Around 1991 I bought a book called ‘Foodcraft – gift food for gourmets’ by Nerys Purchon. It’s the type of book that probably wouldn’t sell very well today. It’s not written by anyone famous, it’s got very few pictures and even fewer coloured ones and it is seriously dated. I’m fairly sure that it is now out of print. It is however, still one of may favourite books. As Nerys says in the introduction “it’s as much a ‘Storeroom’ recipe book as it is a food gift book.” It is mostly for this purpose that I use it. It has wonderful recipes for mustards and cordials, ginger beers, sweets, chocolates, teas, dressings, pickles – all sorts of things. There are a few recipes that I go back to time and time again and Nerys ‘Golden Granola’ is one of them.
After reading in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago that Sanitarium is currently issuing cafes with notices to stop using the term granola on their menus as the word is owned by Sanitarium, I thought it wise to stick with toasted muesli. The original recipe called for buckwheat and oatbran as well as oats but it depends on what I have in the pantry as to what finds its way into my version. Similarly the nuts and dried fruit I use also depends on what I have in. The one part of the recipe that I never change is the peanut butter, honey and oil mixture that is mixed through the muesli before toasting. The quantity of oil isn’t much so don’t worry about including it. The recipe below is as I made it today but feel free to make substitutions.
Nerys’ Toasted Muesli
- 5 cups oats (don’t use quick oats for this)
- 2 cups quinoa flakes
- 2 cups wheatgerm
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 2 cups raw nuts, chopped if necessary (today I used pistachios, macadamia nuts and pecans)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (I use the crunchy, unsalted version from the health food shop)
- 2 cups dried fruit, chopped if necessary (cranberries, sultanas, apricots and prunes were what I used today but I have also used figs and dates in other versions)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Mix the oats, quinoa flakes, wheatgerm, coconut and nuts in a large bowl. Put the honey, canola oil and peanut butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat. When it is well combined pour it over the grain mixture and mix it really well. Divide this mixture between a couple of large roasting pans. Put it in the oven to brown. You will need to stir the mixture often while it is cooking and don’t go away and leave it as it will catch very quickly. When the muesli is a golden brown and no longer sticky remove from the oven and cool. To the cooled mixture add the dried fruit and mix until well combined.
I usually make a double batch of toasted muesli each time and keep it in the freezer.
Nerys Purchon also wrote a number of books about herbs and I also have a book of hers called ‘Bodycraft” which has instructions for making your own soap, shampoos, moisturisers and the like. After making the toasted muesli today I decided to google Nerys and learned that she passed away in 2010.