Granola, smoothies and oatmeal: Healthy breakfast recipes for busy families

Granola with yogurt. (Courtesy of Minute Maid)

Granola with yogurt. (Courtesy of Minute Maid)

RITA DeMONTIS, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

Same old breakfast getting you down? Toast with jam and butter, bowl of cereal with sliced banana? Or a couple of cookies to get you going in the morning.

And let's not get started with how difficult it is to have the family join you at the breakfast table.

A recent Environics Research survey done in conjunction with Minute Maid found that only one in five Canadian families eat breakfast together on a regular basis, primarily due to time constraints. But despite being busy, breakfast is a must-have for Canadian parents with a whopping 95% saying that it’s important their family eat a well-balanced meal in the morning.

If you can't make breakfast a daily event with your family — then make it a special occasion, taking it one day at a time. You'll find that, with proper planning — and creative recipes — a family breakfast will become as routine as the sun coming up in the morning.

Here's a selection of recipes courtesy of Minute Maid. Check out Minutemaid.ca for additional info.

Slow Cooker Peaches 'n' Cream Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups (325ml) steel-cut oats
  • 3/4 tsp. (4ml) salt
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) ground ginger
  • 2 cups (500ml) chilled peach juice beverage
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 Tbsp. (15ml) vanilla
  • 2 cups (500ml) frozen peaches
  • Milk or cream (optional)

Directions:

Lightly grease inside of slow cooker. Add oats, salt, sugar, ginger, juice beverage, milk, water, vanilla and peaches; stir together. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. If needed, set slow cooker to keep oatmeal warm until ready to enjoy. Spoon into bowls; drizzle with milk or cream if desired.

Serves 8.

Rise and Shine Citrus Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (500ml) frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups (500ml) honey-flavoured Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) chilled orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) frozen grapefruit concentrate
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) oat bran
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) liquid honey
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15ml) ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups (500ml) ice cubes

Directions:

In blender, combine blueberries, yogurt, orange juice, grapefruit concentrate, oat bran, honey, chia seeds (if using) and flaxseed; mix on medium speed until combined. Add ice cubes; pulse until ice cubes begin to break down; puree until completely incorporated.

Serves 6-8.

Toasty Tropical Granola

Serve over Greek yogurt or eat as a snack on the go.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250ml) mango juice beverage
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) liquid honey
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) vegetable oil
  • 4 cups (1L) large-flake rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (325ml) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups (325ml) dried banana chips
  • 1 cup (250ml) chopped dried pineapple
  • 1 cup (250ml) whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) chopped dried apricot
  • 1/2cup (125ml) chopped dried mango
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. (2ml) salt

Directions:

In saucepan over high heat, bring juice beverage to boil and boil until reduced by half. Let cool slightly. Stir in honey, maple syrup and oil. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together oats, coconut, banana, pineapple, almonds, macadamia nuts, apricot, mango, pumpkin seeds, ginger and salt. Pour juice mixture over top; toss to coat.

Spread evenly on 2 greased or parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake in 325F (160C) oven for 30 minutes, rotating pans and stirring once, or until granola is golden. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

Makes 10 cups.


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