There is such a large variation of breakfasts available, especially in Australia where the options between savoury and sweet breakfasts are many. Oats were not (and still are not) a popular choice of breakfast in France. Here is how I ended up recently trialing homemade toasted muesli.
A few years ago, I would not have considered a savoury breakfast before the clock showed at least 10 am. Now, I don’t mind a fresh piece of bread with avocado and ham early in the morning, yum!
I grew up on bread and butter, or rather bread and jam or bread and honey, as I was not a big fan of butter when growing up. Forget Nutella. Nutella didn’t make its way into my mother’s kitchen until many years later. We used to make a chocolate spreadable out of a can of condensed milk and a tablet of chocolate. If you ask me now, I would not put that recipe on this blog. Back to now, most mornings I leave the house quite early – to avoid some traffic knots – and have breakfast a bit later. I have been trying out a few brands of muesli and toasted muesli. Of course, curiosity obliging, I gave a try doing toasted muesli.
How to make your own toasted muesli?
The key is to define upfront the flavour(s) you want as dominant and the “medium” you are after.
Do you want nuts as the dominant flavour? Or is it dry fruits? Is it berries? Keep one dominant flavour and then build round it.
Each main flavour will dictate the rest of the ingredients. For example, if you want dry fruits such as cranberries and apricots, you would not add more than two types of nuts as it will become a very “busy” muesli and will lack the simplicity of good simple things. With cranberries and apricots, you may consider adding shredded coconuts, maybe some almonds and possibly some chia seeds.
Typically muesli uses rolled oats. Commercial mueslis are composed of between 60% (for the gluten free ones) to 80% (more often) of rolled oats and other cereals flours (by weight). If you are gluten intolerant, you could choose to use buckwheat based cereals or a mix of corn flakes or puffed rice.
My first toasted muesli mix were quite heavy on nuts and seeds. I would now aim at 60% oats.
Some recipes do not add anything else than the medium, nuts, seeds, fruits. I like to add a little oil and honey (not much) and a pinch of salt. It adds a lot to the flavour and to the colour!
So, how to go about it?
Well, this is pretty simple, get a big baking tray out. Cut large nuts (almond, hazelnuts and up size-wise) to smaller chunks. Cut dry fruits similarly. Place all dry ingredients in the tray. Warm up a little the honey and oil, pour over and with your hands “massage” it through. Then, all you have left to do is bake the muesli in the oven while keeping an eye on it and mixing from time to time.
The recipe? Check HERE.
Note: you can add the dry fruits after the baking if you don’t like them too hard.
A few ideas of combinations
Combinations for toasted muesli are endless. Here are a few I tried or some which jump to my mind.
Go nuts muesli! Oats (50%), hazelnuts, walnuts, chia seeds, coconut, macadamia nuts. You can use almond there too, almonds and I don’t agree well, so I would only put very little or avoid them. That muesli was quite nutritious.
Fig and apricot muesli: oats (60%), hazelnuts, macadamia, dry apricots, dry figs, pepitas.
Northern america muesli: oats (60%), dry cranberries, dry apricots, coconut, chia seeds, almonds.
Chocoholic muesli: oats (70%), hazelnuts, almond or walnut, cocoa powder, chopped dark chocolate (to add at the end).
And the price bit?
On my last muesli, I calculated that to come to the same price as a box at the supermarket, I would need to have 40% oats and plenty nuts (hazelnuts and macadamia are quite expensive). And that was using supermarket based ingredients i.e. no bulk price considerations!
I also calculated that is you use 60%, your cost become half of the commercial cost. So definitely worth it!