Pepita, Papaya, Almond Museli

by brookefiore

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One day you will learn how to give and receive love like an open window and it will feel like summer everyday.

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The other day I got to thinking about my favorite meal. Not salads, or seafood, or ice cream, more simple than that. More along the lines of breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s the type of wandering my mind does, nearly unconsciously, until I come to a realization worth marveling at. Then I tune in, listen to my mind, take a mental note to stow it away.

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It’s the kind of wandering I love the most. Lately I feel as though I’ve learned to incorporate it into the strangest of places. It used to only happen as I drifted off to sleep, then I would find myself doing it while I was on a walk or at the gym. Then it was while I was driving.

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To completely contradict all of this I will tell you that I am big believer in being present. I believe in showing up for everyday. Mentally, emotionally, any way you twist it, I think that “putting my best foot forward” also means “showing up” to participate fully in all that life has to offer. How can one’s mind wander but also be present in the current moment? I’m still tackling this question myself, but somehow I seem to have found a nice mix of the two, presence and absence and it has created quite a calming effect.

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I’ve always been a morning person so it should come as no surprise that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  On a side note, my second favorite time of day, or perhaps very closely rivaling first place, is the late afternoon. From the light shadows cast by a setting sun dancing around tree trunks covered in snow, to the way my sun scorched skin feels as I settle a bit deeper into my beach chair on the sands of the Jersey Shore.

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I turn to my mother and we say “the longer we sit the less we want to leave” as if we have just discovered this fact of life that takes hold of us every beach day of the summer. The sinking sun seems to pull us closer to the sand and cloth chairs rather than back to the beach house where the tomatoes resting on the windowsill are waiting to partake in dinner.

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Thanks to dried papaya, this take on museli seems to perfectly catch that hue of sunset among beach chairs and the warmth that I’m dreaming of on a rainy, blustery morning of late winter, marrying my two favorite hours of the day quite perfectly.

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 Pepita, Papaya, Almond Museli

Makes about 4 cups

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds

1/2 cup unsalted pepita’s (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 cup roughly chopped dried papaya chunks

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On one baking sheet, toast the oats. On another baking sheet, toast the pepitas and chopped almonds. Toast until each is lightly golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then combine with chopped dried papaya.

Serve over milk or plain greek yogurt. As you can see, this also makes a great on-the-go breakfast once packaged in small jars.

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