Friday, July 29, 2011

Food: Blueberry-Almond Granola

This morning was my last run before Bad Bass 10K tomorrow (mostly ready, I think...). I had my usual breakfast around 7:15, but by the time I left the track around 9:30 I was STARVING.

This happens sometimes; I've already had breakfast, but then I go for a run and come back ready to gnaw my own arm off. It isn't time for lunch yet; fruit isn't going to do it, because what I really want is a giant doughnut or a cinnamon roll. When that feeling strikes, I've found that a combination of protein, a little carbs, and a little fruit often does the trick. It's substantial enough & has enough sweetness to it to satisfy the pastry urge and has enough calories to get you to lunch, but packed with nutrition instead of just empty calories. To that end, blueberry-almond granola!

(Okay, so I don't actually know the "official" definition of granola. Isn't it kind of a catch-all term for a dry mix of fruits / nuts / grains / etc.? Let's go with that.)

Update: Don has just informed me that granola must be baked in some way, and I did not in fact make granola. Eh. Whatever.

What you will need:

  • Blueberries (a goodly number)
  • Raw steel-cut oats, like Quaker (some)
  • Sweetened almonds (some more) (I used the vanilla cinnamon almonds because they sell them at our local Safeway and I LOVE them, but you could use pretty much any kind that has a little sweetness. Alternatively, you could use plain almonds and add a little brown sugar / cinnamon / nutmet / what have you.)
  • Plain non-fat yogurt





To be honest, I have no real idea of how much of each I used (though maybe the pictures help some), so adjust according to taste. (For reference, I only made one serving, just enough to fill a small bowl.)


mashed almonds

  • Mash up the almonds using a mortar & pestle (or whatever). The pieces don't have to be super-small, just granola-sized.
  • Mix berries, almonds, & oats together in a bowl.
  • Spoon in yogurt to taste
  • Devour!

all doneIn addition to being really delicious (I'll definitely be making it again for a post-run snack) and satisfying your immediate hunger, this particular combination should also keep you feeling full for a while. Because they're high in fiber, oats and oatmeal take longer for your body to digest, which can help you feel full for longer. In addition to a healthy dose of fiber, almonds also contain essential fatty acids and protein, both of which will also take more time for your body to digest. Berries are also high in fiber (& water content, which helps with fullness), and non-fat yogurt is a fantastic source of lean protein.

Obviously, there are any number of variations -- use a different berry, or a combination of berries (or some other type of fruit entirely), or different nuts, whatever you like. The point is that you've now got a tasty snack that's loaded up with fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, a little calcium, and some healthy carbs, which should both satisfy your hunger and keep you full until lunch (or dinner, or whatever). :)

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