I am a big breakfast eater. Some people can’t eat in the morning – I can’t function if I don’t eat breakfast within about 30 minutes of my feet hitting the floor. If I had it my way I would eat waffles, pancakes or eggs benedict everyday but really, I don’t have enough time during the week for that sort of carry on. And did I mention that chocolate chip pancakes are my favourite? Not the healthiest option for everyday!
I want something tasty for breakfast that is going to keep me going, be quick to prepare and not equal my body weight in sugar. My answer – homemade muesli!
My original recipe came from my Granny. I had no idea that you could even make muesli yourself, or that it could be SO good! After a bit of begging I was given the recipe, and it was really simple to make. My aunt has a slightly different version – I got her recipe too and after a bit of experimenting created an amalgamation of the 2 into a beautiful breakfast cereal that in my opinion tastes far better than anything store bought. It’s cheap and easy to make, and even better doesn’t contain any yucky additives, preservatives or too much sugar.
My favourite part though – it’s completely open to interpretation. As long as you have roughly the right balance of oats and other yummy dry ingredients with wet/sticky ingredients to hold it all together you have got yourself a personalised breakfast and I’m telling you – it’s foolproof.
The base is made up of wholegrain oats, shredded coconut and a small amount brown sugar for sweetness and flavour. The cinnamon and ginger add a little spice, the pumpkin and sunflower seeds make it interesting and the almonds and uncooked quinoa add crunch.
To hold it all together I add stewed apples (applesauce), honey and a little bit of oil. You can use any oil here – I used to use Rice Bran oil but I’ve recently become a coconut oil convert so now use this instead. The apples and honey both add enough sweetness that you can leave out the brown sugar if you want but I like the flavour it adds. It is important not to skimp on the honey if you like clumpy bits in your muesli. It also helps if you don’t mix it too well, just enough so that all the oats have a coating.
I like to mix it all together in the dish I bake it in – that way I don’t have too many dishes to do. It does pay to give the dry ingredients a good stir before adding the wet ingredients – I’ve had all the salt clump together before – it’s not so pleasant!
Homemade muesli is my favourite way to start the day. I add in any extras I feel like and serve it with Greek yoghurt and fruit.
4 cups wholegrain oats
3/4 cup shredded/dessicated coconut
3/4 cup chopped almonds/other nuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinammon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup stewed apples (applesauce)
1/3-1/2 cup honey
2 TBSP oil
Dried apricots or mango
Dark chocolate chunks (go on, you know you want to!)
Combine dry ingredients in a large baking tray or roasting pan (you could mix it in a bowl first then transfer to the baking tray but if you’re anything like me you’ll probably take the “less dishes” option!)
In a small jug whisk together the wet ingredients. If you are using honey that is not runny, zap it in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until it is more liquidy.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and combine – I don’t tend to mix it too well – I like there to be big clumps in it.
Bake at 180ºC for 10 minute intervals, taking out after each one to stir to ensure that it doesn’t get too crispy on the top. I find it usually takes about 30-40 minutes total depending on your oven and how crunchy you like your muesli. Keep in mind that it will crisp up a bit as it cools.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely in the tray before adding any dried fruit that you like, and storing it in an airtight container. My muesli never usually lasts more than a week but it will keep well for 2-3 weeks if stored correctly.