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?
To me, 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. Although if you are feeling adventurous, you could add millet, amaranth or sorghum grain.
Oats have a ton of health benefits. 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.
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.
Options: peanuts/groundnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, 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.
Options: sesame, pumpkin (make your own in the oven, pan or microwave), sunflower seeds (buy the shelled ones), flaxseed (Healthy U) and 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.
Options: achari (dried mango), raisins, sultanas, currants, dates, cranberries, figs, apricots, cherries
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.
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
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup bran flakes/wheat germ (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons moringa powder
- 1/2 cup seeds
- 1/2 cup dried fruit
- 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)
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup seeds
- 1 cup desiccated coconut or coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional but avoid if gluten-free)
- 2 Tablespoons bee pollen/propolis (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon/cardamom/ginger (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried fruit
DirectionsPreheat oven to 325°F or 160°C. Grease a large pan.
In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups rolled oats, 3/4 cup of roughly chopped nuts, 1/2 cup raw seeds, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 2 Tablespoons bee pollen, 1 teaspoon spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix it up.
In a medium bowl, spoon 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 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.
On the a large baking pan, pat the granola into a solid mass. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Granola cooks faster around the edges than in the centre. So after 15-20 minutes, remove it from the oven.
If you like big clumps, flip it. If you don’t care for maximum clumpage, mix it around and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
The kitchen smells amazing! When it is done, remove and cool.
Break it up to desired clump size.
Add the 1/2 cup dried fruit and mix.
Store in airtight jars.
Serve with milk or yoghurt. Add fresh fruit or chunks of chocolate.