One of the healthy breakfast options I prepare every 3 to 4 weeks or so is our homemade muesli. It's easy to make, it's healthy and it keeps you full for hours.
Here is a list of ingredients I add to my muesli, but really it's a food where you can use your creativity and vary the ingredients based on how you feel and want to eat. To highlight the healthiness of muesli, I also add some health benefits these different ingredients contain.
I mix the below ingredients together in a big pan and bake in a pre-heated oven (160C or 320F) for 35 minutes or so. I stir the mixture on the pan from time to time so all the ingredients are evenly baked.
Oats- I make sure I buy gluten-free oats (steel cut or rolled). Steel cut are the best as they are the least processed and are higher in fibre. However, rolled oats do have the same amount of protein, carbohydrate and fat content as rolled oats. Both steel cut and rolled oats are better than instant oats, as they have more fibre, therefore are slower to digest and also have higher nutritional value.
Oats are one of the top foods in the world to keep you full for hours. They contain carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre. They are high in resistant starch, which helps to slow the digestion. Protein found in oats is similar to protein found in legumes. Oats contain many vitamins (B) and minerals (manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, magnesium).
Nuts and seeds- I soak and sprout my nuts and seeds before using them to increase their digestibility and bioavailability for the body. I tend to use a mix of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts). You can also add raw pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts.
I add soaked and sprouted pumpkin seeds to my muesli and don't tend to add really other seeds. But you can add also seeds like sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Nuts and seeds are high in protein, fat, carbohydrates and fibre, plus they include different vitamins (B, E) and minerals (magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, calcium).
Coconut meat- I like to add coconut flakes or shredded coconut to my muesli depending what I have at home. I don't add a lot, maybe a tablespoon and a half to the whole patch I make. Coconuts are large seeds (yes seeds) of coconut palms. Coconut meat is high in fat, but also contains protein, carbs and fibre. It also contains minerals like manganese, selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.
Spices- you don't need to add spices to your muesli, but I feel they give a nice additional flavour. My favourites are cinnamon (Ceylon and not Cassia) and cardamom. A teaspoon of cinnamon and a half a teaspoon of cardamom is enough. You can also add vanilla beans. It's also about what smells you want to have lingering around your house when you make muesli.
Cinnamon has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon helps to lower blood-sugar levels and blood pressure. Cinnamon (as well as peppermint) are good for treating infected wounds. Cinnamon contains carbohydrates, vitamin A and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium). It also contains some traces of vitamin K and B and the antioxidants like beta-carotene, choline, lycopene, lutein, alphacarotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin.
Cardamom is also known for its anti-oxidant and health promoting properties. It is a great source for potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese and contain vitamins like B and C.
Honey or maple syrup and coconut oil
I like to sweeten my muesli a little bit, whether it's by adding a tablespoon of honey or a tablespoon of maple syrup for the whole patch. As I want to also add a little bit of crunchiness to the muesli, I add three tablespoons of coconut oil to honey and just warm it up on a very low heat, so I am able to mix it into the oats and nuts mixture. I use my hands for this.
Honey has several great benefits for your health, but when used in moderation. Maple syrup is less healthier option than honey, but it also contains some vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese)
Additional ingredients to upgrade your muesli
You can further 'upgrade' your muesli, by adding goji berries, bee pollen, cocoa nibs, hemp seeds before you serve your muesli. I don't tend to add dried fruits to my muesli due to their high content of sugar.
We either sprinkle our muesli on top of our regular smoothie bowls or we eat it in a bowl with almond milk. You can also top your muesli bowl with some fresh berries like blue berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries.