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Sweet and nutritious breakfast reipes

This hot smoothie is a cozy way to start your day out with protein, fiber and a delicious warm apple flavor.

As mornings get crisper and cozy beds tempt the snooze button, some of us will take any motivation we can get to roll out of bed.

Perhaps the promise of a sweet breakfast?

That doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. These three recipes provide a satisfying yet nutritious start to your day.


Cran-Lemon Tea Muffins

Matcha powder is essentially ground green tea leaves. Ingesting the entire leaf rather than the usual steeped tea gives you a concentrated dose of the plentiful antioxidants and nutrients found in green tea. It also gives your morning muffin a bright, verdant color.

These muffins are adapted from a recipe from Kiss Me Organics, a matcha distributor found on Amazon. You can also find matcha powder in either the tea or baking aisles at high-end grocers.

CRAN-LEMON TEA MUFFINS

Makes 12 muffins

Tested by Alison Sherwood

2 cups white whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder

2 eggs

Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 cup coconut oil, melted (see note)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with vegetable oil spray or paper muffin cups.

In one mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and matcha powder. In another bowl, combine eggs, lemon juice and zest, honey and buttermilk. Pour wet mixture into dry, then gently mix in melted coconut oil. Fold in cranberries. Batter will be lumpy.

Scoop an equal amount of mixture into each muffin cup and bake in preheated oven 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack about 10 minutes and then serve.

Note: Instead of coconut oil, you can use butter for a richer taste.

Bird Bakery Granola

This granola will start your day with a sweet crunch. The recipe, from Bird Bakery in San Antonio, is a smart start with nutrient-wealthy pistachios and pumpkin seeds, but is also just plain addictive. Combine it with Greek yogurt and fruit for a balanced breakfast.

BIRD BAKERY GRANOLA

Makes about 20 (1/2-cup) servings

Tested by Alison Sherwood

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

2 cups unsalted pistachios

2/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2/3 cup maple syrup

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2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups dried cherries

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sea salt. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugars, maple syrup and olive oil. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour over oat mixture and stir well to combine.

Spread evenly onto baking sheets and bake in preheated oven until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan once at 10 minutes. Cool at room temperature. Break up granola and sprinkle with dried cherries. Store in an airtight container.

Note: Unsweetened coconut flakes, unsalted pistachios, unsalted pumpkin seeds and dried cherries can be found at higher-end grocers or natural food stores.

Hot Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

This recipe is fall’s chilly-morning answer to summer’s refreshing, healthy smoothies. An unlikely smoothie ingredient, cottage cheese makes the drink creamier and packs in 6 1/2 grams of protein without significantly altering the flavor. The recipe is adapted from cleancuisineandmore.com.

HOT CINNAMON APPLE SMOOTHIE

Makes 1 serving

Tested by Alison Sherwood

1 medium apple, cored and cut into large chunks

1/4 cup raisins or golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup warm water (divided)

1/4 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

8 pecan halves

Place the apple, raisins, cinnamon and 1/4 of the water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and cool at room temperature 2 minutes.

Add cottage cheese, flax seed, pecans and slightly cooled apple mixture to a blender along with the remaining 3/4 cup warm water. Blend on high 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

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Editor

Chris Etling is a copy editor and paginator at the Arizona Daily Sun. He's worked for the Daily Sun since November 2009.

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