Morning Buzz

No, not that kind of buzz!

I have never been one for breakfast; I’d rather sleep every last minute and grab something on the go.  When I was young, my family was all about the big breakfast; pancakes, waffles, omelets, eggs any way you can imagine, and oh yes, bacon. Can’t forget the bacon!  I didn’t appreciate it then, but my mom was a great cook [oh the things I wish I had taken the time to learn from her!].  She was a stay at home mama and every day she offered to make a hot breakfast for my brother and I before school.  Looking back I have nothing but sheer admiration and appreciation for her, but at the time, breakfast was never high on my list. As I got older, and the flying-out-the-door-at-the-last- minute started, the hot breakfast gave way to something I could grab and go, and the beginning of a {bad} lifelong habit was formed.

I wish I had purchased stock in the Luna Bar company; though I would surely be embarrassed if there was an actual number I could come up with to indicate how many I have consumed over the years since they entered the market years ago.  I don’t leave home in the morning without one for my breakfast on the go. Everyday.

Health, weight, nutrition and fitness are important to me and I know that eating a good breakfast goes along with a healthy lifestyle. Still, I somehow cannot manage a full breakfast in the mornings. Now, breakfast for dinner? Definitely. But breakfast for breakfast? Not so much. So, you can imagine how glad I was to come across a recipe recently for  breakfast/energy/snack bars called Morning Buzz.  An easy, quick, recipe  with just a few healthy ingredients, most of which I already had. Oh, and no cooking required. Well, you do have to boil something. Does that still qualify as a recipe?

The recipe is for morning breakfast bars that actually have coffee in them!  Here is what you need:  cinnamon {1/2 tsp}, raisin bran cereal {4 cups}, honey {3/4 cup}, finely ground coffee {2Tbsp}, slivered almonds {1/2 cup} and almond butter {1/2 cup}.  Easy, right? I bet you have most of that in your kitchen and pantry right at this very moment.  All I needed were the almonds and cereal.

All the fixings needed for a little morning buzz

All the fixings needed for a little morning buzz

The first step is to toast the slivered almonds. I like to do mine on the stove top, so I can watch them closely.  You can also toast in the oven or toaster oven, but every time I use one of those methods, I forget about them and they quickly become charbroiled instead of toasted. Soooo not the same effect!

Toast the almonds

Keep a close eye on them – it’s tempting to toss them and turn away, but I warn you, don’t do it. Stand there for a minute, enjoy a moment of standing still, review your list of things to do, sing a song, count from 100 to 1 backwards, whatever it takes, but I beg of you, don’t walk away from the almonds. You’re welcome.   Lightly toss/stir until they are nice and golden brown.  Oh, and yeah,  my stove is messy. What? Yours isn’t?

Perfectly toasted

The next step, and I thought this was fun. I have never cooked or boiled honey before, and it smelled delicious.  Starting with just the honey, put it in a medium size pot on high and stir gently during the whole cooking time.  Let it come to a boil and then once the honey comes to a full boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Oh, and do you know this trick? When measuring out sticky ingredients like honey, wait until the last minute to measure it out; lightly spray your measuring cup with cooking spray – then load in the honey.  When you go to pour into your pan, the cooking spray helps it slide out much easier and you get more/most of the ingredient out of the measuring cup and into your recipe

Boil the honey

sweet!

Sorry, I got mesmerized by the honey while it was boiling.  After the 5 minute simmer, turn off the heat and then add in the almond butter and stir until mixed.  Next, add in the ground coffee and cinnamon. With the coffee, it will look gritty, but it all mixes in just fine in the end.  Be sure to use very finely ground/espresso setting coffee for best results. No instant coffee. Don’t even consider it!

This is where the buzz comes in

Now, add in the raisin bran cereal and the toasted slivered almonds.  For my gluten free friends, you could easily substitute a GF cereal to take the place of the raisin bran; just be sure it’s a crispy/crunchy cereal.  Have a favorite or one to recommend? Leave a note in the comments below.

Here comes the crunch

Stir everything together until thoroughly mixed and all the cereal and almonds are coated evenly.  Prepare a 9×13 baking pan – with wax paper or a little shot of Pam/cooking spray and then transfer the mixture to the baking pan.  Using a spatula or wax paper, press the mix evenly into the pan, adding pressure to get an even layer throughout.

Almost done

Almost done

Next, let the pan sit for a while to cool. Once it’s cooled down, cut into 10 bars [down the middle and 5 across – yes, I had to think about it!].  I loaded mine on a plate with some fresh fruit and a glass of orange juice. Now, that’s my kind of breakfast!

Yum!

Great way to start your morning!

Store the bars in an airtight container; they will last for about a week [unless you eat them all before that!]. I tried freezing one and it came out ‘ok’. It was a little chewy, but I wanted to see if I could double the recipe and store some for upcoming weeks.  It would work, but  I think they are better fresh. If you are curious, here is the breakdown on the nutritional info.  Each bar contains 263 calories, 5 g protein, 10 g total fat, 42 g carbohydrate,  4 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 108 mg sodium.

If you have  GF cereal suggestions, please leave a comment for others who might want to try. This is an equal opportunity recipe; we all need a little morning buzz to start our day off right!   Thanks for stopping by and if you try these, I hope you enjoy!

{buzz}

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