To be honest breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day — I’d rather have a snack at 11 than some pallid, soggy sugary stuff out of a carton.. and that tradition of pouring milk all over it just makes me shudder.
So I was never much of a muesli fan until someone introduced me to a European style – just moistening it with juice and yogurt served on a bunch of chopped seasonal fruit.
This recipe is pretty simple – well, because we like it like that. You can change around the ingredients – different fruits and nuts, seeds etc. for variety. Be warned though – once you start making and eating your own muesli there is no going back to those store bought boxes.
Living in Bangkok I like to use the local ingredients – palm sugar and freshly grated coconut etc. but you can use whatever takes your fancy, mix it up for variety, for example you could add a little cinnamon and dried cranberries for a wintery style mix.
Brigid’s Tropical Muesli
There are no hard fast rules to this muesli – you can add a little more of something or a little less of any of the ingredients according to taste and what you have on hand. I usually change the type of fruit I use a little to give a bit of variety.
For the oven ingredients:
Around 1 kgs of Rolled Oats (always use regular larger sized oats — preferably not quick cook and definitely NOT instant)
Around a cup of grated coconut (I usually use fresh grated from the market but regular dried variety is fine)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ — ½ cup slivered almonds
1/3 a cup of vegetable oil (I use coconut for both taste and health reasons.. you could also use almond, apricot or a very light olive oil)
¼ cup of honey (you can use more palm sugar or brown sugar if you don’t want / have any honey)
½ cup of hot water (I sometimes use the coconut water from inside the coconut instead)
¼ cup of brown sugar (I use the powdered palm sugar) you don’t have to use this much sugar either just go by your own taste.
¼ tsp of salt — optional
Pre heat the oven to around 180 degrees
In a large bowl stir together all the seeds, rolled oats and nuts
In a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar and the hot water (or coconut water heated), add the salt, honey and oil.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well, tossing until evenly coated.
Put the mixture into two baking pans and stir occasionally to prevent burning and sticking (important!) until lightly toasted and fragrant. It usually takes around 30 – 40 mins but this depends on the oven and the wetness of the ingredients – go by the colour rather than the time. The muesli will crisp up more as it cools too.
Once it is out of the oven toss through any dried fruit of your choice.
We usually use Raisins, dried Cranberries, banana chips (broken or crumbled you can do this by crushing them in a plastic bag with a cup) dried apple – chopped, apricots– diced, you can also add dried pineapple, peaches, dried cherries, blueberries etc for variety.
Freeze dried fruits such as raspberries and strawberries are really nice too.
I usually buy a whole bunch of stuff and then use it for several batches of muesli.
Oh, and one other tip — If you are making a whole batch and won’t get through it in a hurry just put it in a seal lock container and keep it in the freezer – it will keep it fresher longer.
To serve, I usually sprinkle the muesli over a bunch of chopped fresh fruit such as pineapples, bananas or crisp green apples then moisten with grapefruit or pineapple juice and some unsweetened yoguht.
Another favourite of mine is with cooked rhubarb and tamarillos (otherwise known as tree tomatoes).
Cook the fruit in a dash of water and a sprinkle of sugar — chop the rubarb roughly — don’t worry about peeling the tamarillos, just cut the tops off before cooking and they will pop out of their skins once they are done.
This style needs no added juice at all. Topped with some unsweetened thick yogurt is almost like having a delicious dessert for breakfast — but not too heavy either.