Toasted Vanilla Spelt Muesli
If you caught me eating out for breakfast a year ago, you would have seen me tucking into bowls of muesli, filled with dried fruits, nuts and a good dollop of vanilla yoghurt. I kind of changed my tune on eating muesli every weekend after I read about the effects on the body from consuming too much sugar and fructose. I read Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, followed by a deeper read of David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison.
I’ve never been a fan of regularly eating processed food and grew up in a household where lettuce, herbs and fruit came from the garden - so the need for cutting out processed sugary foods from my diet was not something I really need to do. However, it did make me a little more aware of the natural sugars I was eating every day - lots of fresh fruits, dried fruits, honey on almost everything, sweetened yoghurts, nectars, juices and the occasional handful or two of lollies. Nothing unhealthy by all means, just lots of it. So for eight weeks I cut out fructose and I felt pretty damn good after doing so. I swapped muesli in the morning for eggs, and handfuls of sultana’s at 3pm for a good chunk of cheddar or salted nuts. This made me more aware of how often I would turn to something quite sugary to fill my hunger, and that this wasn’t really satisfying my cravings.
Almost a year later from my eight weeks on the no-sugar-band-wagon, I’m not a rigid non-sugar consumer, I am just a lot more aware of the foods I consume and their sugar content. I still love a good bowl of muesli and am not condemning you from enjoying it too, there are FAR worse things you could be eating than that!
I have a fantastic muesli recipe for you to try that I think is more nutritious and delicious than any other store bought version out there. And best of all, because you make it yourself you know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth. This muesli recipe is really rich and crunchy, so I like to use it more as a topper rather than a breakfast ‘base’. Sprinkled over creamy Greek yoghurt and topped with fresh seasonal fruit, it really is a winning start to the day.
I like to use rolled spelt for the muesli as they are a little firmer than regular oats, giving the muesli a bit more bite. They won’t break up like some rolled oats tend to do, and they have a lovely nutty flavour. Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat grain that has high water solubility, so the nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body. This makes spelt easy to digest. It is also high in protein, and in both simple and complex carbohydrates.
This makes a relatively small batch so if you like to have a bit on hand I’d recommend doubling the recipe. If you want to cut out the sugar totally replace the honey for another tablespoon of coconut oil.
1 cup rolled spelt
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup raw nuts, I like to use almonds & walnuts
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla pod's seeds
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs honey
Pinch sea salt
HOW IT’S DONE
Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees celsius. Place the coconut oil and honey in a glass jug and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds so the oil melts and the honey becomes runny. If you don’t have a microwave heat the two gently on the stovetop.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and drizzle with the warm honey and coconut. Toss through so the spelt, nuts and coconut are coated well. Scatter the muesli onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 25 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so - everyone’s ovens are different! It’s best to dry out the muesli slowly than blast it with heat, as it will burn very easily. The spelt should turn golden as well as the flakes of coconut. Let the muesli fully cool on the tray before placing in an air tight container. It will keep for several months. Let me know how you go!
Photography by Andy Stavert