This recipe differs in both ingredients and method from the one I posted two years ago. I like both for different reasons, as you’ll see.
Two years ago I wrote about Homemade Muesli, one where I hand-chop all the fruit and nuts and toast the oats. It’s a great recipe because of the large pieces of everything—dried apricots, almonds, raisins, figs, coconut. As I wrote then, it’s great to get all the chewing from muesli. Maybe that’s why you don’t need much of it, 1/4-1/3 cup soaked in some almond milk. It’s plenty for breakfast and you don’t get a sugar high like you do from commercial cereals, including commercial muesli. You get more of a steady, balanced addition to your daily diet.
A few months ago, I started mixing part of the ingredients in the food processor—nuts, apricots, figs—where the results are these little clusters of energy balls that stick together even after mixing with grains and coconut and seeds. They still have some chewiness, but I would say less than the other muesli. That’s the one I’m showing you today.
Muesli Recipe II
Preheat oven to 350°; line a sheet pan with parchment paper, which makes it super easy to pour the toasted grains into a bowl.
- 1 lb whole grain rolled oats
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
- 1/2-1 cup seasoned sunflower seeds
- 1/2-1 cup pumpkin seeds (my grocery was out of these!)
- 15 dried apricots
- 15 dried Sierra figs (a green-skinned fig, it is lighter in color and has a tougher dried skin than the mission fig, for example)
- 1 cup oven-roasted, lightly salted almonds
- 1 cup shelled walnuts
- Mix together the oats, wheat germ, and coconut. The coconut and wheat germ are less likely to scorch if you mix them with the oats. Spread out on parchment-lined pan and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on it to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before lifting the parchment and pouring all into a large mixing bowl with the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Place the apricots, figs, almonds, and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients reach a fairly uniform consistency with some variation, but don’t process too much or you will make a paste. Pour the fruit-nut mixture into the bowl with the grains and seeds and stir until well mixed. The pulsed fruit and nuts will form into little balls of varying sizes, and this is what you want. Some of the wheat germ will stick to them, as well as some of the little seeds.
- Let it all cool completely in the bowl, stirring occasionally, before pouring into a container with a tight lid.
Serve in 1/4-1/3 cup servings soaked for about 20 minutes in almond milk or the milk of your choice. You could alternately put the moistened muesli in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm up. I let mine sit while I drink that second cup of morning coffee.
We go to the cabin this weekend for the first day of antlered deer season on Monday and I didn’t want to fuss with bowls and spoons and almond milk to eat the muesli that I eat for breakfast every day, so I’m putting the muesli in bars. I’m still making the muesli that I posted so long ago, but have switched out the high GI (glycemic index) raisins for moderate GI figs. Then, ironically, I’ll be holding the bar ingredients together with mashed bananas, which are high GI. What can you do? I’ll be working it off walking in the woods, so I’m not too worried about it. If you’re interested in the glycemic index, you can find more information about it and look up foods here: Montignac Method.
I’m modifying this recipe from The Kitchn, adding more fruit and seeds than called for, and then putting it all in a smaller pan so they are thicker. I’m skeptical that the bars will hold together, but I want to give the recipe a chance. I’m hoping that using more dried fruit helps them hold together, but even if they don’t, I can eat them in pieces with no problem.
Ample fruit and nuts
Almonds, figs, and apricots
Bananas liquified in processor
Pressed in pan
Baked with browned edges
They turned out great and held together well. They’re a chewy bar, which is what I wanted. One of the reasons I like muesli for breakfast is all the chewing activity you get from the seeds and oatmeal, so these bars will make a great breakfast substitute. There is a slight banana taste, but it’s not overpowering, and the figs and apricots keep the bar moist. Try it with your own variations.
Preheat oven to 350°; butter a square baking pan or dish, 8″ or 9″ square. My dish is 8″ square.
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dry roasted almonds
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened apricots
1/2 cup dried unsweetened figs
1/4 cup dry roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dry roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a food processor, process the almonds, figs, and apricots until they are in small pieces, but not ground to a paste. I had thought about leaving them larger, and that might be a good option.
- Add the fruit and nuts to a large mixing bowl with the oats and seeds.
- Liquify the bananas in the food processor with the vanilla. Pour over the bar mixture and stir to combine.
- Press the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Watch carefully.
- Rest to cool on rack. Cut into bars when still slightly warm, but not too soon. Let cut bars continue to cool in pan before removing to rack to cool completely.
- Wrap bars individually in plastic or wax paper to take in lunch.
I’ve been eating a good muesli product, but there were a few seeds in it that I didn’t like, so I decided to make my own. Muesli is pretty much like granola, but without the fat and sugar used to bind it together into crunchy chunks. I find it hard to find a tasty cereal product that doesn’t have added sugar, but I enjoy muesli soaked in a little almond milk. The dried fruit has plenty of sugar in it for me, and I like that muesli requires some work in the chewing. I think that’s why it’s satisfying, because you don’t just slurp it down like the cereals that get soggy.
Muesli is generally raw food, but you can toast the grains and nuts first for a little added flavor, and you can cook it as you would any whole grain cereal. If there is a perfect ratio of elements in muesli, I don’t know what it is; I put mine together based on how it looked, which came out to about half grain flakes and half fruit, nuts and seeds. For seasoning, I used some cinnamon and a little salt.
Preheat oven to 375°
1 lb Bob’s Red Mill® Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (or your favorite oats or a combination of grain flakes)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, unsalted
1 cup roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup unsweetened, dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped figs or dates (I used figs)
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Mix oats and cinnamon, and salt, if using. Spread on baking sheet and toast until you can smell the cinnamon, about 5-7 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Remove to large mixing bowl.
- Add seeds, nuts, and fruit to warm oats and stir to combine. Cool completely before placing in container with tight lid.
For breakfast, I eat about 1/4 cup soaked in almond milk for about 20 minutes to soften the oats a little. Alternatively, you can add heated milk or you can cook it in milk.