So, it's Friday again and suddenly next week sees the arrival of June. Six months into the year and I just can't believe how quickly the weeks have flown by! This is down to being busy, I know. As I type I have a wedding cake in the oven, macarons cooling in the kitchen and a weekend of baking ahead. Being busy is great, especially when working on some very exciting projects with brilliant people (watch this space...) but at the same time I can't help but worry about all the things I've forgotten to do, all the boring chores of daily life that get swept aside whilst I get carried away with the fun stuff.
This has got me thinking about time-saving and morning routines. I'm really not a morning person and It's something I need to get better at. There are a few things I can't go without in the morning to give you an idea, here's how my mornings go down, ideally.
- 6.30 - press snooze on the alarm several times, eventually wake up, brush teeth and drink a pint of water, try and avoid looking at social media on phone at all costs
- 7.00 - 20 minutes to half an hour of yoga, depending on how I'm feeling, and on weekends depending on whether I've been to the pub the night before!
- 7.30 - hit the shower
- 8.00 - a strong cup of earl grey tea
- 8.30 - a swift breakfast before heading to work, either at home or with a client
- 9.00 - coffee, strong coffee.
Those first few hours are important I think to set me up for the day, although sometimes I have to start work at 6am which means step 2, 3 & occasionally 4 (depending on how many times I've hit snooze) are usually bypassed.
Skipping breakfast is bad right?
So here's my solution. I always keep a batch of granola on the go. It's a fairly forgiving recipe is open to a variety of modifications to keep it interesting, feel free to experiment with different fruits, nuts and even swap the maple syrup for honey or coconut sugar. It would be rude not to touch on this recipes virtuous qualities, naturally sweetened, wholegrain and with the addition of gluten free oats could be made NGCI also. I find spending half an hour on a Sunday making granola makes a remarkable difference to my working week time-wise and I'm much less likely to skip breakfast!
You will need:
- 100ml coconut oil
- 100ml maple syrup
- 50g nut butter, such as peanut or almond
- 50g dried dates
- 150g rolled oats
- 50g nuts, almond, pecan, brazil nut, whatever you fancy
- 50g mixed seeds
Pre-heat oven to 145°C (fan). Place the coconut oil, maple syrup, nut butter and dates in a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat, the dates will soak up some of the oil and syrup to make them extra chewy and gooey. Once melted, stir in the oats, nuts and seeds until evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Store in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks. Combine with yoghurt and fruit in the morning for a swift healthy breakfast, even at 5.30 in the morning!
If you have any time-saving tips for early mornings or any swift recipes then do give us a shout in the comments...