Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Muesli - not too sweet!

I like muesli, but increasingly find that they are too sweet, even those without added sugar. So, I did the obvious thing and mixed my own!

I didn't find any guidance online for relative proportions of ingredients (admittedly I didn't look too hard, but how wrong could I go?), so I did a taste-test of the cereals to find which I liked most individually, and determined that, actually, they don't taste all that different (with the exception of oats). The bigger differentiator is the texture: wheat flakes are softest, rye flakes are hardest. Oats are far softer and flourier. So decision made: equal quantities of wheat, barley and rye flakes, a bit more of oats. This is also appealing as oats are significantly cheaper than the others. Win-win! On the subject of buying the cereals individually, I found them in Whole Foods.

After that, it is just a question of determining what extras one is going to add. Well, this is simple - just think about what you like! I am partial to lots of nuts and seeds and, as I've already implied, only a bit of added sweetness. I toasted the almonds and hazelnuts to intensify the nutty flavour and really bring out the crunch, but not the cashews as I thought that might be a bit much, and some slightly waxier pieces make for more varied mouthfuls. Note that toasted nuts go rancid faster than raw ones though, so if you aren't going to eat your muesli up within a few weeks - say, a month - then it is probably best to skip this step. I used flame raisins, which are big, plump and full of flavour. You can add anything you like though - if you like sweeter museli add more fruit and less nuts, and try different fruits, or different nuts or seeds. The shelves at Holland and Barratts should provide ample inspiration. Next time, I would probably go for slightly less additives to cereals (a bit too nutty), and cranberries are very tempting...

To almost fill a tall Kilner jar (825g total weight):
  • 100g wheat flakes
  • 100g rye flakes
  • 100g barley flakes
  • 200g rolled oats
  • 75g almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 50g cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g flame raisins
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sunflower seeds

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spread the hazelnuts and chopped almonds out on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant and slightly coloured. Set aside to cool completely. Once cold, measure all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stir in the nuts and decant into an airtight jar or tub to keep it fresh.


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