If you want healthy, organic food, then a good muesli recipe is a great starting point any time of the day. Muesli is not just a breakfast cereal; it is a great snack at any time of day. If prepared well, muesli is a very good health food and infinitely variable. Once you have the basic ingredients in your kitchen you can prepare different muesli recipes, including some ingredients while excluding others. It is quick and inexpensive too.

If you can, get the kids involved, as it is fun pouring and mixing the ingredients. To prepare a good muesli base, choose some or all of the following organic grains: wheat f lakes, rolled oats, rye f lakes, barley kernels, wheat germ etc.

Experiment with different mixes and you will soon learn which cereals you like best. For subtle taste, include a high proportion of oats. Go easy on the wheat germ. While it is nutritionally wonderful, too much of it gives a mealy texture. It also deteriorates quickly.

Ingredients:

• 50 – 80 percent oats and wheat f lakes or cereal of your choice

• A selection of dried fruits (apples, sultanas, dates, currants, bananas and raisins)

• A few chopped nuts and dry roasted seeds of your choice (cashew nuts, macadamia, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds etc)

• 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

• A few pinches of cinnamon

• Enough yogurt or milk to soak the muesli

Method:

• Pour cereals of your choice in a small mixing bowl

• Mix in a selection of the nuts and seeds

• Add the fruits and mix well.

• To eat the muesli, soak in the yogurt or milk (a juice of your choice too) for at least half an hour before eating. This makes it easy to digest.

KITCHEN TIP:

Fruit sugars in dried fruit are quite concentrated, so it is wise to be a bit stingy with the proportions.

Natural sugars, released from the breakdown of carbohydrates on the cereals, will give you more sustained energy than concentrated fruit sugars. If you have too many dried fruits at once, your system reacts as it would to having a junk food cereal – a quick sugar high followed by an energy slump.

To get the best from muesli, serve it with finely chopped or grated fresh apple and a selection of fresh berries. Fresh grapes are great too.

KITCHEN SAFETY:

Store your muesli recipe mix in an airtight container such as a glass jar with a well-fitting lid. If stored properly it should last for months.

Grains will lose freshness and potency, and fats deteriorate with exposure to air, so it is better to only store enough for a few weeks.

Nuts are especially prone to turning stale, so it is best to keep them separate and add them when you prepare your muesli. They also deteriorate more quickly if chopped. Alternatively, prepare only enough for a couple of weeks at a time. A homemade muesli recipe is fast enough to make, after all!