Today I am going to write about cereal. Yep, that’s right – rock on! If anyone knows me well, they’ll know that cereal is a big part of my life. When I was younger, I would chow down on not one, but two (maybe even three) large bowls of cereal every morning and then would sneak in another bowl after school and another as my evening snack. Honey Nut Cheerios drowning in milk was my bowl of choice.
Whilst my cereal addiction isn’t THAT extreme nowadays, breakfast is still my favourite meal of the day. But I have moved on from Honey Nut Cheerios. In fact, I am now an advocate for making my own cereal. One, because the majority of shop-bought cereals (even the ‘healthy’ ones) are pumped with unnecessary sugar, causing me to flop mid morning. Two, because I can mix and match the ingredients to keep things interesting. And three, because it’s fun – again, rock on!
I have many breakfast recipes up my sleeve but my current fave is my Toasted Coconut Summer Muesli. When it’s too warm outside for a steaming bowl of porridge and it’s too early for eggs, muesli is grrreat (sorry Tony). I love coconut, like seriously love coconut, which is why it takes centre stage in my summery breakfast bowl but pretty much every aspect of this recipe is adaptable so feel free to chop and change it to suit your tastebuds!
So, without further ado, let’s get muesli-ing!
- 4 Cups Oats
- 2 Cups Mixed, Chopped Nuts (I luuurve pecans, hazelnuts and almonds)
- 1 Cup Raisins
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Flakes or Desiccated Coconut (or BOTH)
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- 1/8 Cup Coconut Sugar (can be substituted for another natural sweetener or omitted completely)
- 1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil (or omitted completely)
Preheat your oven to 180℃ or 160℃ fan. You don’t want a hot oven, you just need it to be warm enough to toast the muesli.
Start by roughly chopping the nuts into smaller pieces. If you have the knife skills of Jamie Oliver then this will be a doddle for you but for me, this takes me a good ten minutes. I can only manage to chop one almond at a time, otherwise they all roll off the chopping board and into my dog’s mouth!
Then, plonk the Oats, Nuts, Raisins, Coconut Flakes, Sea Salt (essential for making the flavours pop!) and Coconut Sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Like I said, the coconut sugar is completely optional, and sometimes I don’t add it in at all (especially as it’s not that readily available). However, if you did want to add it – it gives a gentle sweetness and buttery flavour.
Give everything a good stir.
Now, I like to mix in melted coconut oil at this point because it helps amp up the toast-iness and coconut-y-ness without making the muesli greasy. BUT if you don’t have coconut oil, I would skip this step because the muesli will still toast up nicely and substituting it with other oils could potentially overpower the delicate flavours and leave an oily taste.
Now you have your muesli mix, it’s time to make your house smell like a bakery/coconut tree. So, evenly fill two trays with the mix and pop them into your preheated oven.
The trick here is not to get distracted. This is where disasters can happen and you end up with two sad trays of coal. Remember we are toasting, not cooking so it’s only going to be in the oven for around 10-15 minutes. Just keep swapping over the trays (if they are on different levels) and feel free to give the muesli a few stirs here and there so that different sections are exposed to the heat.
And before you know it, breakfast is served! WOO! I love this recipe because it’s super simple to make, easy to store and will last for ages (although the longest it’s lasted in my house is a week – did I tell you I love cereal?). I eat mine with a few dollops of greek yoghurt, some fresh fruit, a sprinkling of ground linseeds (a great source of fibre!) which I then top up with gloriously nutty almond milk.
I really try to make a big deal out of breakfast. They say it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason. I’ve found that my day feels so much more relaxed when I start it off with a slow, mindful breakfast instead of gobbling up my grub 2 minutes before I leave the house. I prepare my breakfast which includes brewing a filter coffee in my Aeropress (coffee lovers, you need one!). Then I sit quietly sipping on my coffee and some water whilst munching on the muesli that I made all. by. myself.
It’s the little things in life sometimes that can make your day. Even if it is just a bowl of cereal.