Pecan Pie Granola + The Best Green Smoothie

I think breakfast is much more exciting than we give it credit for. There are no boundaries to breakfast; you can have it sweet, savoury, sweet and savoury together, you can keep it simple or go insanely, over the top decadent. Have a juice, have a burrito, have a cake if you want! You can go you own way with it (did I just sing You Can Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac to myself? Yes I did.) and that's why I think it deserves a bit more love. 

I've started to eat breakfast at home before leaving for work, instead of having it at my desk, so I need to have things I can throw together quickly that will be delicious, filling and really nutritious to set my body off on the right path for the day. When I saw this recipe for Deliciously Ella's cinnamon and pecan granola I knew it would be a good one to add to my morning repertoire. The oats keep me full until lunch, the nuts and seeds are packed full of protein, fibre and essential fats and the natural maple carob syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness but because it's low glycemic it releases glucose slowly and steadily unlike regular sugar. Perfect for morning's when I need every scrap of energy I can muster! The combination of crunchy toasted pecans and aromatic cinnamon sweetness reminds me of my favourite pecan pie recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery. I like mine with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a handful of berries.  
The green smoothie I had here is my current fave. It's a mixture of pineapple, cucumber, spinach, apple, ginger and mango with a sprinkling of hemp seeds. It's so fresh and zingy, it completely wakes me up, but I also find the warm flavour of the fresh ginger very soothing. I add hemp seeds because they're a perfect blend of protein, amino acids and essential fats.  
Granola
Makes 1 large jar

2 and a 1/2 cups oats
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins (or any dried fruit that you like)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons Clark's maple syrup
3 teaspoons cinnamon
a squeeze of honey

1. Preheat oven to 180. 
2. Roughly chop the almonds and pecans, or pulse in food processor until they're partially crushed but still chunky
3. Add them to a large mixing bowl with all other dry ingredients apart from the raisins and cinnamon
4. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together and stir through cinnamon. 
5. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients, mix well and add a squeeze of honey. Give it another mix before pouring on to a baking tray. 
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crunchy and golden, check it every 10 minutes and give it a stir so that it toasts evenly.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before stirring in the raisins. Keep in an air tight container. 

Smoothie
Serves 1

Handful of spinach
2 chunks frozen pineapple
2 chunks frozen mango
1 teaspoon fresh ginger 
3 inch piece of cucumber
apple juice (I use Copella)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1. Add all ingredients to the small cup of your nutribullet, or whichever blender/smoothie maker you have. Blend until smooth. 

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