Starting Fresh

Erase sugary cereals from the morning menu and treat the kids—and you—to natural ingredients before leaving the house. After all, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day.
P96 97sproutedquinoagranola


Yields: 12 servings


  • 1 cup  homemade applesauce (see below) 
  • ¼ cup maple syrup 
  • 3 Tbs. tahini 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 12 oz. sprouted quinoa 
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds 
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds 
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon pinch of salt 
  • ¼ cup raisins  
  • ¼ cup goji berries 


  • 10 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced  
  • 1 cup water pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • sweetener of choice (optional) 
  • squeeze of lemon juice (optional) 
  • Note: Most apple varieties will work in this sauce, but a sweet variety will eliminate the need to add sweetener.


TO MAKE THE APPLESAUCE: Put the apple slices in a large saucepan, add the water and cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples break down into a thick sauce. This will take about 20 minutes. Pour the cooked apple into a blender and whizz until smooth. Add any of the optional ingredients to taste. Store in a refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze.

TO MAKE THE GRANOLA: Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, mix together the applesauce, maple syrup, tahini and vanilla until you have a thick paste. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and salt. Pour the apple sauce mixture over the quinoa and seeds and stir to combine. Spread the granola evenly over a baking pan lined with nonstick parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan, stir the granola minimally to ensure you keep nice big clumps and bake for another 20 minutes, until toasted.

Allow the granola to cool, then stir in the raisins and goji berries. Store in an airtight container.

Sprouted quinoa has almost double the nutrition profile of regular quinoa. Sprouting it decreases the level of phytic acid, a substance known to be an ‘anti-nutrient’ that can be found in grains and inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Sprouted quinoa is also easier to digest!” —Sara Monk, registered dietitian, Riverfront Nutrition, Edgewater


Yields: 5 servings


  • ½ cup gluten-free oat flour  
  • ¾ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup homemade apple sauce
  • ½ cup dairy-free milk
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • sliced bananas  
  • fresh berries
  • jam
  • coconut yogurt
  • maple syrup


Place all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high flame and, when hot, pour 2⁄3 cup of pancake batter into the center of the pan. Spread it into a circle with the back of a spoon, keeping it reasonably thick. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 

Slide a spatula underneath the pancake, flip it over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes before removing it from the pan. Put the pancake on a warm plate and cover with a dish cloth. Repeat until you have used up all the batter. 

Serve with banana slices, berries, jam, coconut yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Buckwheat is a seed rather than a whole grain, so it’s very high in protein and fiber. And not only is it naturally gluten-free—making it a great option for people who have trouble digesting gluten—it’s packed with antioxidants and is a nutrient-dense food.”—Sara Monk, registered dietitian at Riverfront Nutrition in Edgewater


Yields: 4 servings


  • 2 cups nut or seed milk 
  • 1 Tbs. honey or other sweetener (optional)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract   
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds


  • 2 cups cashew yogurt 
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla powder
  • 1 Tbs. honey or other sweetener (optional)
  • ½ tsp. spirulina powder pinch of salt


  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. bee pollen (optional)  
  • ¼ cup coconut chips
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds 


TO MAKE THE CHIA PUDDING: Blend the nut or seed milk with the honey (if using) and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Stir in the chia seeds until well combined. Soak until the seeds have absorbed all the liquid and become gelatinous. This mixture will keep for 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

TO MAKE THE YOGURT: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until well combined. To assemble, put a layer of strawberry slices around the edge of the bottom of a parfait jar and add some yogurt. Spoon a layer of chia pudding on top of this. Finish with more strawberry slices, bee pollen (if using), coconut chips and sliced almonds.

Chia seeds are packed with nutrients that can energize you. Just two tablespoons provides you with six grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of fiber, which keeps you feeling full. As another finishing touch, you can add mango to your jar; this will increase your daily intake of vitamin C and help boost your immune system.” —Jamie Pepper, registered dietitian, ShopRite, Northvale

Categories: Bergen Health & Life