Typical Kenyan breakfast
What was your daily breakfast? Tea and bread were a constant. Eggs if you had the time. And if we got fancy on the weekend, sausages, pancakes, mandazis (beignets) or mahamris, cornflakes or weetabix.
Muesli and Granola
I began to eat muesli and granola as an adult, but I prefer muesli. Both are healthy, can be vegan and gluten free. If stored in an airtight container, it can keep for 1-2 months (if it lasts that long).
What’s the difference?
Muesli is raw and less sweet. Granola on the other hand is sweeter and crunchier because it is baked with a sweetener and oil. But the main ingredients are the same.
Oats are the base for both muesli and granola. And with good reason. They have a ton of health benefits.
Oats are rich in nutrients, good for the heart and improve blood sugar control. The fibre helps reduce cholesterol and keeps your digestive system moving.
Options in addition or instead of oats:
- Millet grain
- Amaranth grain
- Sorghum grain
Building on the oats, nuts add some crunch. Nuts are a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids (which are great for the skin). Toast and roughly chop or dice into small pieces.
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts etc.
Seeds are a good source of vitamin E, good fats, minerals and zinc. If you use flaxseed/linseed, grind it first.
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds (make your own in the oven, pan or microwave)
- Sunflower seeds (buy the shelled ones)
- Flaxseed (Healthy U)
- Chia seeds (Chandarana)
To sweeten it all up and add some chewiness, there’s dried fruits. Apparently dried fruits have a higher concentration of nutrients than fresh fruits. If you use achari (dried mango) or dates, chop them into small pieces first.
- Achari (dried mango)
- Raisins, sultanas, currants
For granola, a liquid sweetener is added. Honey is full of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. The antioxidants feed your brain cells and thus improves memory.
Other good stuff
- Wheat germ
- Bee pollen/propolis
- Moringa powder
- Baobab powder
The two recipes below are a basic guide. Experiment and see how you like your muesli or granola. The muesli ratio can be varied based on how sweet and chewy, or how crunchy you want.
- 3 cups oats
- 1/2 cup nuts
- 1/2 cup seeds
- 1/2 cup dried fruit
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup bran flakes or wheat germ (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons moringa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl combine all the above and shake well.
Store in an airtight container.
Serve with any type of milk or yoghurt, and fresh fruit.
- 3 cups rolled oats (or 2 cups oats, 1 cup oat flour)
- 1 cup desiccated coconut or coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon/cardamom/ginger (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed/linseed
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped nuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup seeds
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried fruit
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons-1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DirectionsPreheat oven to 300°F or 150°C. Grease a large pan.
Measure one cup of oats and pour into the blender to make oat flour. In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup oat flour, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 1 teaspoon spice and 1 teaspoon salt, 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed and mix.
If the 3/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup seeds are raw, add them to the oats. If they are roasted, mix them with the 1/2 cup of dried fruit and add it after the granola is done.
If you have 1/4 cup wheat germ and/or 2 Tablespoons bee pollen add to the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, spoon 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon or spatula. Make sure all the dry ingredients get coated with the wet ingredients. (If you want clumps/clusters, add one egg white.)
On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly.
Bake it low and slow at 150°C/300°F. The final texture and flavour will be worth it.
The kitchen smells amazing!
Granola cooks faster around the edges than in the centre. So after 15-20 minutes check on it. If you like big clumps (clusters), don’t stir it around too much. Continue to bake until golden brown. Generally, it is ready when you are happy with the colour and texture.
When it is done, remove and cool. It is still soft, but gets crunchier as it cools down.
Add the 1/2 cup dried fruit (and roasted nuts and seeds) and mix.
Store in airtight jars.
Serve with milk or yoghurt. Add fresh fruit or chunks of chocolate.