With Christmas mere weeks away, it can be easy to get caught up in the commercial hype of it all. Resist, I say, and make this orange and ginger muesli instead. It’s simple to make and can be whipped up weeks in advance, packaged up with festive flair and stowed away under the boughs of one’s Christmas tree in anticipation of the big day. A friendly piece of advice before you don the kitchen apron, however: I suggest you make this while preparing dinner as the toasting and stirring, toasting and stirring bit can become rather tedious. Other than that, make the recipe your own using any combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruit that appeals to you. You could use brazil nuts and dried cherries, or make it with dried pineapple and papaya. This recipe changes to suit whatever is in our pantry, and is so popular it’s found a permanent place there.
ORANGE & GINGER MUESLI
Makes about 20 cups
- 600g jumbo rolled oats (quick oats are also fine)
- 300g coconut chips (desiccated or thread coconut is also fine)
- 300g nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts), roughly chopped
- 300g sunflower seeds
- 300g pumpkin seeds
- 300g sesame seeds (I ran out so used linseed in this batch, which is also delicious)
- zest of 3 large oranges
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 200g rapadura or brown sugar (honey is also good in place of the sugar)
- ⅔ cup olive oil (coconut is also fine)
- ½ cup water (or use orange juice instead)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- 200g raisins
- 150g dried apricots, finely sliced
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake. Put the oats, coconut chips, nuts, seeds, orange zest and ginger into a large high-sided roasting tray and mix well.
Put the sugar, oil, water and salt into a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat then simmer for a minute or so. Stir in the vanilla then pour over the oat mixture and mix well to ensure all the dry ingredients are coated in the sugar syrup.
Place in the oven and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir well, ensuring all the mixture in the corners is mixed in as it tends to brown there more quickly.
Put it back in the oven and continue like this, stirring every 5-7 minutes or so until the muesli is toasted a golden brown.
Remove from the oven and stir through the raisins and apricots. Leave to cool then bottle into large glass jars.