I have two breakfast seasons: the first, from roughly late September until late March, is the porridge season; the second, is the muesli season. (Or perhaps the muesli season comes first, and the porridge second. Chicken, egg, chicken, egg.) Of course it had to be Muesli, I am, after all, in the land that invented it. It was “invented” (as far as that term can be applied to roughly mixing a list of ingredients) just over a hundred years ago, as a healthy meal for his patients, by Dr Bircher-Benner, a physician who had ideas that fruit and vegetables that hadn’t been cooked to within an inch of their lives were good for you.
Unfortunately the ready-made stuff is really too expensive for my moth-eaten purse, and (comes in plastic bags that build up in my cupboards because I will not throw them away. Surely I’ll find a use for them some day?!) In any case, most shop-bought muesli isn’t quite right for my taste, this one has too many raisins, that one is too dusty, the other has way too much added sugar. As some sadly un-remembered (as far as I’m aware) wise man (or woman) once said: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Or as my mother said at least once a month for my entire childhood: “You don’t want to buy that, you could make it yourself!” (More on this another time: this phrase is forming the basis for a post that will hopefully air sometime in the for-seeable future.)
Fresh muesli is one of the best things, made (preferably by someone else while you’re still in bed) in the morning right before you’re about to eat it, a combination of unrefined cereals and chopped fresh fruit (that’s what takes the time, and means that I don’t have it nearly as often as I’d like) mixed up in yoghurt, natural or fruity (blueberry is a personal favourite.)
Sadly, as I said, it takes too much time on a work morning, so I make a dried version, which I can just tip out of a jar in the morning and consume alongside the mug of tea which I
take drink daily to bring me back to a human shape get the brain-cells firing again.
These are my ingredients:
Oats: Jumbo or regular.
Crunchy granola. I like this to add a bit of texture to my breakfast, and sweetness, as I don’t add any sugar myself. I pretty much get whatever is on offer, this one happens to have raisins in.
A mixture of any two other cereals. These are puffed rice and cornflakes (yes I know, so much for the no-processed cereals.) I also use soya flakes and whatever is on offer (spotting a pattern?)
Dried apricots. Dark or light, although I find the taste of these dark ones more interesting than the regular orange ones. Chopping them is a pain, the ones that aren’t quite as juicy are the ones to go for.
A dried fruit and nut mix, which is known here as “Studentenfutter” which translates as “student-feed”. No-one I know can tell me why it is called this. I don’t know many students who would choose that to pig out on after a late night. I go through it in handfuls putting the fruit in and putting the nuts to one side to chop. This is a bit of a pain. It might be easier just to buy dried fruit and ready-chopped nuts.
And here are the proportions:
12 oz oats
3/4 oz wheat bran
4 oz crunchy granola
4 oz any 2 other cereals (eg. corn flakes, soya flakes, puffed wheat or something else?
2.5 oz dried apricots, chopped
8 oz mixed fruit and nuts (approx. 2 oz each sultanas, dried apple, hazelnuts and almonds)
This is enough to fill a 2l Le Parfait jar, and it does about 10 servings for me (one bowl a day.) If I had a larger storage container, I’d definitely make it in bigger batches. My Dad tells me he used to make muesli in a bucket when he was a student.
Enjoy your breakfast, and get to work! You’re late!