One of the most consistent and enjoyable habits of my entire life has been sharing recipes. I copied the first recipe from my childhood girlfriend at about the age of 9. It was for ‘Snickerdoodle’ cookies. I still have the handwritten recipe in my file. I also have, in a small frame, my Grandmother’s handwritten recipe for her corn cakes. Just seeing her handwriting brings a lump to my throat. Thankfully, the corn cakes do not bring a lump to my throat, they are delicious!!
About a year ago I discovered a new recipe for toasted muesli (granola to Americans). As with most recipes I have modified it to my own liking and you will no doubt adapt it to your own taste as well. I thought it would be the first recipe that I share with you because it is a favourite at the moment. I love the taste and especially the versatility of it. And the smell of it cooking in the cool winter days is so nostalgic…like my Mother’s oatmeal cookies warming the kitchen.
Toasted Almond Muesli
1/3 C Maple syrup (the real deal, not imitation)
1/3 C packed dark brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract (again, get the good stuff, not the imitation essence)
½ C organic (if possible) coconut oil
5 cups old-fashioned oats (not ‘quick’ oats)
2 C (generous) raw almonds, coarsely chopped by hand
- Adjust oven rack to mid-upper position and pre-heat oven to 160C (325F). Line a 250mm x 330mm (9 x 13”) pan with silicon baking paper.
- In a large bowl thoroughly mix syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add in oil and mix well. Mix in almonds and oats until all is well coated.
Transfer mixture into prepared baking pan and spread across evenly. With the back of the spoon press the mixture down into the pan. Unlike other toasted muesli recipes where you want the mixture to remain loose, this one should form one huge, toasted muesli ‘cookie’ when done.
- Bake until lightly browned 40 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven, and your taste, even five minutes longer. You can rotate the pan once in the middle of cooking, though I forgot this once and it didn’t seem to make much difference.
Remove from oven when done and allow to completely cool (if you can stand to leave it alone!) When cool, break it into large-ish pieces and store in an air tight container for several weeks.
Originally, toasted muesli (granola) was meant as a breakfast cereal, and this is delicious for that purpose, but you’ll want to add whatever fruit you like to it in this case. As I am somewhat gluten intolerant and fructose intolerant (yeah, I know, a pain, right?), I prefer to use it as a ‘topping’ or as a small snack. Below is one of my faves… homemade cooked granny smith apples topped with the muesli and a dollop of my favourite plain yogurt. As good as the best apple crumble… in my humble opinion!!
Yours in consumption,
(You can also find this permanently on the new ‘Food’ page of my blog.)