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I'm a writer who's eating, drinking and reading my way around Philadelphia.

3 (Healthy! kind of!) weekday breakfast recipes

3 (Healthy! kind of!) weekday breakfast recipes

I'm a huge breakfast person. I will never understand people who don't eat breakfast before they go to work; I would literally die if I had to skip breakfast. And yes, I'm using "literally" correctly.

While I'll occasionally grab breakfast on the go (the whitefish spread at Philly Style Bagel is sometimes just too good to resist), I typically make breakfast for myself at home. And I'm not talking about a quick bowl of cereal. If I don't eat a giant breakfast, I'm hungry and cranky by 10 am, tops. So for the sake of all of my colleagues, I make myself a feast every morning.

The three recipes below are my go-to breakfast favorites for busy mornings. I make the granola ahead of time, but everything else can be made in about 10 minutes. Sorry everything's pretty heavy on peanut butter, but I'm on a strict two-to-three tablespoons a day peanut butter diet.

Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie

This tastes like a Wendy's frosty and I'm not ashamed that I have this for breakfast multiple times a week. Drink it as a morning milkshake or get hip and use it as a base for a homemade smoothie bowl. If you don't like protein powder, use a spoonful or two of unsweetened cocoa powder instead. (Makes one big smoothie)

2 bananas, cut and frozen
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1 or 2 tablespoons peanut butter (depending on how peanut butter-y you like it)
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

In a blender, add the milk, protein, peanut butter and bananas (in that order, you always want your liquids in first). Blend on high until the banana chunks are gone and the smoothie reaches a milkshake consistency. I like a really thick smoothie, but if you want to thin this out, just add more milk during blending.

Thug Kitchen's Basic Maple Granola

I swear by my Thug Kitchen cookbook, and their granola recipe is way better than anything you can buy in stores. I use slightly different seeds and dried fruit than they recommend, but otherwise this recipe comes right from them. This recipe makes two large mason jars full of granola, and also makes your house smell awesome. I like mixing this with yogurt and a little jam if I'm feeling fancy.

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup uncooked millet
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a mix of apples, apricots and peaches)

Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the oats, seeds, nuts and millet. In a separate bowl, mix the maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla, and then pour it over the oat mixture, stirring to combine everything. Add the cinnamon and salt, and then stir again. Pour the mixture on to your baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes or so. After it's finished baking, stir in the dried fruit and keep in an airtight container.

PB&J Oatmeal

I'm kind of crazy about my oatmeal. I go ALL OUT and am really particular about the oats I use. Like once I accidentally bought the wrong kind and I threw an actual temper tantrum. This recipe may sound like there's a lot going on, and that's because there's a lot going on. Worth it. (Makes one big serving)

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (the five-minute kind, NOT the one-minute)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
pinch each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
large spoonful of peanut butter
large spoonful of plain Greek yogurt
small spoonful of jam (I like fig)
fresh berries of your choice
dried fruits and nuts of your choice

Bring the milk and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the oats, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring often. While the oatmeal is hot in the pan, add in the peanut butter so it melts into the oats and makes everything nice and gooey. Pour the mixture into a bowl and top with the yogurt, jam and whatever fruits and nuts you choose. I like to mix everything together into a giant delicious mess, but that's just me.

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