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 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 is sweeter and crunchier because it is baked. But the main ingredients are the same.
Oats are the base for both muesli and granola. And with good reason. They 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).
- 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)
- Chia seeds
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 (I didn’t research that enough, so don’t take my word for it). If you use achari (dried mango) or dates, chop them into smaller pieces first.
- Achari (dried mango)
- Raisins, sultanas, currants
- Dried pineapple
For granola, a liquid sweetener is usually added. Honey is full of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. The antioxidants feed your brain cells and 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.
- 5 1/2 cups rolled or quick oats
- 1 cup desiccated coconut or coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup oil (sunflower, coconut, any really)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon/cardamom (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped nuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup seeds
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried fruit
DirectionsPreheat oven to 300°F or 150°C. Grease a large pan.
In a large bowl, place 5 1/2 cups of oats and 1 cup desiccated coconut.
In a small pot, add 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Combine everything and cook it on the stove over a gentle medium heat until the sugar dissolves and it just starts to foam.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir until all the oats are coated.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the granola evenly and thinly.
Most ovens are hotter in the back than the front. Also, granola cooks faster around the edges than in the centre. So spread the granola but leave a little part of the middle empty (that’s usually the part that’s underdone).
Bake it low and slow at 150°C/300°F. The final texture and flavour will be worth it. Not to mention the amazing smells coming from your kitchen.
After 10 minutes remove the pan, rotate it 180 degrees, and return it back to the oven to continue cooking. Continue to bake another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
When it is done, remove and leave it to cool. It is still soft because of the sugars, but it gets crunchier as it cools down.
In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup roasted nuts and 1/4 cup seeds, and 1/2 cup of dried fruit. If you have wheat germ, bee pollen, moringa powder, or any of that good stuff, mix it in.
Once the oats have cooled, remove using a metal spatula. It comes out in large clusters that remind me of kashata. Place the oats in a really large bowl, and mix with the nuts, fruits and seeds.
Store in airtight jars.
Serve with milk or yoghurt. Add fresh fruit or chunks of chocolate.