Hello again everyone! I hope your Tuesday has been going well so far. In our house we have been having a pretty lethargic old time, as we are just emerging from a heatwave here in Brisbane…featuring 100000% humidity, of course. Eugh! Fortunately, last night we were treated to a beautiful storm that brought a cool change with it, and while it was hot again today, the continuing cloud cover provided that tiny bit of relief that we needed. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, please do spare a thought for those of us down under and send some cool vibes this way while we ride out the remainder of this sticky weather!
Well, I have been thinking that it has been a while since I shared a recipe here on the blog. Cooking is something I absolutely love, and always have. I try to make as much of our food as I can from scratch and I’m happy that 99% of our meals are made at home (the 1% being the occasional meal out, but these are infrequent and are becoming even more so). It’s cheaper, it’s healthier and it’s packaging-free.
Lately I have been cooking up a gigantic batch of muesli every weekend, as Mr SLE recently decided he would like to lose some weight before our wedding so was looking for a healthier alternative to the processed breakfast cereals he used to enjoy. I am trying my hardest to support him as he tackles this new goal, as I can see how important it is to him and I know that me cheering him on will keep him motivated. I think cooking several kilograms of muesli in the oven in an unairconditioned apartment during a heatwave counts as a whole lot of support, don’t you? 😅 We have also modified what we are eating for lunch and dinner (think salad, salad and more salad 😏), and so far it is going well, with no slip-ups – well, apart from my incessant chocolate eating, but I am technically not on the diet…
So, on the weekend when I was cooking up the muesli I decided to note everything down so I could post the recipe here, as I really think this one is too delicious not to share.
Pictured below is how I like to serve mine of a morning: with frozen raspberries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds (which are sold with the caveat ‘not for human consumption’ here in Australia…still haven’t died yet!) and coconut milk. I also usually add a big slosh of cold-pressed flaxseed oil on top. I know most people would find that gross but surprisingly enough, I actually enjoy the flavour and texture in my cereal. It’s better than just downing a big spoon of oil by itself anyway. If I’m super hungry (which is most of the time), I also sprinkle a little protein powder over the whole shebang, which seems to blend in with the coconut milk rather well and keeps me full a bit longer (inevitably, though, I’m still starving by the time I get to work and have to eat several of my oat bars).
Now, as you know, this blog is all about minimalism, so a warning here that, quite appropriately, this recipe is for slow living enthusiasts only since it takes more than three hours from start to finish! Yep… 🐌
I know that does sound like a lot of time, but you really do get a truckload of muesli at the end of it, and you don’t need to be watching over it the whole time. Nonetheless, you do still need to be at home and available to stir it periodically while it toasts. We put every Saturday aside for cleaning, laundry and food preparation, so I start it in the morning to allow it to cook while we get stuck into the rest of our chores.
If you aren’t used to spending a lot of time making food from scratch but would like to, please rest assured that the generous investment of your time and love into your cooking will be felt by all. It will radiate from the food itself and will transform each meal entirely. Interestingly, making things from scratch isn’t always cheaper (although often it is, as in this case) but I really believe that making nourishing, slow food for ourselves and our families is a labour of love, and is something that could never be replaced by a supermarket-shelf product. Each time we choose homemade, we are saying no to the instant, disposable food culture that has taken over our gastronomic landscape.
RECIPE: HOMEMADE TOASTED MUESLI
Makes: A LOT! I haven’t weighed it, but it’s definitely enough for two very hungry people to eat breakfast for a week, as well as the occasional after-dinner snack.
n.b. The recipe can easily be halved or quartered, but please adjust the cooking time accordingly. Please also note that cooking times will vary between ovens, so do keep a watchful eye over your muesli.
1440g rolled oats
390g raw almonds, roughly chopped
130g flaked coconut
280g raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
280g melted coconut oil
260g brown sugar
Few pinches sea salt granules
2 tbsp vanilla essence (make your own!)
Combine the dry ingredients in large non-stick roasting dish (mine is 8cm x 28cm x 40cm; I wouldn’t recommend using a dish that is any smaller unless you are halving or quartering the recipe). Combine wet ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until warm (or heat in a saucepan over the stove). Add the salt and vanilla essence, stir well then add the mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly for several minutes, ensuring no clumps of the wet mixture remain.
Cook at 160ºC (320ºF) for approximately 2¼ – 2½ hours, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture is well cooked through and golden brown. When stirring, be sure to use a scooping motion to move the crispier parts on top underneath and bring the less golden layer on the bottom to the top each time. If the top starts to burn, you may need to turn your oven down. When done, turn the oven off and allow the muesli to sit for approximately 1 hour, or until the oven, muesli and roasting dish are all completely cool. The muesli will harden upon standing. Use the end of a wooden spoon to break up the mixture and store in an airtight container or jar.
Are you into slow food? What’s your favourite thing to make from scratch?