I’ve always been a bit of an early bird, even when I was younger. I’m not very good at staying up late, and forget about accomplishing anything even remotely productive after 9pm. The list of movies that I have only seen the first half of is embarrassingly long. Falling asleep on the couch is a habit that I’m not proud of, but the pure comfort of closing your eyes the moment they start to feel heavy is too good to pass up sometimes.
The morning, however, is my favorite time of day. I tend to wake up early just to enjoy a few moments on my own before anything really needs doing. I prefer to wake up with lots of time to slowly move through the motions of starting my day, rather than rushing to get something in my belly and then heading out the door. I find it therapeutic to start the day in silence, and preparing a nourishing meal to get me through my morning is important to me – the thought of breakfast usually has me jumping out of bed! Plus, I love a good cup of coffee, so there’s that too. And while I wish every morning included meditation and yoga and bon iver and birds chirping, let’s keep things real and be clear that that’s not always the case around here.
Since I’m usually up before him, Matt is not really a big fan of anything involving homemade nut milk or fresh juice for breakfast. I can’t really blame him and if you could hear the sound of our juicer you would understand too, the thing sounds like an old tractor motor on the fritz and doesn’t make for the best alarm clock. I’ve been in the habit of making my own nut milks for a while now, I love the homemade simplicity of it and the flavor possibilities + nut/seed combinations are absolutely endless. It has become part of my routine to soak nuts and seeds at night (pre-couch snoozing) and while it takes a bit of organization and planning, once it becomes a habit it’s absolutely effortless. The days are starting to stretch out on both ends up here, and the sun is slowly starting to find it’s way through our kitchen window. Here’s hoping this little breakfast duo brings some extra brightness into your mornings too.
COCONUT CARDAMOM GRANOLA + CREAMY PUMPKIN SEED MILK
A spring breakfast dreamy enough to have you jumping out of bed. I tend to find a 3:1 ratio is pretty standard for homemade nut/seed milk (3 cups water for 1 cup soaked nuts), but I wanted something a little creamier here. Feel free to play around with the flavors of the milk, a bit of maple syrup for added sweetness or a dash of sweet spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, etc.) for added flavor.
Vegan + Gluten Free. Makes about 7 cups granola + 2 cups milk.
Coconut Cardamom Granola
3 1/2 cups whole rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 heaping teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups large coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried mulberries
Creamy Vanilla Pumpkin Seed Milk
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
2 1/2 cups filtered water
Pinch flaky sea salt
Seeds of one vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C and line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper. Combine oats, seeds, shredded coconut, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until everything is well coated and combine. Spread mixture onto baking sheet in one even layer (you may have to do this in batches) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until just golden brown, then stir in the large coconut flakes and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until brown and crispy, stirring a few times to prevent burning around the edges. Repeat if needed for remaining granola. Remove from oven, stir in dried mulberries and let cool completely.
Drain and rinse soaked pumpkin seeds with cold water and then place in a blender. Add 2 1/2 cups water, salt and vanilla. If you are making this milk for something other than granola, a dash of cardamom and/or a tablespoon of maple syrup is nice too. Blend everything together for a minute, the mixture should be quite thick. Strain using a nut milk bag, (or a panty hose works too!) and keep in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed jar. Separation is normal so just give it a shake before using. Makes 2 cups milk.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!