I am a breakfast fanatic. I simply cannot survive without breakfast and it has to be solidly nutritious in order to function during the day. It should be protein packed and have at least one serving of whole grains or I end up a cranky, hungry mess at 10 am. I love the idea of a sugar-laden breakfast or a one that is fried to a crispy golden treat, but it never works for me.
Needless to say, I was very excited to discover Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. Based in Seattle, Megan writes the blog A Sweet Spoonful, contributes regularly to The Kitchn and runs her own artisan granola company, Marge, so to say she knows a little something about writing delicious recipes is an understatement in the extreme. I knew I would love this book before I even looked under the cover and I was right, it’s delicious!
I love hot cereal, but even I get a little bored with it day after day. Luckily, this book is filled with creative and exciting dishes to fill you up and keep you fueled throughout the day. Megan keeps some basic, but still whole grain, recipes like Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes, Five Grain Porridge and The Very Best Oatmeal for those mornings where you want something familiar and relatively quick. It’s the other recipes that really pique my interest, though. Zucchini Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow Roasted Tomatoes? Yes, please! Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard? Don’t mind if I do (and bravo to Megan for including the elusive huckleberry in her book). Baked Pumpkin Risotto? Stop. Just stop right there. I’m getting too excited for breakfast tomorrow!
Filled with beautiful photos and funny, touching stories, Whole-Grain Mornings is a delightful addition to your cookbook collection. I am excited to be giving away a copy of this lovely book paired with some of our favorite whole grain ingredients to make it easy to get started creating whole grain deliciousness right away! Megan has a lovely recipe for Five Grain Porridge and uses many of the same ingredients throughout her book, so we’ll be pitching in all of the necessary ingredients for this recipe- Barley Flakes, Rye Flakes, Millet Grits, Cracked Wheat and Whole Grain Amaranth. To enter, simply follow the prompts below. If you simply cannot pin all of your hopes on winning this book, head over to Amazon or your favorite book purveyor to pick up a copy today. If you like this recipe, we highly recommend checking out A Sweet Spoonful for more of Megan’s culinary creations.
Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Clare Barboza.
These are the ultimate all-purpose breakfast bars. They blend right in with a weekend brunch spread but are also the perfect help-get-me-through-morning-traffic snack. They boast a toasty flavor from the almonds and sesame seeds and a warm fragrance from the marriage of brown sugar and oats. While I love using fresh berries in the summer, in the dead of winter I rely on frozen blueberries I’ve stored from previous farmers’ market hauls. makes 12 to 16 bars, depending on size
Morning Notes: If you can’t find rye flakes, feel free to use more rolled oats instead.
- 3 cups / 720 ml fresh Blueberries or 1 (12-ounce / 350 g) package frozen blueberries, unthawed
- 1⁄4 cup / 45 g Natural Cane Sugar
- 3 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest
- 1 teaspoon Water
Whole Grain Crust
- 1⁄2 cup / 50 g Rolled Oats
- 1 cup / 100 g Rye Flakes
- 3⁄4 cup / 60 g sliced raw Almonds
- 1⁄4 cup / 30 g raw Sesame Seeds
- 1 cup / 120 g Whole Wheat Flour
- 1⁄2 cup / 75 g packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 large Egg, beaten
- 8 tablespoons / 115 g cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Ice Water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats, rye flakes, almonds, and sesame seeds just until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and butter. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together.
To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble—messy and haphazard, but evenly dispersed. Don’t worry about pressing down; it will bake into the bars beautifully.
Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days.
Make It Your Own: Try these with your favorite seasonal berries. Blackberries or huckleberries would be lovely, as would cherries.