Breakfast has to be the most controversial meal of the day. There is no end of disagreement about what we should be eating to break the overnight fast, and whether the meal is even necessary. Fortunately, there is plenty of scientific research that answers these questions. The bottom line is this – eating a healthy breakfast full of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fat, and fiber (like these cranberry avocado granola bars) provides many excellent health benefits.
Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of eating a healthy breakfast:
- People who eat breakfast (1) get more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in their diet, (2) have been found to eat a healthier diet overall, and (3) have healthier weights and cholesterol levels.
- Children and adolescents who eat breakfast (1) have better concentration, problem-solving, and hand-eye coordination skills, (2) perform better at school, and (3) have a reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese.
- Eating breakfast may improve memory, cognitive function, and attention span.
Ready-to-eat cereals have been the breakfast of choice in the United States for more than 100 years. But with an increased emphasis on nutrient-dense foods, there has been a growing trend to ditch breakfast cereals in favor of something naturally sweet that contains a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
These cranberry avocado granola bars are an excellent choice for breakfast. Made with avocado, nuts, oats, and coconut, they contain plenty of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein to kickstart your metabolism and keep you feeling full throughout the morning. And because all the sweetness comes from fruit, they are free of refined sugar. They can be made ahead and kept in an airtight contained for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. They make the perfect grab-n-go breakfast for busy mornings.
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 cups oats
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ avocado, mashed
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 9" square baking dish or tin.
- In a small bowl mix together the flax seed and water and set to one side.
- Put the oats, walnuts, and almonds in a blender and pulse until chopped fairly small.
- In a large bowl mix together the avocado, bananas, and applesauce.
- Add the flax seed mixture, the oats and nuts, cranberries, coconut, and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
- Pour mixture into the prepared dish, press it down, and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Keep bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Bars can be frozen by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag or container. Place in the fridge overnight to defrost.