Now that it is October and officially Autumn, the time has come for me to trade in my crisp fresh produce and grilled meats of summer for warm, hearty oven/stove-top crafted meals. There is nothing better than coming home from a long, chilly day to a house filled with the warmth and aromas of a strategically planned meal that you know will satisfy your mind, body and soul. Dinner to me is always the most special meal of the day. It is thoughtful, rich and seemingly time intensive. In a busy world it is hard to put the same effort into preparing elaborate breakfasts and lunches. Cereal, milk and fruit for breakfast, and a sandwich for lunch...repeat. BORING!
I am a bit of a breakfast freak. It is the most important meal of the day and why not start your day off right? I always set my alarm to allow myself enough time to get ready and have a real breakfast (breakfast bars...no thank you). In the summer months I tend to alter between cereal with sliced bananas and blueberries and yogurt with fresh fruit and vanilla almond granola. Refreshing, crisp options for warm mornings. In the fall I want something more soul soothing and weather appropriate. Oatmeal is my go to breakfast food. I love buying the Wessex Oatmeal and adding all of my own goodies to it. I will never be plain brown-sugar or pre-packaged oatmeal girl. My favorite add-ins are sliced bananas (heated with the cereal)and walnuts, dried cranberries, almonds, big juicy raisins, dried cherries and pecans. YUM. Can you think of anything better than hot, creamy cereal sweetened by dried fruit and has a hearty crunch of nuts? Me either. Every once and a while I crave something that is still hearty and rich but not a heated meal. My solution: Greek yogurt and fruit/nut granola with bananas/frozen fruit. Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt and packed with protein. In the summer I enjoy the crispness of Bear Naked Vanilla Almond granola with fresh fruit and plain yogurt, but in the fall I want something heartier and baked. Bear Naked Fruit and Nut granola does the trick. It has pecans, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, raisins and dried cherries. (all of my favorites no wonder I like it).
Having a variety of breakfast mix-in on hand will keep you interested and satisfied through the bitter mornings of the fall.