Saturday mornings in my childhood home had a distinct pattern: the dual sounds of my Dad grinding coffee in his hand-powered mill while blasting Dixieland jazz; my Mom at the dining room table, hidden behind mountains of cookbooks, making her weekly menu and shopping lists; the Bugs Bunny & Roadrunner show; and big breakfasts.
The big breakfasts were almost always one of the following options: pancakes, homemade honey-nut waffles, crepes (always with sugar and lemons from our Meyer lemon tree out back), crumb coffeecake (recipe from the back of the Bisquick box), or currant scones. Scrambled eggs and bacon (regular or Canadian) made occasional appearances, but it was mostly carbohydrate heaven. My brother, sister and I all swam for the local swim team, and the hearty breakfast typically fueled us well beyond lunchtime.
All of this reminiscing brings me to one point: whether you are an endurance athlete, a casual exerciser, or anywhere in between, forget the bunk and embrace your carbs! You need them.
Protein is important, absolutely, but healthy carbs are every bit as essential to avoid pooping out, especially if you are doing any sort of endurance training. Sports nutritionists recommend if you are engaged in any intense cardio activity (running, swimming, biking, or just hard cardio gym workouts in general) that 60 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates to maximize workout performance.
Oats are always a great option in my book because they are cheap, convenient and versatile. They provide a whopping 27 grams of carbohydrate per 1/2-cup serving, but are also super high in fiber and low on the glycemic index food, meaning that the energy they provide is long-lasting.
And while I’m guessing you love oats as much as I do, there’s no reason to stick with porridge and granola. You can fancy things up on weekend mornings, like I did with these delectable coconut oil, pear and oat scones.
I used the oats in two form: whole and ground into flour. You can buy oat flour, but I prefer to throw my oats in the food processor and whiz for a few seconds: voila! Instant flour. Coconut oil (in place of traditional butter), fresh pears and cardamom sent these straight over the top. And while these take a bit more time to prepare than a bowl of oatmeal, the bonus is that you have several additional breakfasts for the week ahead.
(Disclaimer: the author of this post was Powered by Scones :))
- 1 cup oat flour (purchased, or grind oats in food processor)--GF, if needed
- 1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats--GF, if needed
- ⅓ cup natural cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 2-1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup solid coconut oil, cut into chunks
- 1 large egg (see vegan option below)
- 2 tbsp milk (dairy or nondairy)
- 1-1/4 cups chopped fresh pears (peeled or unpeeled--not too fine!)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in coconut oil until crumbly.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and milk. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended; fold in pears.
- Turn dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with oat flour. Gently pat into two 6-inch circles, about ½ inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Transfer scones to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or let cool completely.
Storage Tip: Store the cooled scones in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before serving.