Spring’s here, so porridge is out and muesli’s in

I figure it’s a bit like putting your black clothes away until next year and hunting out those yellow sandals you love. The first day of spring is the day I say goodbye to the warming stodge that is porridge and hello to crispy, crunchy homemade muesli, matched with the new season’s fruit and some greek yoghurt.

Muesli is one of those things that seems like more hassle to make than it actually is. I stopped buying commercially made brands when I worked out that the cheap ones had enormous amounts of sugar (ditto most breakfast cereals), while the expensive ones were grossly overpriced for the ingredients they contained. Given that all the ingredients in muesli are easily sourced, many are likely already in your pantry, and it takes under an hour to pull together, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to buy it.

The thing I like about this muesli is that I add whatever I feel like, pretty much, or whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruits I have on hand already. Sweetness wise, I go for natural sugars and try to keep it to a minimum. Either maple syrup or honey, and only half a cup (125ml) per batch. It takes me the better part of a month to work my way through a batch, so that’s a half cup of sweetener spread over 20-ish breakfasts, or about a teaspoon per day. Even if you eat more of this on a daily basis than I do, it’s still not bad.

This is what I like, but feel free to add or substitute to your taste.

Picture 073-2TOASTED MUESLI

125g coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
500g rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped almonds
2 cups dried fruits (I used dried raspberries, cranberries and goji berries)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175°C
  2. Melt together coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla essence
  3. In a large bowl, mix oats, seeds and nuts together.
  4. Pour over maple syrup mixture and stir to combine
  5. Lay out evenly onto a large oven tray (with sides!) and bake
  6. Stir regularly until muesli is evenly browned and golden
  7. Cool and stir through dried fruits
  8. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can change out the coconut oil for a neutral flavoured oil like ricebran or canola
  • Maple syrup can be exchanged for honey, brown sugar or another sweetener. The volume can also be reduced to your taste
  • Go for a pure maple syrup (check the ingredients) and the best quality vanilla you can afford. Some cheap brands are made from wood pulp or wheat germ extract. They should be labelled as imitation vanilla essence.
  • Other seeds that work well are linseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds
  • Walnuts, hazelnuts or brazil nuts are good
  • Additional fruits are sultanas, raisins, dried apricots, apples, etc
  • You can reduce the oats and add extra nuts and seeds
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