Make It Your Own Muesli

This recipe for wholesome and nutritious muesli is literally what you decide it to be! Individually you – by you, for you!

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Ingredients

Serves 15-20

600g rolled oats

100g dried dates, chopped

75g dried prunes, chopped

75g dried apricots, chopped

75g brazil nuts, roughly chopped

50g sunflower seeds

50g pumpkin seeds

Method

  • Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix.
  • Serve a portion in a cereal bowl with either milk or very low fat natural yoghurt – or the two combined.

Dawn: This recipe is so very simple and so very easy to do. I’ve quite literally taken some dried fruits, seeds and my most favourite always-in-the cupboard nuts – brazil nuts – and mixed them together. Bob’s your uncle! They make the most delicious muesli for breakfast and give a massive energy boost to help keep you going all the way through until lunchtime.

Originally devised around about 1900 by a Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner for his hospital patients who needed diets rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and was inspired by “a strange dish” he and his wife had experienced while on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Nowadays, it is commonly recognised that we all need diets rich in fruit and vegetables to contribute to our overall healthy living and wellbeing. Bircher originally soaked oats with water and lemon juice overnight and then served it with yoghurt. Something I think I’m simply going to have to try! I’ll report back on what I think.

You can use any dried fruits: cranberries, currants, sultanas, etc. with any seeds and nuts you happen to have in at home. Fresh fruit can, for example, include grapes, grated apple, mango, strawberries, raspberries and can be served with fromage frais, quark and other dairy products as well as adding ground nuts such as ground almonds and a dash of your favourite spice such as cinnamon or ginger to create a muesli completely unique to you – you’re only limited by your own imagination!

I’m rather partial to serving this delicious muesli with a sliced banana, a roughly chopped orange and a smattering of fresh blueberries with a couple of heaped tablespoons of very low fat natural yoghurt on top, then lashings of cool milk and topped off with sprinklings of ground cinnamon. It’s currently my most favourite breakfast! And definitely counts towards my having my 5 A Day!

So go on – Make It Your Own Muesli! It can be anything you want it to be!

Another nutritious breakfast using oats is porridge and you can find the recipe here from my “How To Make” series – “How To Make Porridge”.

For more easy to make and oh-so simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and over at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook.

Mixed Berries Smoothie

Whether for an energizing breakfast or a filling lunch, smoothies are a great way of having some or all of the recommended “5 A Day” to help us become healthier by adopting a few small changes into our everyday eating.

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Ingredients

Makes 1 large glass

1 banana, peeled and chopped

75g mixed berries (fresh or frozen)

75g low fat natural yoghurt

25g porridge oats

150ml milk (type: your personal preference)

1/4tsp cinnamon

Method

  • Put the banana in a blender, adding the mixed berries, yoghurt, porridge oats and milk.
  • Blend until all the ingredients are combined together to form a thick liquid.
  • Pour into a glass and dust with some cinnamon. Then serve with or without fresh berries atop to decorate.

Dawn: This is a quick and nutritious meal for any time of the day and helps you consume two of the recommended “5 A Day” fruit and vegetables intake that helps towards a healthy and fit way of life.

When you feel good from the inside, you look great from the outside!

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com. You’ll also find us on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!

Sunshine Muesli Bars

Muesli – helps set you up for the rest of the day and can be crammed full of filling, nutritious ingredients that may include seeds, fruit – both fresh or dried – and nuts. Topped off with low fat natural yogurt and milk, it’s a divine way to start every beautiful and promising new day. And here you have a portable version of muesli to eat-as-you-go!

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Ingredients

300g Make It Your Own Muesli (click for super easy and oh-so-speedy recipe)

100g unsalted butter

100g light muscovado sugar

1tbsp honey

1tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • Weigh the Make It Your Own Muesli into a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Next, put a piece of greaseproof paper on to a baking tray. This should be just bigger than the baking tray enabling you to curl it over the baking tray edges.

Dawn: Use a baking tray with a little depth to it so you are making bars that are nice to hold and gives you something to grip.

  • Put the sugar, butter and honey into a small saucepan and slowly melt the three ingredients, stirring them together. Don’t rush this process. When melted, add the cinnamon and stir in.
  • Now pour the melted treacle-looking mixture into the bowl containing the muesli and stir these ingredients together. The muesli will start to look darker and become sticky in appearance.
  • Pour the muesli sticky mixture onto the greaseproof lined baking tray. With the back of a wooden or metal spoon, smooth out the muesli mixture as equally and evenly as possible across the tray. Cover and allow to go cold before putting in the fridge. Allow to set. Or, alternatively, place in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4, 180°C electric for 15 minutes and when baked, allow to cool.
  • Then simply take a knife and cut this very large muesli-looking ‘bar’ into as many smaller snack size muesli bars as you want to make.

Dawn: These bars make great energy boosting snacks for when you need an energy lift…be it eating breakfast on-the-go or as a tasty lunchbox treat for you and the family at work or school, through to staving off those niggling mid-afternoon hunger pangs in the office or simply as a Sunday afternoon walking break booster to spur you on your way. 

These high energy muesli bars can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge and should keep fresh for about a week – if they aren’t eaten beforehand! They’re very scrummy – you have been warned!

Try them and see for yourself – and let me know what you think. 

For more easy to make and oh-so simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and over at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook.