Recipe: Almond - Coconut Muesli

Like a lot of children of my generation in the midwest, I grew up eating a lot of processed cereals,  pancakes, waffles, and toasts usually adorned with eggs and often a little bacon for breakfast.  This continued even into adult hood.  Since coming to California, and living with Leslie, who ate in a much different manner than I, especially at that first meal of the day, I began to question those traditional breakfast foods.  It is true that breakfast is probably the most regimented meal in a person's routine.  It was mine.  However, It still took me years to slowly break away from that continental american breakfast routine.  Heavy on processed starches, fat and protein it was satisfying but also unhealthy for the life I had begun living. 

Now I have found a broad set of benefits by eating whole grain porridges(I love oatmeal), often savory (for her), or with dried fruits and nuts.  Generally, my overall sense of satisfaction has improved greatly throughout the day.  My metabolism is more stable.  But recently, mostly due to the heat this summer, I made another shift...to Muesli. 

Yes, Muesli... 

I have never liked muesli, at least not a version I was ever offered or purchased at a store. But I was recently encouraged to develop a recipe that I could enjoy and also one that would provide some dense nutrition for active days on the trail.  This recipe has no added sugar, and has a very high ratio of dried currants, coconut flakes, and almonds to the base of rolled oats.  The high ratio of these ingredients, allow me to keep my energy level up, and the oats help to stabilize the digestion and support my metabolism along with the mix of warm spices.  We also had ground hibiscus flowers into the spice mix.  Hibiscus has great antioxidant benefits, and also adds gentle tart finish to the muesli.  These ingredients create a crunchy, slightly sweet, complex flavor that adds another level of satisfaction to its nutritive benefits.

I now pack this nutritious and delicious cereal on most any overnight trip in the summer season along with some almond or cashew milk for light, cool, quick start to the day. It is also a common breakfast at home when I am on the run.  Let us know what you think our Almond-Coconut Muesli?

Almond - Coconut Muesli   

Almond - Coconut Muesli

 

Almond-Coconut Muesli

350 grams organic rolled oats

335 grams sliced almonds

260 grams coconut flakes

325 grams dried currants

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp cloves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground hibiscus flower (optional)

 

Method

1. Heat oven to 325F.

2. Mix spices together in a small bowl and reserve them for later

3. Spread coconut flakes out onto a baking tray

4. Toast coconut flakes in the oven until light golden brown. 5-7 minutes

5. Remove from the oven and transfer the coconut flakes into a large mixing bowl.

6. Turn the oven up to 350F

7. Mix rolled oats and almonds together and spread them evenly onto the same baking tray.

8. Toast oats and almonds until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.  Stir them every 3-4 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and add to the bowl with the coconut

10. Add the currants and spices and mix while the oats are still warm.

11. Once well mixed, pour out onto the baking tray and allow to cool.

12. Once cooled to room temperature, pack into containers 

 

The Race

In every day life, the majority of the time we are awake, we are focused on “the rat race”—the achievement of or the accomplishment of tasks as efficiently as possible.  We even try to cheat our bodies out of necessities to save time so that we can go back to achieving and accomplishing.  How many times have we eaten a smoothie to compensate for a meal or downed a cup of coffee instead of resting or napping a little?  Trying to carve out time in the day to eat a meal, let alone to make a meal, is a struggle, and if you’re busy enough, it can even feel like a nuisance

things with which we have a healthy obsession, fire, tongs, cast iron pans

things with which we have a healthy obsession, fire, tongs, cast iron pans

When I was little, my parents often took my sister and myself camping.  Our meals were rough translations of what we ate at home.  Of course, there was the rare indulgence of marshmallows and chocolate before bed, but for the most part, we ate fresh vegetables, noodles, soups, porridges, and meats.  I can still remember how neighboring campers would look wistfully over at our site as the smell of crispy searing fish, soy sauce, and cooking rice wafted over as they hunched over their fifth meal of hot dogs and stale buns.

Remembering extra toilet paper, a change of socks, and a child's inhaler are all way more important than remembering the soy sauce, but with a little preparation and help, packing real food can become a possibility again, instead of just an added stress.

I think part of why being in the outdoors is so restorative is that it actually does restore our implementation of the natural order of the hierarchy of human needs that places eating, safety, and sleep at the very foundation of our necessities.  Communing with nature is in itself just an immersion; it's a transformation into being a more natural self complying with your innate callings, and re-setting your mindset.

We at Outbound Kitchen want to promote cooking beautiful, nourishing, and delicious food outdoors and the enjoyment of eating by giving you the skills and information you need to broaden the scope of what is possible to cook outside.  We think that with a little preparation, ingenuity, and inspiration, we can all start enjoying real meals at a campsite or deep in the wilderness as much as we enjoy the rest of the outdoors experience.  Happy trails, and bon appetit!