meusli... or is it muesli?


muesli (as i now know it is spelt) is a peculiar word. it’s not similar to other words, it’s a little odd to say and i always spell it wrong - check the photo label which was set before i checked the dictionary!

regardless of this it’s a very easy thing to make at home. and is a great way to add an instant dose of healthiness to your diet. it’ll encourage you to eat breakfast (always top of any nutritionist’s hit list of eating sins) and, if you make your own, its full of natural and healthy ingredients.

my muesli varies every time i make it but there are three ground rules which i always follow:

  1. toast your oats – toasted oats are incomparably nicer than those straight out of the package. they have a better flavour and the texture is slightly firmer meaning your muesli won’t be based around a soggy oaty mess. i also stick to large oats as they keep their shape better.
  2. add a good variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds – exactly what goes into my muesli varies depending on what has been lurking in the cupboard for a bit too long, but i always make the effort to track down some of my favourites (dried peaches is always top of my list!) so that it’s not just leftovers.
  3. add milk powder – skimmed milk powder is a really nice way to add a slightly luxurious feel to your muesli as well as some extra vitamins as it’s often fortified (vitamins a and d in the case of the one i use).

i don’t add sugar to my muesli, finding the dried fruit sweet enough but if you do want something extra, drizzle your oats with a couple of tablespoons of honey as you toast them.

muesli – makes 1.5kg

1kg large oats

400g mixed dried fruit, nuts and seeds

100g skimmed milk powder

turn your grill to high and spread the oats out on a large baking tray. place this under the grill and as they turn golden (you’ll be able to smell when this is happening) remove the tray from the grill, stir the oats up and then return it. continue this process until all the oats have had a chance to turn a slightly golden colour. you must stay in the kitchen while you are doing this as it is incredibly easy to burn them. it is also worth smoothing the top of the oats after mixing it so they toast evenly.

meanwhile prepare your fruit, nuts and seeds. i like to keep things bite-sized so end up chopping pecans, walnuts and cashews. dried apricots, peaches and apples also get cut into pieces.

this batch of muesli contains a mix of brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, flaked almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots and dried apples plus some sunflower seeds. desiccated coconut is a nice addition too.

when the oats are ready, mix them with the fruit and milk powder, in a large bowl. store in a sealed tub to prevent the cereal becoming stale.