Like most people, in the year leading up to my wedding I was on a major health kick. I became obsessed with my Fitbit, joined a gym for the first time in years, and most effectively, cut out sugar entirely. No fruit, no sauces, nada. I even cut down on bread, one of my favorite foods in the world. For some reason this was so easy that year! I didn’t miss anything, didn’t slip up, and saw some pretty great results in my health – lost a little weight, stopped experiencing that 3pm slump, and had a ton of energy.
Fast forward a year plus and it’s such a different story. I’m back on the sweet stuff, and it’s so much harder when you don’t have the motivation of having spent a fortune on a photographer and needing to look good in timeless photos! Nevertheless, I’m still intrigued by sugar-free recipes, so when my sister-in-law introduced me to this amazing sugar-free muesli from Well Nourished, I knew it was destined to become a staple in my kitchen. It’s delicious, with just the hint of sweetness from the brown rice syrup, and so simple to customize with whatever you love and have on hand. For me, it’s all about the nuts – hazelnuts, pecans, macadamias and almonds are so tasty and filling. I could – and do – eat this stuff for every meal of the day. I don’t vary too widely from her recipe, but here is how I’ve found I love it best:
- 1kg / 2lbs of rolled oats (I’m always “close” with this measurement)
- 1 cup flaky coconut
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup chopped macadamias
- 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1 heaped Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 heaped Tbsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 cup macadamia or hazelnut oil (I usually use a combination depending on how much I have. In a pinch, I’ve used olive oil too, but I prefer the flavor of the nut oils)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1. Preheat oven to 300F / 150C.
2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to mix.
3. Combine oil and brown rice syrup in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stir together until warm and all one consistency. I find they never “mix” per se, but they kind of move together, enough to know that the next step will work.
4. Drizzle liquids over dry ingredients. Stir with your wooden spoon until evenly distributed – the mix will be damp but not wet, and look consistent.
5. Divide the mix between deep baking dishes – I find that metal ones work better than glass – and place in oven. Bake for around 60 to 90 minutes, checking and stirring every 15 minutes to make sure nothing is burning or is staying uncooked.
6. When muesli seems golden and crispy, turn the heat off and leave the trays sitting in the oven to cool down.
7. When muesli is cool, transfer to airtight jars. It’ll keep for months… just not if you’re anything like me and eat it for every meal! I like combining it with milk, with yogurt and berries, or with coconut milk, but it’s a great snacking trail mix all by itself too.