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Starting Your Day

Starting Your Day
by Susie Younkle

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

But how often do you take this advice seriously? Although island time sounds like an opportunity for relaxing breakfasts over multiple cups of coffee, the reality is that many of us grab a quick bite to eat as more of an afterthought than as a way to optimally fuel ourselves for the day ahead.

I’ve been a lifelong breakfast eater out of necessity. Without a morning meal, I run out of energy and turn grumpy by 10 a.m. As I’ve grown older, the realization that the right breakfast helps me star t the day feeling great has resulted in a change in my eating habits—leftover cold pizza no longer counts as “breakfast” like it did during my university days. Once I fully appreciated the importance of eating a proper breakfast, my standard morning meal became oatmeal topped with milk, dried cranberries and almonds, served with a piece of fresh fruit.

For years I ate oatmeal most days until I finally decided it was time to mix things up when I moved onto my sailboat. I wasn’t ready to give up oatmeal entirely. Instead I used humble oats as the base for granola, my new breakfast staple aboard Orchid. Good ready-made granola can be difficult to find in the BVI, but supermarkets stock all the raw ingredients needed to whip up a batch of easy, delicious and healthy granola. It’s definitely boat friendly food: compact, non-perishable and packed with energy. Additionally, the ingredients and proportions in granola are easily adjusted based on your preferences or availability of ingredients. For example, if dried mango is not available, substitute raisins or other dried fruit. Serve granola with yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit for a balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, protein and a little fat that will give you energy and keep you full all morning. Alternatively, pair granola and yogurt with a fruit smoothie made with local fruits such as papaya, mango and banana for a vitamin-packed breakfast.

If you need an excuse to have a leisurely breakfast, just remind yourself of the impor tance of a proper morning meal as you settle in for one more cup of coffee to star t your day.

Mango Almond Granola

Serve with yogurt and top with diced fresh mango when in season.
4 C old fashioned oats
3/4 C sliced almonds
1/2 C wheat germ
1/3 C demerara (brown) sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C mango nectar
2 Tbl vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz dried mango, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large jelly roll pan with foil and grease the foil. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add mango nectar, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir well. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir in the chopped mango.

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