This post is sponsored by Happy Planet
Summer holidays in our house officially ended this week with Adam reluctantly returning to his grad studies. Before his first day back, we made a last ditch attempt to celebrate summer vacation with a trip to our local ice cream parlour. Battling the mob of teenagers giddy with excitement and high on hormones, we managed to escape the crowds and head to the beach. With cones in hand (coconut chocolate for me and lavender honey and London fog for him) we meandered through the side streets admiring the Victorian houses whose gardens made one final attempt at giving it their all.
Fennel over a metre high, now crisp and golden, looked more like a tumble weed than the lush herb it was just several weeks ago. The setting sun low in the horizon turned the world a golden sepia tone reminiscent of a martian landscape, while stretching our shadows into unrecognizable lengths. As we sat on drift wood watching the freighters in the bay, I was overcome by the sudden rush of back to school nerves and excitement I felt annually as a child. Excitement, anticipation, and the simultaneous sensation of the end of summer and rebirth of autumn all in one overwhelming swoop. It almost makes me want to go back to school... almost 😉
Although we're thirty-ish, school mornings are as hard for us now as they were when we were ten. Late nights spent dreading the early wake-up call, followed by mornings of multiple snoozes, are the norm. Most mornings (lets be fair) Adam wakes well before I do, so I want to ensure that he has a good supply of breakfast options that will keep him going late into those grad school hours.
Not always having time to whip up a warm meal in the morning, I like to have a good supply of fibre-full loaves, natural juices, and protein rich nut butters, to ease the morning routine. Lately we've switched out the regular sugar packed O.J. for Happy Planet's new line of Daily Squeeze juice which contain three servings of fruits and veggies compared to most juices which have two. It also has less sugar than typical juice, meaning he won't crash halfway through class. A nutritious whole grain loaf like this morning glory one, provides plenty of fibre, protein, and complex carbohydrates that will keep us full longer, while in combination with the juice, provide us a balance serving of all the essentials.
Based on the classic Morning Glory muffin, this loaf is a warming mix of carrot, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, nuts, coconut, and spices. Yet unlike the classic muffin that's made with a heavy dose of oil, this loaf uses the versatility of applesauce to cut down on fat. The nuts and seeds used in this loaf are pretty interchangeable to whatever you have on hand - walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, or dates - they would all make a great addition. If eating on-the-go is more your style, simply turn this loaf into a batch of muffins by baking them individually in tins for 25-30 minutes.
MORNING GLORY LOAF
Makes 1 loaf. Print it Here
1 ½ Cups Flour (I used half white spelt half whole grain)
1 tsp. Baking Powder (slightly rounded)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
¾ tsp. Ground Ginger
⅛ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp. Sea Salt
6 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
½ Cup. Unsweetened Applesauce
4 Tbsp. Oil (I used Olive but Avocado or melted Coconut is great too)
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax
5 Tbsp. Water or Nut Milk
1 Cup Grated Carrot (about 2 large)
¼ Cup Shredded Coconut
¼ Cup Cranberries
¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
¼ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. In another bowl combine the water and flax, let sit for five minutes to soften. After the flax has soften, add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until halfway combined.
2. Stir in the carrot, coconut, cranberries, pecans, and pumpkin seeds and mix just until combined.
3. Pour the batter into a parchment lined pan. Sprinkle the top with some seeds and oats and bake in a preheated 175 C (350 F) oven for 55-65 minutes, or until the top springs back.