Appetites – Breakfast Cereal

Rossa‘s pick-me-up for the new day:

I’m not a fan of commercial breakfast cereals as even the ones like Special K that you are supposed to use on a diet are laden with sugar and salt. And they don’t really fill you up which is why a lot of people reach for a snack mid morning to keep their energy levels up.

Making your own cereal is not difficult to do and if you don’t like muesli because you think it tastes like cardboard then how about making a Granola?

I was introduced to this idea by my late Aunt Caroline. The beauty of the recipe is that it is simple, highly adaptable and all ingredients can be substituted with something else you may prefer. It can also be eaten hot or cold so it’s versatile all year round.

This is my blend with suggestions of what else you could use. It makes around 1 kilo as it keeps well. All quantities can be reduced by half to make a smaller batch.

400g oats
100g pecan nuts
100g whole almonds
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sesame seeds
50g flax seeds (linseeds are the same thing)
125ml cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil
125ml agave syrup
2 tsps ground cinnamon
100g raisins – added after mix is cooked

Instead of oats you can use wheat flakes, puffed rice, wheat or spelt or any other base you prefer. Choice of nuts and seeds is up to you as you may have an allergy or intolerance to some of them. I use almonds in the skin though blanched ones are just as good.

Any oil can be used as long as it is relatively flavourless as something like olive oil is very strong and would dominate everything else. I’m using this rapeseed oil as it is a good source of Omega 3 and 6. Useful for a lady at my time of life as are the seeds.

I use agave syrup to sweeten the mix. This comes from the same cactus that is used to make Tequila. I use it as it has a low GI (Glycaemic Index) and I’ve been reducing my sugar consumption recently. You could use runny honey, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses or even treacle if you’re that way inclined. You can use sugar but if you do, add 125ml of water as well. The idea is that the oil and syrup coat the dry ingredients before roasting so mix well.

You can use any other spice of your choice or none at all. Then the mix is tipped into a roasting tin and roasted in the oven at 180C/350F or around 20C less if you have a fan oven.  Takes about 30 minutes and I use a large spoon to turn it over half way through so it browns evenly. Cook until it is as brown as you like it. Anything over 45 minutes will probably burn the nuts unless you like cremated cereal.

You can add dried fruit once it has cooled. Again whatever takes your fancy. I’ve used chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries though the cranberries are sweetened so I don’t use them now.

Eat as much as you like with milk, yoghurt or try apple juice for a change. I add fresh berries or stewed apple or a sliced banana and my beverage of choice to go with it is a mug of Lady Grey tea.

And yes I was making this at 6.00 this morning and had my breakfast later, once it had cooled a bit.

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3 comments for “Appetites – Breakfast Cereal

  1. dearieme
    October 2, 2010 at 09:39

    Let me recommend toasted coconut in muesli – brilliant!

  2. October 2, 2010 at 15:17

    We give that sort of stuff to our Hamster and start the day with bacon and eggs.

  3. October 2, 2010 at 22:15

    Closest I come to a cereal for breakfast is grits once in while. Milk gives me an upset stomach in the morning. I usually have an egg, a slice of whole wheat bread, and a can of V8 juice.

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