After the two-week long pig-out that is the holidays, I always find myself craving something a little healthier once January rolls around. It’s beets instead of bacon, lettuce instead of lasagna, salmon instead of steak, whole wheat instead of hollandaise.
The biggest change, though, is to resist the siren song of those deliciously salty, greasy, bacony breakfast sandwiches in favour of something a little lighter.
One of my go-to options for healthier workday breakfasts is yogurt, since it’s easy enough to stash a container in the office fridge. Problem is, yogurt alone isn’t enough to keep me until lunchtime, which is why I always add a few extras like fresh fruit, nuts, and cereal.
Above all else, though, my favourite mix-in is a super-crispy homemade granola, sweetened with maple syrup and filled with all sorts of good stuff, like crunchy nuts and some dried fruits for extra sweetness.
So when the folks at Yoplait asked me to share how I dress up my yogurt for a healthy New Year’s breakfast for their 1-Up Your Cup challenge, this granola was right at the top of my list.
Sure, I’ve shared a couple of different granolas on the blog before, but they’re better suited to a splash of milk or for eating simply out of hand… chewy and sweet and flavourful enough to stand on their own.
This one, on the other hand, is crisp and toasty and just barely sweet, perfect for stirring into a bowl of creamy yogurt.
The beauty of granola is that it’s easy to customize your ingredients to pair with the flavour of the yogurt.
For this post, I’d picked up a tub of vanilla Yoplait Source at Walmart, so I channeled my craving for sunny tropical weather into a combination dried apricots and pineapples. (I guess that’s what happens when it’s been grey and miserable for weeks on end… thanks, El Nino. You stink.)
It could’ve just easily been tart dried cherries and cranberries paired with strawberry yogurt, though… or sweet dried blueberries and apricots with peach yogurt… or maybe a double dose of coconut flakes and pineapple with key lime pie yogurt.
Whatever combination you settle on, there’s one thing that’s sure… you definitely can’t be bored. With over 125 different flavours, the possibilities to 1-Up Your Cup are basically endless!
And if you’re feeling especially fancy, it’s easy to transform this granola and your favourite Yoplait flavour into an easy layered parfait.
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick or instant)
- 1 cup blanched sliced almonds
- ½ cup large flake coconut
- ¼ cup raw quinoa
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried fruit (such as apricots, pineapples, berries or raisins)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, coconut, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla extract, and stir until the oats are completely coated.
- Spread out in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the oats are golden brown and toasted, stirring a couple of times partway through to make sure the granola browns evenly.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally to help along the cooling process. Stir in the dried fruits and candied ginger, then transfer to an airtight container for storage.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.