As a kid I loathed those three words together in a sentence: Back. To. School. I’d hear them in advertisements, friends’ parents would annoyingly bring them up at summer playdates, and starting mid-July up through September I’d be haunted by the thought of going back to school. It wasn’t the “school” thing that bothered me so much; I was actually good at most of my classes and enjoyed spending time with my friends every day. But it was the whole “back to” thing in front of “school” that got me. Somehow shopping for new school supplies and anticipating meeting new teachers and classmates on the first day always built anticipation and dread for me. After all, what if the teacher was evil?
Now that I’m older, I still find myself a little anxious the week or so before school starts. In fact, just as when I was a kid, I know I’ll be more anxious on that first morning than any day afterwards. The anticipation of school starting is worse than the actual event. And right now, the anticipation has been setting my mood a little bit more frantic and crazy than I’d like. I feel like I won’t have time to get everything done before summer break is over.
Baking is a stress-reliever, both for me and many others who like to bake. Even when school is in session, I like to bake on the weekends in order to unwind as well as (if things go well) turn out some delicious treats to share with everyone! This week I baked some granola.
This is my second time making granola, and this time I spiced things up – literally! I added a splash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. The spices jazz up the zesty orange flavor for an autumnal wonderland. That’s why I have dubbed this granola “back to school” – though it is a somewhat hateful phrase, it describes autumn. And this granola is a perfect vehicle for fall flavors. In fact, the taste is somewhat calming in these hectic weeks of preparing for the Fall semester.
Another reason this granola is great for school time is that it is a convenient and healthy breakfast or snack! Make it on a weekend and keep it either in an airtight container or the freezer. Then, eat it throughout the busy week for a quick breakfast with some yogurt, or a refreshing afterschool snack. It could even be brought along in a ziplock for busy afternoons. And let’s not forget the health benefits of the granola. The oats are a wonderful source of fiber – brain food – and the almonds provide healthy fats. Spices such as cinnamon have been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine. Currently, some studies suggest daily cinnamon can reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. It can also help kill bacteria such as E. coli and help heal ailments such as urinary infections. Furthermore, according to my sources nutmeg can help ease anxiety! How perfect for this time of year!
I hope you can find some time amid all the school registrations, shopping, etcetera to make this granola. It is healthy, delicious, and calming both to make and eat. Enjoy alone, with yogurt or maybe milk of choice and some fruit!