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Lower sodium breakfast hacks for busy weekdays

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Lower sodium breakfast hacks for busy weekdays

While lunch keeps kids going during the day, breakfast is an important way to get the morning started.

For some families, mornings may seem too rushed to even think about preparing breakfast, but we’ve thought of some breakfast hacks that will get you through the busy week. Designate an hour of your Sunday to get in the kitchen with your kids and make these simple recipes to better your breakfasts.

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This blog post is written by Sally Sampson, the Founder and President of ChopChop Kids.

One of my favorite recipes is homemade granola, which not only tastes better, but also usually has a fraction of the salt and sugar than the granola you can purchase at the grocery store. I like to use as many different nuts, seeds and dried fruits as possible but if you find that the list is too long- or you simply don’t like some of these ingredients feel free to add and subtract as you see fit. Top plain, low-fat yogurt with granola or top granola with yogurt. Add fresh berries for a tasty and easy breakfast—or lunch—treat. Kids can help measure and mix the ingredients.

Granola

Adult needed: Yes
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

KITCHEN GEAR

  • 12 x 18-inch baking sheets with sides (if the size is slightly off it doesn’t matter)
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Large container
  • Pot holder

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced or chopped raw almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup or canola or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raisins, any color is fine
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Turn the oven on and set it to 300 degrees. Lightly coat the baking sheet with canola or vegetable oil.
  2. Put the oats, wheat germ, flax seed, coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, sesame seeds, and salt in the large bowl and mix well.
  3. Put the oil, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract in the small bowl and mix well. Add the oil mixture to the oat mixture and stir until it is completely worked through the mix.
  4. Put the mixture on the baking sheet and press evenly and firmly around the sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully take the sheet out of the oven and put on top of the stove. The mixture should form into pieces, which you should break up and turn over. If it doesn’t, just mix it.
  5. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the other side is golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. When you remove the sheet from the oven, set it on a heatproof counter or on a trivet. Carefully press the granola evenly into the sheet again. Let cool on the sheet.
  7. When it has cooled completely, move the mixture to the bowl. Add the raisins, cranberries, and apricots and mix well. Store in the plastic container.

Having multipurpose recipes is key for a busy person. Granola is the perfect example of a recipe that can used for breakfast, lunch, or a snack! Another recipe that is similar in usefulness (and ingredients) is Energy Bars. Like granola, your kids can take over the kitchen and make a batch that will last throughout the week. It’s a perfect breakfast-on-the-go or pick-me-up snack recipe that the whole family will love. Need a gift for a teacher—package either recipes in a jar for an easy edible gift!


ENERGY BARS

Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 16 pieces

KITCHEN GEAR:

  • Cutting board
  • 8 x 8-inch pan
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Dinner knife
  • Plastic wrap

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup lightly toasted nuts (one kind or a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pecans. To toast nuts, put them on a small baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until they are fragrant and look a shade darker, around 5 minutes)
  • 3⁄4 cups dried fruit (one kind or a combination of raisins, currants, dried cranberries or chopped dates, prunes, apricots, and peaches)
  • 3⁄4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 3⁄4 cups crispy-rice cereal
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut (if you like)
  • 1⁄2 cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1⁄4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line the pan with wax or parchment paper and leave enough hanging so that you can use it to cover the bars later. (You will need a piece a little more than twice the size of the bottom of the pan.)
  2. Put the nuts, dried fruit, oats, rice cereal, and coconut in the bowl and toss well.
  3. Put the almond or peanut butter and honey in the small bowl and microwave until the almond butter is softened, about 30 seconds (depending on your microwave). Stir until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir again until smooth.
  4. Pour the almond mixture into the large bowl and mix with the large spoon until well combined.
  5. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down as hard as you can. You want to make the bars solid (rather than airy). Using the overhanging wax paper, cover the bars completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to one week.
  6. Using the knife, cut into 16 pieces.

Sally Sampson founder of ChopChop Kids magazineSally Sampson is the Founder and President of ChopChop Kids.

Read her full bio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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