Monday, March 1, 2010

Muesli madness

Gloriously golden clusters of muesli
Pic from Pikelet and Pie

I've been on a semi health kick. I say semi because it started out full on and committed, but has deteriorated due to a number of factors a) Festival fever in Adelaide b)my affinity for alcohol and c) my love of food. Did I mention my love of food?

Bree and I have kept up our morning walks and our Monday night gym visits, but the kgs refuse to budge. My eating has been strict(ish) and I can't remember the last time I had a piece of chocolate or cooked an amazing meal. Scrambled eggs and heating frozen meals has been the extent of my culinary efforts of late.

So last night, I'd had enough. I wanted to bake - and I'm not a baker.

I've deliberately let my cupboards run bare so that I can't be tempted by any naughty treats, but I did manage to salvage a packet of rolled oats. Toasted muesli - surely that's a good start to the day?!?

I found a Donna Hay recipe that I used as a base and then added in whatever else I found in the pantry. I think next time I'll use less honey and mix in some water or juice instead - it sounds healthier that way. I also need to find out how to make it crunchier, more cluster-like, like granola - without having to add oil or anything else naughty (but oh so good!).

Tonight, while searching for a pic, I found an ah-mazing recipe that I'm desperate to try out when this batch runs out. Banana Toasted Muesli from Pikelet and Pie.

To quote Lili: It is unusual, unbelievably healthy (for toasted muesli) and wonderfully clumpy. Though it smells like a a banana cake while it is baking, the banana just adds an ethereal sweetness to the finished product. As usual with this kind of a dish, add whatever dried fruit and nuts you’d like. I was in the midst of project ‘clear cupboards out’ when I made this, and added some excess cashews, sunflower seeds and sultanas that I had lying around.

See how you go with this as a base, and I'll let you know how I go with the banana angle after my NZ trip. JC also has a fabulous recipe but she's one of these 'throw it all together' cooks who gets it right every time - half her luck!

Kate's mixed up muesli
Serves 6

4 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups mixed seeds and nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pepitas, sunflower seeds etc)
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I used a packet of fruit salad but be careful to cut the pieces small - most of mine burnt in the oven)
1/3 cup honey (I popped mine in the microwave for a tad to melt it down and make it easier to mix through)
extras like coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas or craisins would be great!

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and then line a baking tray with non stick baking paper. Spread the muesli mixture into the tray and bake in the oven at 180C for about 25 minutes, checking on it throughout and mixing it up so as not to burn the outer edges. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Will store in airtight container for about a week. Serve with natural yoghurt, sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon and a squirt of honey if you like. Would be delish with stewed rhubarb and apple or something. yum!

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