I could happily eat muesli every day; it tastes like early autumn and is full of my favourite things. S, on the other hand, only eats muesli occasionally and definitely not on the weekends. He says that it’s a workday brekky. To that I dismissively say, pffft! Besides which, muesli is so easily jazzed up if you’re feeling fancy – tropicana with fresh mango and pineapple, in winter with poached vanilla pears, with thick greek yoghurt and maple syrup for a decadent breakfast.
I first learned to make my own muesli when I was eighteen and living out of home. I was the only girl in a big share house in St Kilda; it was like having four big brothers. We shopped communally and ate together – no left-over pizza and instant coffee breakfasts in my uni student days! It was all homemade muesli and earl grey tea. Whenever we needed a new batch we would sit cross-legged around the low wooden table in the living room, chopping nuts and dried fruits, and listening to soul music on our old record player.
These days I make my muesli on Sunday afternoons in our sunny yellow kitchen, and eat it in the morning out on the verandah with the early sunshine and a hot cup of tea.
Homemade muesli is one of the easiest things in the world to make and over the years I’ve tried countless variations on the humble oats-n-nuts combination. The recipe below is my favourite everyday muesli – nutty and grainy and full of seeds. I always eat my muesli with fresh fruit, so to reduce sugar intake I don’t use a lot of dried fruit in the mix. If you like through, you can add chopped dried apricots, figs, or papaya, reduce the nut content, skip one of the grains, or replace it with extra oats. Whatever suits your taste.
COCONUT ALMOND MUESLI
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed millet
1 cup puffed amaranth
1 cup puffed spelt
1 cup bran flakes
1 cup rice bran shreds
2 cups coconut flakes
2 cups coconut flakes
½ cup cranberries
1 ½ cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
½ cup linseeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup hazelnuts
2 tsps cinnamon
Heat oven to 200°c/400°f. Spread almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts in a single layer on baking trays and bake in batches for 10 minutes each, until the nuts start to brown and a lovely nutty aroma is wafting through the house.
To toast seeds toss the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a pan over a medium hear for 3 – 4 minutes, until they start to brown and smell toasty. Transfer straight to a cool plate, and repeat with the sesame seeds. To avoid burning the seeds, make sure you toss continually and keep a close eye on them as they cook.
In a really big bowl, combine oats, millet, amaranth, spelt, flakes, shreds, coconut, and linseeds. Mix. Roughly chop almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cranberries. Add the cranberries to the bowl first and mix through with the grains to avoid clumping. Next add the nuts, the cooled seeds, and the cinnamon. Mix everything together, store in an airtight container, and done!
To serve: put five tablespoons of muesli in a bowl, top with a generous dollop of yogurt, slices of fresh banana, and a handful of blueberries (or your fresh fruit of choice). Drizzle with honey, and a few splashes of almond milk. Yum.
Notes: we go through muesli fairly quickly, so this makes A LOT (upwards of 10 cups). The muesli will keep in an airtight container for 3 – 4 weeks, but if you want to make less, simply reduce the amounts.