I’m appalled at how much money people spend on commercial Breakfast Cereals, which contain around 36 per cent Sugar.
Even the so called “ healthy ” ones, with sugar levels working their way up from 10 percent, routinely retail around $10 per Kilogram! If you only purchase one 500 gram box of the commercial stuff per month, at that rate you‘re shelling out $60 per year [ if you have kids, the sky’s the limit! ] against what I estimate costs me less than $2 per month for my homemade multipurpose Muesli base which you can alter to make not only Breakfasts but also Snacks and Desserts.
I have been creating my own Breakfast Cereal base mixture for almost a decade now. I say ‘ create ’ as each batch is different.
You can get your kids involved too. Subject to your parental veto, each child can make up their own Special Blend of breakfast cereal.
Start with this base recipe to make your own Breakfasts, Snacks and Desserts. It’s not only economical but it’s low GI [ Glycaemic Index ] and low in bad fats.
As a time-saver, I make enough for a month at a time. I blend my mixture into two re-purposed food-grade 2 Kg buckets [ which contained yoghurt when I purchased them ]. You can use whatever you have on hand, as long as it has an air-tight lid and has not been used for purposes other than food containing.
The staple ingredient is Rolled Oats [ aka steel-cut Oats ] then you add your dry ingredients to it.
Here are some ingredients you may want to add to your creation:
- Dried Coconut – shredded, desiccated or toasted
- Dried Fruit – apricots, dates, raisins, currents, sultanas, craisins
- Seeds – Chia, Sunflower, Sesame, Pepitas [ aka Pumpkin seeds ], Flax [ aka Linseeds ]
- Nuts – Almonds, Brazil, Cashews, Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias either whole, chopped or flaked [ Natural, not roasted, salted or sugar coated ]
- Any leftover low sugar commercial breakfast cereals or their crumbs which you can find in the pantry – like Corn Flakes; All Bran; Rice Bubbles etc. You may as well use them up – waste not, want not!
- Cinnamon powder or ground mixed spice
- Protein powder. Dried powdered milk does the same thing.
Fill your container to around ¾ full with the Rolled Oats and then add in your dry ingredients to your taste. You can be as light or heavy handed as you like depending on whether you like a crunchy texture or natural sweetness – or both. Just mix in quantities of your ingredients as you like and modify after tasting.
- If you like nuts but have trouble chewing or digesting them, keep them separate from your Muesli mixture, and instead each night soak a single-serve equivalent overnight in water. This will soften the texture, take away the bitterness of the Walnut kernels and help break down the enzyme inhibitor, so you’re good to go in the morning.
This low GI mixture provides a feeling of fullness longer than a standard off-the-shelf breakfast cereal because it contains maximum fibre, protein from milk, yoghurt &/or protein powder, and healthy natural fats from the nuts and seeds, and NO ADDED SUGAR.
You can eat this, as is, with milk plus you can use this same mixture to make the following variations:
To save time, make up a batch to last 5-7 days and store in the fridge.
- Add ½ cup [125mL] Apple Juice (Cloudy Apple Juice is healthier as the whole apple is pressed to produce it) to 1 cup [90 grams] of Homemade Muesli
- Let sit for a few hours or overnight to allow the juice to be absorbed into your muesli
- Serve with unflavoured Yoghurt* [ Greek or Natural ] and top with fruit – defrosted from the freezer or fresh
* Real Yoghurt should contain healthy bacteria [ culture ] and no sugar so check the label before purchasing
Toasted Granola Muesli:
If you really can’t resist a small sugar-hit, this is a versatile product which you can eat any time of the day either with milk or sprinkled on top of yoghurt for a dessert:
- Spread some of your homemade Muesli onto an oven tray lined with Baking paper [ aka Parchment paper ] or Aluminium foil to making cleaning up easier.
- Drizzle your Muesli with either Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, Malt Syrup, Golden Syrup or Stevia juice.
- Option: add a few drops of Vanilla Essence
- Toast your Muesli mixture in the oven for 8-10 minutes, but open the oven every 2 minutes or so to stir the mixture around to prevent the mixture from condensing.
Let cool and store in a tight lidded container until ready to use.
Yoghurt & Muesli Parfaits:
This can be eaten at anytime of the day or night.
- Toasted Granola Muesli
- Fruit – fresh, frozen or canned
- Add two Tablespoons of each ingredient at a time to create layers into a Parfait glass, a tall thick glass or Mason jar
- Refrigerate for later or enjoy straight away
As a quickie dessert to impress guests, allow room for yoghurt and fruit to be the top layer [ refer photo ]
Warmed Muesli Porridge:
- ½ cup Base Homemade Muesli (untoasted)
- ¾ cup Milk (minimum)
- Place the Base Homemade Muesli and milk in a small saucepan over low heat
- Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, adding more milk as it is absorbed.
- Transfer to two bowls ready to eat
Homemade Muesli Balls:
Step 1: Place these ingredients into a blender & pulse until well combined:
- Measure out 2 cups of Toasted Muesli
- 1 cup of Pitted Prunes
- 50g butter, melted and cooled
- Option: Add some Cacao powder for a healthy chocolaty flavour
- After pulsing your ingredients in the blender, check that it looks sticky. If not, add up to ¼ cup of Honey. The quantity will depend on how much Honey you have added to your original Homemade Toasted Muesli batch.
- Measure out an extra ½ cup of your original Homemade Toasted Muesli onto a flat plate;
- Take a spoonful of your pulsed ingredients into the palms of your hands and roll into balls. Which sized spoon you use depends on the size of the snacks you want to produce
- Option: Insert a Berry [ like raspberry, blueberry ] inside each ball before rolling to a healthy sweet surprise
- Now roll each ball into the remaining muesli on the flat plate to coat. Place on a clean plate or tray lined with baking paper or foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm
- Store your Homemade Muesli Balls in an airtight container in the fridge
Homemade Muesli Snack Bars:
You can use the same ingredients to make these except use the untoasted Muesli Mixture:
- Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius [ 356° Fahrenheit ]
- Line a slice pan with baking paper
- Combine butter, brown sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir for about 5 minutes until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves
- Let this mixture cook for about 2 minutes until this syrup mixture thickens and then remove from the heat
- Combine to your base Homemade Muesli [untoasted] mixture and your syrup mixture in a separate bowl
- Spoon this mixure into a slice pan and press gently to flatten
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes or until golden and crisp
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool
- Whilst the mixture is still warm and pliable, cut into snack bar size
- Once fully cooled, store in a tight lidded container
- Add around ½ cup [ 75 g ] of Plain Flour [ Allpurpose ] and an beaten egg to make up a cookie mixture.
- Roll about a teaspoon of mixture in your hands to form a ball and place on a slice pan lined with baking paper
- Now flatten each ball of mixture with a fork or your palm of your hand
- Bake for about 10 minutes until they look golden brown
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack
- Once fully cooled, store in a tight lidded container
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day as it stimulates our metabolism and sets up our blood sugar regulating pattern to provide us with the energy required for our busy lifestyle. If you add Cinnamon to any of these recipes this will help balance your blood sugar and prevent a spike in your blood sugar for breakfast and the next meal.
Photo source: http://www.australianpapaya.com.au