Thursday, 9 August 2012

Home made Muesli recipe to warm a winter mornings

Whenever I go to London, I stay at my sisters house. The whole family does. I mean, who could refuse free accommodation in London. Plus, I get to see my sister, Arielle, my brother in law, Andy, and my two beautiful nephews, Oscar and Zac (I was holding Zac when I took this picture, we didn't leave him at home). 
Now, my poor brother in law has had to put up with various family members staying with him for up to 6 – 8 weeks at a time. That’s pretty full on! Apart from the fact that it makes Arielle happy to have us there, I think one of the reasons that Andy if fine with us staying is because of the cooking (and now the free baby sitting). With us there, there’s a bit more time to cook. I’ll usually cook a couple of lovely meals when I’m there (I travel with recipes now…is that lame?), and if he’s lucky throw in a batch or two of muesli. He goes through muesli like it’s going out of fashion, so this always goes down well. So when I was in London recently, I made the time to make him some muesli. I thought I’d share the recipe, so he’s got no excuse not to make if in my absence!

A note on the amounts and ingredients…I don’t really stick to the amounts and exact ingredients below. I tend to be generous with the maple syrup and honey but I use the right amount of rolled oats. With the nuts, dried fruits and seeds, I just put in however much or whatever I have around or feel like. Sometimes it brazil nuts with cranberries and apples, sometimes it’s walnuts with pineapple and apple. Just try different things out till you get what you want. Also, watch out if you’re doubling the recipe that you have a nice large pan to bake it in. You want it to spread out to a thin layer so the ingredients go all crunchy. I tried a triple batch once and it didn’t taste as good.

1 1/2 C rolled oats (make sure its NOT the quick oats)
1/2 C flaked almond
1/2 C brazil nuts, chopped up
1/2 tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 C pure maple syrup (I shouldn’t say this, but I buy the cheap stuff. Terrible, I know).
2 tbs honey
2 tbs canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 tbs vanilla extract
1/3 C almond meal (or linseed or hazelnut meal)
1 C pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 C dried apples, chopped up
1/2 C any dried fruit that you like (I used some pineapple and paw paw, but I think my favourite is dried cranberries or cherries)
2 tbs flaxseed oil (this stuff is supposed to be great for you)

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. In a bowl, combine the 1 1/2 C rolled oats, 1/2 C flaked almond and 1/2 C brazil nuts (or whatever nuts you’ve decided to use). Line a baking tray with baking paper (VERY important, or everything will stick to the tray) and spread the oat mixture out in the tray. Sprinkle the 1/2 tbs of cinnamon on top.
Put the 1/4 C maple syrup (plus a bit more for good luck), 2 tbs honey, 2 tbs canola oil and 1/2 tbs of vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a low heat until it’s combined and runny. This doesn’t take long at all.
Pour the syrup mixture onto the oat mixture. I usually mix it around a little to spread out the syrupy goodness across as many of the oats as possible. 
Put this tray in the oven for around 15 – 20 mins, or until they are nice and golden. I like mine quite golden and crunchy, so sometimes it takes a little longer to bake. It also takes longer if you’re doing double the recipe. Try and mix it at least once while it's cooking. This again, helps spread out the syrupy goodness. What you’re trying to do is make sure all of the oats get golden and have some syrup on them, as then they’ll go lovely and crunchy when it cools. When it’s done, take it out to cool and go crunchy. 
While this is cooking, combine the 1/3 C almond meal, 1 C pepita’s , 1/2 C dried fruits (whichever dried fruit and nuts you decided on) into a bowl.

Once the oat mixture is pretty much cooled down, break it up and mix it with the fruit and nut mixture. Add the 2 tbs flaxseed oil and stir it really well. If you keep it in an airtight container, this should last you at least 10 days.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy it. I love it just with milk, of with some yoghurt and stewed or fresh fruit. 

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