My husband says, “Company is coming,” and the virtual To-Do List in my mind shifts into overdrive. It suddenly becomes one of those hilariously long CVS receipts that’s 7 miles long. Is the guest bed made? When did I last scoop the litter box? Any chance I hired a housekeeper and forgot? Turns out my brother-in-law will be spending the weekend. First up, breakfast meal planning. Luckily, with him, there’s only one possible answer: granola. He’s been in a granola rut for most of his adult life.
Next step? Pull out my favorite recipe and bake up some crunchy oatmeal goodness. Several years ago our friend Lace served us the best granola I’d ever had: a Williams-Sonoma recipe called Honey Granola. I’ve tweaked it a bit, made it vegan, and am quite happy with the result, especially the texture and caramel flavor of the cherries after they’re baked. It really takes no time at all to make a healthy breakfast that will make your guests feel at home.
Granola is definitely yummy, but it’s got a ton of calories. So, to make a little go a long way, I switch up the usual proportions of cereal to fruit. Instead of a big bowl of cereal topped with a handful of fruit, I start with a generous serving of fruit and sprinkle my 1/3 cup granola over the top.
This recipe is especially good with a crisp Braeburn or Honeycrisp apple, but berries or banana would be fabulous as well. Adding 1 cup chopped apple and ¼ cup of soymilk boosts the fiber content, and your most important meal of the day will cost you less than 300 calories. (Of course, if you’re not worried about calories you could be more generous with the amounts. Of course, if you’re not worried about calories, you must be 17 years old.)
Another benefit to portion control is that you can stretch your recipes further. Putting the time in to make granola on the weekend lets you enjoy a healthy breakfast all week long. Unless your brother-in-law gets to it first…
What tips and tricks do you have for being happy and contented with smaller portions?
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Kristine Duncan, Registered Dietitian
I’m a Registered Dietitian, the author of Veg Girl RD, and a vegetarian who loves to eat. I’m a nutrition nerd who teaches at the University of Washington and Skagit Valley College. I also write about nutrition professionally for magazines and books. If you want to know more, check out my About page.