I was at the Provo July 4th parade a month ago, sitting in the cool morning air waiting for the parade to start. My nephew, Davey, arrived with 4 of his little boys, and was carrying water bottles and chairs and trying to keep track of everybody. His wife Tracy had just had their 5th boy the week before and so he was on the hook for getting everyone else there to the parade. I watched 4-year-old Wesley get settled and carefully unwrap the tinfoil around his breakfast—a homemade breakfast burrito. I also noticed his two older brothers doing the same, sitting, watching the 4th of July spectacle around them, and slowly unwrapping and eating.
I asked Davey about his burritos because that seemed like a lot to do on such a hectic morning. He said, “Nah, it’s easy! Put a little coconut oil in the pan, add a little cheese and they are quick to wrap up and take.” I had to admire his system and not getting fast food on the run. Homemade is usually always cheaper and healthier. I also had to appreciate that he had gotten burrito making down to a science. It’s a Triple-Play Go-to:
- Healthier than fast food
My Triple-Play go-to is muesli. The definition is “a mixture of uncooked grains, dried fruit, and nuts, eaten with milk as part of the first meal of the day.”
I have always known what muesli is, but never appreciated it’s simplicity and it’s nutritional wow with it’s main ingredient being oatmeal, a whole grain. I pictured the ingredients waiting patiently in my pantry to be discovered–“We are here! We are healthy, easy and tasty!” My daughter wrote in a letter from her Swedish mission that it was her go-to. That fascinated me–how can uncooked oats be your favorite meal? When the student is ready the teacher appears. I started doing more research about it. I heard one night at a dinner that it is originally a Swiss invention, and this man from Switzerland said his mother would make her own and soak it over night in milk, for her family to eat for breakfast the next morning.
You can buy muesli in bulk at the health food store, but I just make my own in 5 minutes. Oats (not quick cooking), nuts (sliced almonds, walnuts, mixed nuts) and a little dried fruit. I never use craisins because they add a lot of sugar to those cranberries to make them sweet. I use mostly raisins and local dried cherries, bought at Allred Orchard’s in Provo. That is my base. I store it in a big jar in my pantry, and I have a 1/3 cup measure in my jar of muesli and do two scoops. My absolute favorite fruit to have on top is a mango. I do a spiral peel and then cut down both side of the big nut in the middle to get chunks off. Then I add 1 tablespoon of flax-seed and two tablespoons of hempseed.
Two tablespoons of hemp seed serve up 90 calories and six grams of fat. Watching what you eat? I say, “Keep sprinkling!” That two-tablespoon serving size offers two grams of fiber, five grams of protein, 300 mg of potassium, 15 percent of your vitamin-A requirement and 25 percent of your daily iron needs. It’s hard to find another food that nutrient-dense.
Flax seeds, known as one of the richest sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and having around one hundred times more cancer-fighting lignans than other foods, have also been demonstrated to prove helpful against breast and prostate cancers; controlling cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels; reducing inflammation; and successfully treating constipation.
(This is breakfast in bed this week for my birthday–and they made a muesli bowl for me!)
I also picked up a useful tip—I need to use ground flax seeds instead of the whole ones we have been eating so they will absorb into our system easier. The whole seeds pass right through without fully absorbing.
I have a little prep station with all of these little jars I can take from. I top it all with almond milk and it is SO DELICIOUS. Also if my bowl of muesli happens to sit because I get distracted it still tastes good mushy, unlike cold cereal.
This has taken me a year to figure out. I started with the muesli and realized it was three ingredients. I could get as pared down or as fancy as I wanted to. With the fresh fruit added and the extra healthy stuff, it became more and more delicious. I rinsed out spaghetti sauce jars as we used them to make my mini-pantry. When I go out-of-town, I take a little bag of my muesli, rather than to be counting on the free breakfast at the hotel with the packages of oatmeal laden with way too much sugar.
My husband and I have feasted on this everyday for about a year. The variety the season’s bring—strawberries, blueberries, peaches— makes for deliciousness—everyday.
My other favorite go-to is:
Avocado Toast–Toasted whole wheat bread topped with sliced avocado and a little salt on top — I hoot when I see it offered at a restaurant for $5.99. Again, you can make it as simple or as fancy as you want. I use a half of avocado sometimes for both pieces—the above picture has too much avocado on one piece of bread for my taste.
Again, it is a Triple-Play Go-to: Healthy, fast and yummy every time!
How about you? What are your food go-to’s? What do you make that is quick, healthy and delicious?