Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Toasted Coconut Muesli

Would it be too much to say that this muesli changed my life? It feels like it would be too much. I don't care, I'll say it anyway. It changed my life!  

Growing up and to this day, I've always been a breakfast person. Just think about it- breakfast includes food for just about any palette. There's bacon and sausage for meat-eaters, there's fruit salad or oatmeal for light-eaters, there's pancakes and waffles for the people with hangovers. Breakfast has it all!

I'm baffled when people say they never eat breakfast. How is that possible?! My stomach is growling 30 minutes after waking up! 

When I was young, going to Old Country Buffet every Sunday for breakfast was one of my favorite parts of the week.  Which I now realize is a sad sad existence for a 9 year old but the idea that I could pick and choose my own breakfast items was pure heaven.  So once I grew up and got a 9-5 job, breakfast was mostly an afterthought 5 days a week.  I don't have time to eat at home before work so I'm left eating whatever is the quickest and most convenient at my desk.  Needless to say, I never want to see a packet of instant oatmeal again.  
BUT, like a beacon of light from the heavens, Joy the Baker posted a recipe for toasted coconut muesli.  And then I just died.  Muesli is the answer.  It's chocked full of good stuff and whatever the heck you wanna chock it full of, it's soaked overnight (in your choice of almond milk, soy milk, milk milk, etc.) and topped with frozen berries of your choice.  It retains some crunch from the almonds and bursts of sweetness from the berries.  It's satisfyingly cold and delicious and filling.  Did I mention I love it?  It's made for breakfast lovers.   

Here's the recipe!  

Toasted Coconut Muesli
yields: apprx 10 servings

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit you like)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

To serve:
frozen blueberries
cold milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oats on an ungreased and unlined baking sheet.  Place coconut on a second ungreased and unlined baking sheet.  Toast oats and coconut until coconut is golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Coconut browns quickly, keep an eye on it and stir frequently.  Remove both the oats and coconut from the oven and allow to cool.
2.  In a large bowl toss together oats, coconut, dried cranberries, chia seeds, spices and salt.  Mix to combine.  Store in an airtight container or bag.  
3.  To serve: Prepare muesli the night before (or at least a few hours before) you’d like to serve it.  To serve, scoop desired amount (I use 1/2 cup) of muesli into a bowl.  Top with a handful of frozen blueberries (I use 1/4 cup).  Pour almond milk over the muesli and blueberries just to cover the blueberries.  Cover and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.  When ready, stir well and eat!
Recipe barely adapted from Joy the Baker.

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