granola with the clever see-through window in the lower section of the parchment-paper bag allowing figs, dates, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds to peek through, stopped me in my tracks. I couldn't resist. The homemade stuff could wait. Next morning's breakfast--a bowl of Hungry Unbound G'morning Sunshine Mix topped with berries and almond milk. It's so delicious, I don't know when (or if) I'm ever gonna' get around to making it myself. My only advice--you might wanna' cut up the dates and figs. The pieces are a bit big for my taste. Otherwise, it's pretty granola perfection for something that comes in a package!
Since fresh pineapple, coconut milk, kale, bananas and almond butter are almost always within reach at Kitchen 511, it's a no brainer. If I'm hungry and in a hurry to get out of the house, I'll make this yummy green smoothie and go. Not only does its striking color kickstart my morning, but it's yummy flavor and ability to satiate and energize make it the perfect breakfast. It's from Tarah O'Brady's Seven Spoons cookbook, but I first learned about it on beloved food blog, 101 Cookbooks. I prefer using coconut milk vs. almond milk here, but you can't go wrong with either.
Serves 2 (although I've been known to gulp down every last drop myself!)
- 2 cups stemmed, torn kale, packed (about 1/2 bunch)
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (or you can substitute one small cored, cut apple and one small peeled, segmented orange)
- 1 heaping tablespoon almond (or nut) butter
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, plus more as needed
Combine all the ingredients in an upright blender and process until liquified. If the smoothie is too thick, carefully incorporate more milk (almond or coconut) as needed, slowly through the feed hole on the lid with the motor running. Pour into glasses and enjoy.