homemade muesli with flavors of fall
In the Kitchen 101 Series
With every recipe I create, I love to share some behind-the-scenes cooking and nutritional info with the hope of getting you excited and informed about cooking and your health! Here’s what we’re learning today:
the benefits of making your own muesli or granola vs store-bought
what is maca powder and why do I add it to my muesli
how to toast your muesli
I’ve had quite the love affair with muesli over the past few years.
When I first tried muesli, I thought I was eating oats that somebody mistakenly forgot to cook. I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan at first, and I definitely didn’t see what all the fuss was about this cereal in Europe. I missed the familiar crunchy texture of granola and muesli seemed just a little too soggy for me.
I’m not sure what happened since now and five years ago, but I am proud to say that I am now a full-on muesli convert. I have gotten in the habit of making a large batch to last me a week. Sometimes I may buy my muesli at the store, but if I have the time, I like to make my own. Why? A couple reasons.
I always prefer homemade to storebought muesli (or granola) because you have total control over what you want in your cereal. If you are craving more protein in your diet, for example, then you can add in more nuts or seeds. I also choose homemade because storebought usually has added sugars, a big NO-NO and in my muesli, the only sugar I’m adding is from dried fruits.
Each week I like to vary the recipe a little as to keep things interesting, and this past weekend I fall-flavored muesli. Before I shell out the recipe, here are the basic guidelines to making your own personalized muesli:
How to make your own muesli step-by-step:
- Decide on your base
- Start with some grains such as oats (most common), puffed grains, or toasted buckwheat groats
- Add in something crunchy
- Chopped nuts such as cashews, alonds, pecans, or walnuts and seeds such as chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame.
- Decide on your sweetner
- Dried fruit. Apricots, apples, raisins, or dates. Coconut flakes lend a nice flavor, too.
- Give it an extra boost with some superfoods
- bee pollen, maca powder, dark chocolate, cacao powder, carob powder
- Experiment with some spices.
- Think cinnamon, cloves, all spice, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, etc.
Mix them all together and pour it in a jar with a tightly sealed lid. For ingredient measurements, simply go with your gut/preferences or see recipe below for my basic measurement guidelines.
Tip: try adding in a spoon of nut or seed butter after you pour your bowl for some extra flavor and added protein! Frozen or fresh fruit is always a good idea, too!
If you can’t seem to come around to muesli (believe me, my 2012 self feels you), you can always try sprinkling it over a smoothie bowl or in yogurt.
From the ingredients listed above, no matter what recipe batch I’m preparing, I always add in maca powder. Maca powder comes from the maca root grown in high altitudes in Peru and contains a number of benefits including high magnesium and has a positive effect on hormonal balance and energy levels. It’s worth noting that, like other adaptogens, you may need to consume maca for a number of weeks before starting to experience its full benefits. I personally take around 1 tablespoon a day, and find that having it already added to my muesli makes it much more convenient-and I like the taste of it in my cereal!
If you’re still not on board with the muesli texture or it’s just not sweet enough, you could always try toasting your muesli….
To do this, mix all your ingredients EXCEPT FOR the dried fruit in a large bowl. Pour onto a baking sheet, and evenly distribute 1/4 cup maple syrup over the mixture. Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 375F/190C. Shake the pan in between and keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning. Take out of the oven and when it’s cooled off, mix in dried fruit, and pour into a sealable jar or glass container.
Have you tried muesli before? Let me know if you’re a muesli nay or yay kind of girl or guy, and if so, what your favorite combos are! I always love hearing about and seeing your creations so please leave a comment or tag me #sproutingradiance on Instagram @marypardoux !
- 3 cups large rolled oats (GF or regular)
- 1 cup puffed amaranth (a different grain or another cup of oats is fine, too)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried apple
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup bee pollen
- 1-2 handfuls of chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Pour into sealable container. Keeps for a couple of weeks (but mine is always gone by the end of the first week!)
- To serve, eat alone with milk of choice or top on smoothies or smoothie bowls, or yogurt.