If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in this business, it’s that even people who like to eat healthy like convenience in food. If freshly pressed veggie juices and raw salads were available like cheeseburgers and soda were, the American diet would be a whole different ball game. When I have new clients come in, I make it my goal to teach them ways to make eating healthy easier on them; the last thing I want is for my clients to feel as though fueling their body with nutrients and goodness is a burden. I love the idea of making something Sunday night or Monday morning to last you all week long. It’s an amazing way to make sure that no time crunch or blast of laziness will leave you reaching for something processed and packed with sugar, sodium and unnatural chemicals.
I came across this awesome recipe for a breakfast square that’s easy to make and is sort of like having a pre-packaged & nutrient packed oatmeal breakfast ready to go. I adapted it from The Tasting Table’s recipe for quinoa and bulgur wheat squares. I decided to make these gluten-free and subbed the bulgur wheat out and used a blonde quinoa instead and used gluten-free oats. I sweetened with date sugar and dates to keep it sugar-free and added a little cinnamon and nutmeg to punch up the spices. These breakfast squares were delicious and so filling and nourishing.
Quinoa, well-known as a “supergrain”, is something I try to use as often as possible. I always have a veggie and quinoa dish stocked in my fridge for last minute lunches or a weekend snack and my kids even love it as a side dish at dinner. It’s a complete protein and therefore a great option for those who aren’t getting protein from animal sources. It’s also packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, lysine, manganese and countless other nutrients.
I enjoyed my quinoa square with unweetened vanilla almond milk, chopped pears and a dash of stevia. I am so excited to share this amazing breakfast option with you- how will you eat it?
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick pan spray. Line baking pan with long sheet of parchment paper, letting the sides of the paper hang loosely over the pan edges to create a sling. Lightly coat the parchment with the nonstick spray.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the quinoa, rice milk, water and salt. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the quinoa has uncoiled, about 15 minutes. Stir in the oats, vanilla extract, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cook stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the dates and the date sugar until the mixture is crumbly. Transfer the date mixture to a bowl and add the walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely ground. Add the walnuts and the date mixture to the oat mixture and stir to combine. If adding goji berries, stir in now.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula and bake until the top is lightly browned and the bars are set but still soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.
To serve, carefully pull the sides of the sling to lift and transfer the square to a cutting board. Slice the bars into 8 rectangles and serve in bowls with warm unsweetened nut/seed milk of choice and top with chopped fruit and natural sweetener to taste.
Holistic Nutritionist & Lifestyle Cleanse Expert, Los Angeles
After being diagnosed with cancer when she was 32, Elissa Goodman explored holistic alternatives and combined them with traditional treatments and was able to beat the disease. Her husband wasn’t as fortunate; he succumbed to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was only 45 after a regimen of doctor-prescribed chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants. Her personal experience led her to realize the many ways in which nutrition and lifestyle affect our ability to deal with health challenges.