Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mmmm Muesli

About six years ago now, my dad bought a packet of muesli to eat for breakfast. Somehow, this simple act initiated a cascade that has led to a full-blown obsession... of Vogel's Premium Oven Crisp Muesli - Fruit & Nut. I still don't understand what exactly he sees in it. I mean, it's pretty good but I don't think I would ever become crazy about this particular muesli. It also happens to be the most expensive muesli variety available in supermarkets, which means that we buy it in industrial quantities when it's on sale. 

I also used to be guilty of eating the same breakfast each morning but have recently tried to overcome the OCD-ness of this habit, starting with an eat-something-different-for-breakfast-every-morning-for-one-month-with-no-repeats challenge. Surprisingly I was able to find something different to stuff in my gob each morning: variations on oatmeal, toast, fruit salads, leftovers from the night before, etc, etc... 

Despite the amazing variety I discovered during that one month (one of my favourites being chocolate oatmeal with a frozen banana melted into it), I have found myself reverting back to cereal/muesli as part of my morning routine. Although, in my defence, I have started to try some different varieties. Last week I had my best bircher muesli experience, with Carman's original bircher muesli with Greek yoghurt and raw honey. Cafe down the road, eat your heart out. It was that incredibly good.

Inspired by that particular breakfast (as well as the desire to do so for quite a while now), I decided to take advantage of the mid-semester break at uni and make up a batch of my own muesli/granola. Below is my first attempt at granola. As usual, this is a recipe created by one of my Scandinavian idols: Sarah B from My New Roots. 

I was never entirely sure how to distinguish between muesli and granola but it appears that the only fundamental difference is that granola is baked and muesli is not. So technically, Dad's favourite 'muesli' isn't muesli at all...(gasp). Muesli has medical origins in Switzerland, having been created by the physician Maximillian Bircher-Benner for his patients in hospital, which just seems to make it that much more acceptable and justifiable to eat! However, once I realised that granola has American roots, I wasn't so keen to get busy in the kitchen anymore. This partly stems from the fact that I have been brainwashed from a young age to believe that Australia is far too American for its own good. But that's another topic for another day. 

Oh.. so yes, the title of this post is therefore slightly misleading. It should read something more like "Grrrrr Granola". But that makes it sound as if I'm angry at my breakfast, which I most certainly wasn't.


In fact, I was anything but. I could eat this by the truckload and I think I may even have successfully converted my pig-headed father to eat something other than Vogel's muesli for breakfast for a change.... 


Simple Gourmet Granola (adapted from My New Roots)


Ingredients:


4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
¾ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ tsp finely ground sea salt
1/3 cup liquid honey (or a bit less, depending on how sweet you like it)
4 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 180°C.

2. Whisk honey and coconut oil together in a small saucepan over medium heat.

3. Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds and sea salt in a large bowl.

4. Pour the oil and honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir very well, until the dry ingredients are coated.

5. Place the mixture on a baking sheet and place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes; remove from the oven and stir. Place back in the oven but remove and stir every 5 minutes or so until the oats are golden brown (around 25-30 minutes). 

6. Remove from oven and add dried cranberries and chia seeds. 


If you click on the link (above) for the original recipe, you will see that Sarah has suggested a number of optional 'add-ins'. I chose pumpkin seeds, cranberries and chia seeds but there are so many others to try: I'm thinking to go with walnut + fig next time! 


- Matilda


P.S. Just as I was preparing to give this recipe a go, I received an email update from My New Roots about a guest post on the blog by David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories!! My two favourite food bloggers combined in one glorious post. And guess what they made?? Yup, granola. The photos are stunning - it's most definitely going on the list of things to make :-D 

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