In case you wondered, I had no intentions of making my last WIAW post my only.  For the month of July we are talking about food and fitness.

WIAW: Breakfasts (also known as post morning workout warrior meals) WIAW recipe nut butters granola bars food fitness food chia seeds Breakfast

I’ve decided to make this WIAW post all about breakfast.  All those things I’m really digging for breakfast lately, and it just so happens that these are my also favourite after morning workout meals. See how I did that?

1. Cinnamon Vanilla Sunbutter.  I’m a sucker for homemade nut butters (but this is technically a seed butter). Homemade nut and seed butters taste so much better than anything you can buy in the store – be it regular old Jiff or the rather pricey organic almond butter. Freshly made tastes fresher and I like that I can play with the salt and sweetness and get it just perfect.  Here is the recipe I followed by 101 Cookbooks.  I didn’t have the vanilla bean paste so I just used vanilla extract – about 1 teaspoon, and added a touch of maple syrup for some sweetness.

WIAW: Breakfasts (also known as post morning workout warrior meals) WIAW recipe nut butters granola bars food fitness food chia seeds Breakfast

I’m loving it on toast with sliced banana

2. I love smoothies after a run. I throw mine in the blender before I head to the shower and sip while I get dressed for work.  Right now I’m loving tahini in my smoothies. This recipe from Keepin’ It Kind is so fresh and yummy I keep going back to it. I’ve changed up the fruit to lend to what I’ve had on hand but I’ve kept to mild and orange-coloured  fruits – pineapple, mango, peaches – because I find them so refreshing. I generally add some protein powder or chia seeds (sometimes I go crazy and do both!) to give my morning smoothies more staying power. Otherwise they won’t keep me full until lunch time.  I should note that if you do add these items you will need more liquid so adjust accordingly. This one is without the greens….  but only because I had none…

WIAW: Breakfasts (also known as post morning workout warrior meals) WIAW recipe nut butters granola bars food fitness food chia seeds Breakfast

3. Over-night oats. The perfect way to enjoy oats in the hot summer. No cooking. Cold. Here is the classic vegan recipe from Oh She Glows.  I followed the night before steps and in the AM served mine with fresh berries and some sunflower seeds.  If you haven’t tried VOO before you should know that the oats almost disappear. This is more like breakfast pudding.

WIAW: Breakfasts (also known as post morning workout warrior meals) WIAW recipe nut butters granola bars food fitness food chia seeds Breakfast

4. Granola bars.  For the days when you need to take breakfast with you… like the days I go to gym in the morning. On gym days I usually eat  breakfast after my workout in the car as I drive to the office.  I promise, one of these with a banana is better than a fast food bagel.  Grab,throw in your bag, go.

WIAW: Breakfasts (also known as post morning workout warrior meals) WIAW recipe nut butters granola bars food fitness food chia seeds Breakfast

The recipe for these bars has evolved over time and is a bit different each and every time I make it. What goes in depends on what I have in my pantry, so feel free to change things up now and then.

Tropical Fruit Granola Bars

Preheat oven to 325 and line a glass 13×9 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the following:

(hint, you want about 6-7 cups of dry ingredients – so choose from what you have on hand)

  • 3 cups large flaked rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or any other nut you have on hand
  • 1 – 1-1/2 cups dried fruit (I used dried pineapple and cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal or ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 wheat germ or oat bran
  • 1/4 sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or both!)

In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat:

(another hint: you can substitute other sweeteners, but corn syrup guarantees stick-together-bars. I’ve had less success with agave or brown rice syrup – although you will still end up with a really nice granola)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • pinch of salt

Be sure to bring this mixture to a boil. You want to see bubbles coming to the surface. Continually stir and boil for about 3 minutes, longer if all the sugar is not yet dissolved. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. The syrup will be hot so don’t try using your hands. Push the oats into the syrup with a wooden spoon.

Transfer to a baking dish and push mixture down into the corners. Wet your hands (which helps keep them clean) and push and smooth out the mixture. Pack it solid into the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and cut into bars. Makes 12-16.