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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I love Muesli... or do I?

I really love muesli, the perfect muesli is a crunchy, chewy delicious start to the day. With the right combination of berries, yogurt and juice it could almost be considered manna from the heavens. I also hate muesli, let me tell you the ways!

  • I hate paying $8 for a tiny box that is mostly packaged air, so that pouring yourself a bowl of muesli leaves you with exactly enough muesli for 1 and a half maybe 2 more bowls if you are lucky.
  • I hate that when the box says ‘delicious Almond and Blueberry’ you have to engage in a culinary ‘Where’s Wally’ to find the 3 almonds they hid in the box
  • I hate that when the box says ‘delicious Almond and Blueberry’ the blueberries are almost certainly currants that have been dyed and flavoured.
  • I hate how much sugar is in most pre-packaged mueslis
  • I hate the marketing which paints something that is nutritionally uneventful as some sort of miracle superfood. Most commercially available mueslis share more in common with a box of candy than a box of healthy grains.
  • I hate muesli fillers like textured processed flakes and chunks that bulk up boxes of muesli for low cost and low nutrition.
  • Mostly I hate papaya. Papaya is something that muesli makers put in their boxes to torture me. A perfectly good box of muesli can be ruined by small sticky, sickly sweet globs of papaya.

I have tried a variety of times to make my own muesli, but always had fairly lack lustre results, often ending up with a combination of overtoasted and raw muesli. The heartbreak of wasting so many ingredients on muesli misfires finally wore me down and I stopped.

Until I unearthed my old harvest maid dehydrator and a recipe for gRAWnola that tickled my interest. A friend of mine follows a raw vegan blog and while raw vegan has never been a food jag that appealed to me, a lot of the recipes used by raw vegans are excellent examples of nutrient dense food on a budget so hearing about healthy, tasty granola that can be made in the dehydrator made me think of muesli.

Without further ado I emptied out the dry goods cupboard and threw together the most delicious muesli I have ever had. Even better, for the same cost of a box of premium muesli I made almost 5 litres of muesli which should last us a good fortnight or more.

This is what I chucked together

2 cups of organic buckwheat groats
.75 cup of unhulled sesame seeds
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 cups sunflower seeds
2 cups of oats
1.5 cups of coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup sultanas
.5 dried apricots diced up
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup linseed
1 cup shredded coconut
2 diced apples
3 tamarillos (I just squashed the flesh out in chunks)
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ginger powder

Then I melted .5 cup of virgin coconut oil and .5 cup of honey (please note, honey is not vegan) together before tossing the mix together to ensure an even coating. You could use juice concentrate, molasses, agave, maple syrup, pureed date or really anything you please as a sweetener and any oil as a binder. Important to note that all of these proportions are approximate, in most cases I literally just cleared out what was leftover in the cupboard.

I layered it onto my dehydrator and then had it on level 2 overnight.

The result was delicious!!!

Buckwheat groats form the basis for this recipe.

Chia seeds are nutrient dense little powerhouses

An excellent example of safe almond chopping

Into the bowl they go

Mix it all up

Kids love the mixing
Cinnamon and Apple
Cranberries are a tasty treat but can be high in sugar

Warming the honey and coconut oil together, the smell is heavenly.

Sticky fingers!

A nice thin layer is best
Et voila!