Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published March 1st 2011
It's the Swiss who we have to thank for muesli. And hippies for spreading its joys worldwide in the 60s. Before that oats were just porridge and people would have been shocked if you suggested it might be nice to have some nuts with breakfast.
It's gotta be the easiest thing in the world to make, and if you're not already tailoring your muesli to your own taste then you must not be having it for breakfast. And if you're not already having muesli for breaky at least a couple of times a week then you're missing out on all that health and regularity it brings! Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If you're not having it because you think it's dull and serious then you definitely haven't found the right muesli for you yet – as there are all sorts of quite exotic things you can throw into the mix, from shredded fresh apples, a la Bircher muesli (from the 'father' of muesli, Mr Bircher-Benner.), to cinnamon, to nuts and seeds, to a fruit salad of dried fruits. The basic version is a a handful of rolled oats with a grated apple, a sprinkle of nuts and then some liquid to bind it all together. Milk is traditional, but apple juice and water are alternatives.
Most mueslis are a bit fancier than that though, and contain a couple of different types of grain. Bran, spelt, wheatgerm, barley and kamut are popular options. And a wider variety of fresh and dried fruits. Goji berries, which Mr. Bircher-Benner may not have heard of, are a fad at the moment and are a good thing to toss into your muesli.
Here are some basic recipes to play around with: Basic Muesli with dried fruit: 115g rolled oats 2 tablespoons of wheatgerm 30g dried apricots 30g dried prunes
30g grated apple small handful of sultanas small handful of chopped dates
handful of chopped hazelnuts of almonds
Bircher Muesli Recipe
200g rolled oats
125g low fat natural yogurt
fresh fruit – whatever's in seasonings
handful of toasted almonds and runny honey to sprinkle/ drizzle on top
Bran-y, nutty Muesli
4 handfuls of rolled oats
handful of ground bran
half a handful of dried apricots
half a handful of chopped dates
half a handful of chopped walnuts
half a handful of hazelnuts
good sprinkle of chopped brazil nuts and of sliced almonds
2 grated apples
Now you've made muesli, it's time to accept that you're not always going to have time to sit down to a lovely plate for breakfast. So the accompanying recipe is for muesli bars. This is another recipe you can tailor to your own tastes with dried fruits and nuts of your choice.
But the basic recipe is:
1 cup of rolled oats
1/3 of a cup of wheatgerm
1 cup of desiccated coconut
½ cup of chopped dried apple
½ cup of chopped, dried cranberries
½ cup of pumpkin seeds
½ cup of sunflower seeds
½ cup of sesame seeds
100gs of unsalted butter
½ cup of honey
a tablespoon of brown sugar
Step One: Pour the oats, wheatgerm, seeds and coconut into a frying pan over medium heat and agitate them around until they're all golden then pour them out into a bowl to cool. Line a baking tray with baking paper while you're waiting for them to cool.
Step Two: Stir the dried fruit into the cooling mix. Put the butter honey and sugar on the medium heat hob and stir until the sugar dissolves – it will take about three minutes. Once it's a clear mixture bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes. This bit is important, but it might take a few batches to get perfect. So don't be disparaged if your bars are too sticky the first time around.
Step Three: Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until it's all combined then spoon the mixture into the tin. Use the back of your spoon to press it down nice and firm. Allow to cool.
Step Four: Once it's cooled cut into squares or rectangles to taste.
Promise you'll feel healthier for all your efforts.