Mmm mmm Muesli

05 27 09 178The other day I was standing in the cereal aisle contemplating the many boxes of cereal. This was, after all, a rather important decision: partly because I’m a longtime breakfast-believer and want to give this most important meal of the day its fair chance and partly because, well, I’m not a morning person. If I’m going to get up in the morning, my breakfast cereal better be worth it.

The commercial boxes of cereal had too much added sugar (and is it true they spray-paint on all those extra vitamins?) and the healthier made-by-the-local-gourmet cereals seemed overpriced. I wanted whole grains, seeds, dried fruit and minimal added sugar. What’s a girl to do? Make her own cereal.

Purchasing only a couple extra ingredients at the store, I was able to pull from my cupboards most of the makings for a satisfying Muesli. I started by mixing two different whole grain cereals from Trader Joe’s, the regular rolled oats and the rolled oats, barley and rye (about 6 cups total). Then I added sliced almonds. I would have to sacrifice the sweet, crispy clumps found in granola because I wasn’t willing to add that much butter or sugar to my cereal. Instead, I added just enough cinnamon, melted butter and warmed honey to cover the oats (about 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons honey). Spreading the oat mixture out on a rimmed cookie sheet, I baked it in a 350º oven for 15 minutes when it was beginning to turn golden brown. Next I added the fun stuff: dried cranberries; raw, hulled pumpkin seeds; sunflower seeds; ground flaxseed; and sesame seeds.

How did it turn out? Toasting the oats with a little bit of honey softened the oats’ raw edge and added a hint of sweetness. The nuts and seeds provided crunch, while the cranberries added a tart, sweet element. As for the flaxseed, I was just happy there was something else good for me in the cereal. Now, I just have to figure out what I want to put in my next batch of Muesli.

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