Thursday, 25 October 2012

Oaty Goodness

There are so many recipes out there in the blogasphere for Granola at the moment and I have my own which I think is pretty good, or rather my son thinks is pretty good as it's his main breakfast staple along with wholewheat toast and soft boiled eggs. But for me, a bowl of museli is the way I like to start my day. This is a really simple recipe and is so much cheaper than buying it premade at the store. Of course the best part is you get to control what's in it.

Basically, I toast oats (old fashioned rolled, not the instant kind) in the oven until just starting to get a darker golden colour, they smell toasty too at that point! It takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes, but watch carefully as the outer edges will darken quicker. When they do, choreograph a little waltz with the outer oats moving to the middle of your baking pan and the middle oats moving outwards. Once the oats are toasted, leave them to cool and add your nuts and seeds to the pan for their own time in the oven. they will toast faster so watch them well. It all depends on which nut's and seeds you choose of course, I usually toast pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds or (rarely) peanuts, all unsalted, but the seeds take roughly 5 minutes, the nuts a little longer. Mix all of the above together with dried fruit of your choice. Mine, you ask, well they would be apricots, cranberries and raisins.

A note on Apricots. They may well be orange coloured when fresh, but dried apricots are muddy brown with a slight orange undertone when dried. Those bright orange ones you see are sulfured and NOT good. If you are going to go to the trouble of making your own museli, please do yourself a favour and use un-sulfured apricots. The flavour is so much more intense and well, apricoty!


Fruit and Nut Museli

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup each sunflower seeds,pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup each walnut pieces, sliced or roughly chopped almonds
1/2 cup each dried apricot, cranberries and raisins

Toast oats, in a thin layer, one to two cups at a time depending on the size of your baking tray, in a 375F (190C) oven for 10-15 minutes until golden.Watching to make sure the outer oats are not browning too quickly, pull the outer oats to the center of your baking pan if need be, pushing the inner oats outwards. Set aside to cool.
Toast the nuts and seeds at the same temperature for 5-10 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
Roughly chop the apricots and add all the ingredients to an airtight container. Place the lid on the container and shake well to distribute the nuts, seeds and fruits amongst the oats. Keeps well for 2-3 weeks.
Serve with milk or natural yoghurt.

Oats are best eaten once they have had a little soaking time. In fact all nuts, seeds, pulses and grains are best after their bath! If you can, try and remember to portion out your museli the night before, pour on your milk and leave it in the fridge overnight. You may need to loosen it a bit in the morning with some extra milk. If you don't remember it's not so bad, but give it as long as you can in the milk before eating. The measurements above are just a guide, you can add more nuts, seeds and fruit or more oats.Whatever works for you is just fine.

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