It's the time of year to try new routines, new recipes, and new ways of approaching meals. I'm a yogurt and granola kind of gal. I'd say over half of my morning meals each week consist of this simple, satisfying routine. But change is on the horizon: I've discovered muesli. If you're not familiar with muesli, it contains many of the same ingredients as granola, but instead of adding sweeteners and oil, you toast the ingredients as they are. No oil. Only as much honey or maple syrup as you'd like to serve it with. It's certainly drier than granola and won't have that characteristic clumping or crunch that some people love. But I've been loving it as a vehicle to try new yogurts and interesting raw honeys lately. And it's a great late afternoon snack for when you need a little burst of energy in that 3:00 hour. You know the one.
People make muesli in many different ways. Some bake the grains like I do here, others prepare it completely raw. This recipe is for the dried muesli itself. You can store it as is and add a little milk or yogurt when serving just as you would granola. But many people like to soak their muesli for at least 12 hours, making it more easily digestible and, some say, allowing vitamins and minerals to be absorbed more readily.
So I'd say to experiment and see how you like it. Try it dry right after you make it, add a little splash of milk and honey. And then try soaking it in the refrigerator overnight and try it the next morning. Like me, you may just find your new morning groove.
Hazelnut Cherry Muesli
makes 2 cups
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
1/4 pumpkin seeds
3/4 cups rye flakes
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
Honey and milk (or yogurt), for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool just a few minutes. Scoop nuts into the center of a clean dishtowel. Using the towel, rub nuts until the outer skins start to loosen. Set skinned hazelnuts on a cutting board and roughly chop.
Spread the rye flakes and rolled oats onto another baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, stirring two or three times prevent burning.
Scrape the toasted and chopped hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and grains into a large serving bowl and add the wheat bran and dried cherries. Serve drizzled with honey and milk. Or serve cool on its own or with yogurt or milk. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
(Image: Megan Gordon)