It’s amazing how quickly cravings and habits form. I remember when we went to Asia and I started eating curry, fish and rice for breakfast. At first, my stomach would turn. I was used to milk and sugary cereal. It was so strange. After just a few days though, I started looking forward to my roti canai, and later to my miso soup, rice and pickled vegetables. These days I am pretty much on an oatmeal kick. Oddly enough I love to add some granola to my oatmeal. I know it is an oat-on-oat situation but I love the contrast between the crunchy texture and toasty flavour of granola along with the other seeds and nuts that I also add to my bowl. So, having granola in the house is always a good thing in my book. I try to change up the spices, nuts and fruit that I put in my granola (got to keep breakfast exciting!) and this time I decided to make a second batch of granola based on Local Milk’s recipe. Her granola is the clumpiest that I have ever made. While I love muesli-esque granola, there is something special about the texture of granola clumps (does anyone know what I mean? Maybe because they are usually pretty hard to achieve?). Using her recipe as a base, I decided to make gingerbread granola: deeply spiced, molasses-y, filled with pecans, and dried blueberries and cranberries. It’s the perfect accompaniment to my oatmeal on snowy winter mornings.
I have been on quite the breakfast food journey over the past couple of years. Until about three years ago, I never ate anything but cold, sugary cereal for breakfast. Everything changed when I tried this oatmeal for the first time and the joy of eating something warm and a little more wholesome and filling in the morning was introduced to me. Even though I still love oatmeal, trying my first acai bowl in Hawaii last March put me on a whole new path. This past summer, eating a cold, refreshing smoothie bowl was almost all that I wanted to eat every morning. Recently though, when I wake up, our apartment is pretty cold and I am craving warm food again. One of the things I love about smoothie bowls is the contrast between super smooth blended fruit and the various crunchy things I sprinkle generously over the top. I am always mixing various seeds, nuts and other bits that I have in my cupboard over the bowl (I also do this with my oatmeal, but the contrast in texture isn’t so obvious). While I find myself firmly back in the oatmeal wagon, I thought that having a smoothie-esque wintery breakfast bowl would also be great to have in my arsenal: this warm applesauce breakfast bowl is it.
A few weeks ago, while I was walking home from the gym, I stopped at our local super healthy, trendy juice and smoothie bar. I was hungry and I knew we didn’t have any food at home, so I sucked it up, went in and paid for an overpriced smoothie. I’ll admit, it was delicious and their selection included things that I am not used to seeing at the chain stores. I stood there for a very long time reading their menu before I chose a chocolate mint number but a couple of their other drinks stayed in my head. I wanted to recreate the chocolate mint one here but I realized that I have too many similar smoothies already (clearly I am a fan of making anything that tastes like chocolate feel more healthy!). Besides, earlier in the week I made a delicious smoothie, which was also inspired by their menu, filled with spices, mango and turmeric. But, the morning that I woke up to photograph this post, I was too cold to have a smoothie. There has been a chill in the air here and my body wanted something warm. I wanted to cradle a hot mug of goodness and wrap myself in a cozy blanket. And so, my turmeric smoothie became this hot, spiced turmeric milk, and I’m so happy that it did.
I discovered songza. It’s amazing. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if your life had a soundtrack? I think that this is as close as it gets to that. You choose your playlists based on your moods, what you’re doing, the time of day and off it goes. Playing in the background, always. It’s especially soundtrack-y for me since I am pretty much always in my apartment, with my computer whirring away. Now that winter has set in, there are highs of -20 and I feel like I am stuck in a strange box, filled with lovely music. It’s not too bad.