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    Why it’s the most important meal of the day, plus a citrus and nut granola recipe.

    We all know we should eat something before we rush out the door. But with time tight, lots of people skip it.

    What if it were easy to make something that tastes good and would give you energy to last you to lunch?

    And what if you could do that quickly? I'm not a morning person; I own a restaurant; and I'm a mom. So believe me, these ideas shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.

    Breakfast Building Blocks

    Whole grains: Because whole grains are so healthy, it's good to get in at least one serving at breakfast. Steel-cut oats, puffed rice, whole wheat flour, quinoa, and barley all provide the fiber, carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals that refined grain products lack. Whole grains also help keep you feeling full longer.

    Low sugar: Some cereals are more than 50% sugar. Instead, go for whole-grain cereal that isn't packed with sugar -- perhaps sweetened with small amounts of dried fruit, honey, or maple syrup.

    Fruit: In general, whole fruit is better than juice. Try berries with milk, or fresh peaches, apricots, or pineapple with kefir or cottage cheese. Or simply serve thin slices of succulent mango.

    Healthy Recipe: Citrus and Nut Granola

    Makes 16 servings


    1/2 lemon, juiced (add the zest from the peel, optional)

    1 1/2 oranges, juiced (add the zest from the peel, optional)

    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    1/2 cup pure maple syrup

    2 egg whites

    1 Tbsp vanilla extract

    4 cups organic rolled oats

    1 cup raw cashews

    1/2 cup raw almonds or pecans

    1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

    1/4 cup raw sesame seeds

    1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut

    1/4 cup flaxseed, ground

    1/4 cup wheat germ

    1 cup dried fruit (preferably peaches, apricots, and papaya)

    optional plain or flavored organic kefir or yogurt


    1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a medium-size bowl, stir together juice, zest (if using), olive oil, maple syrup, egg whites, and vanilla.
    2. In a large bowl, mix oats, half the nuts, half the sunflower seeds, all the sesame seeds, and the coconut. Stir in the syrup mixture.
    3. Spread the granola thinly on two cookie sheets covered in parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. Bake 15 minutes, then stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to bake for 7 more minutes or until golden brown.
    4. Remove granola and cool. Stir in remaining nuts, flaxseed, wheat germ, and dried fruit.
    5. When completely cooled, store granola in airtight containers and enjoy for up to a month, or keep in freezer for up to 6 months.
    6. Serve with 1/2 cup organic kefir or yogurt, if desired.

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