Give Your Breakfast a Makeover…..
I have a little confession to make; sometimes I get obsessed with certain foods. About a year ago it was smoothies. I created a phenomenal amount of healthy smoothies that tastes like different desserts, I just couldn’t get enough! Then I went on an overnight oats bender, I didn’t make a bunch of different kinds, but once I got hooked I stuck with it for months! Now, it is dates. They are versatile, and so easy to use to sweeten foods, or just eat on their own. So, in my newest romance with Medjool dates I became hooked on a secondary love, muesli. So simple, so healthy, so easy, and fairly cheap to make.
I discovered muesli a few years back when my sister sent me a package of Bob’s Red Mill Muesli with a gift box. I was skeptical because I just wasn’t down with fruit and nuts in my oats. I always loved granola, but it generally didn’t have any fruit, there was more often a type of chocolate in it that made me so fond of the mixture. Once I tried the muesli she sent me I was 100% hooked! When I ran out I decided to buy some more and I think I had a miniature stroke right there in the health food aisle when I saw that it was almost $5.00 for a little bag of it! I bought it a few times as a treat, and that was that, I haven’t had any in about 3 years. Yesterday I was writing a post for a nutrition and fitness group that I am the moderator for and the topic was “Health foods that aren’t worth the money”. Guess what was on the top of the list, granola. Then I began to think that just because it was overpriced after packaging didn’t mean that I couldn’t make it for just pennies at home. But then I started remembering that granola is seriously packed with a lot of sugar, and the calories are sky high, but not as much in muesli. The calories are about half and so I went on a mission of creating a yummy muesli.
I wanted this version of muesli to be very simple, and basic, and this is where my new addiction to dates comes in. Instead of using honey, agave, or maple syrup I thought it would be yummy to make a date paste to hold all the pieces together. I opted for a date paste instead of syrup because I don’t like waste. I thought that a nice addition to the dates and oats would be cocoa covered almonds. Did I make my own? Nope. I could have, but thought I would take a little help from the store, and if you haven’t tried them, you must! They are made by Blue Diamond and they are right next to all of the other nuts in the snack aisle. I like the thin sliced almonds in a honey, almond, and dry cherry mix (That will be coming next. 😉 ), but I wanted these almonds to be more bold and be the real “meaty” part of the mixture. The flavors aren’t overwhelming they are rather mild. I found that while it is good plain, I enjoyed it best with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. (And it is even better warmed!) This muesli has very few ingredients, it takes less than 30 minutes to make, and it is packed with healthy dates, oats, coconut oil, and almonds. So, whip up a batch, grab a bowl, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Cocoa Almond Muesli
By Angie Gouchenour
2 Medjool dates pitted + ½ cup water (This will make the date paste)
¼ cup cocoa almonds roughly chopped
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring or extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Pre heat oven to 350’f
In a small pan over medium high simmer dates and water while smashing them with a wooden spoon
Continue to do this until the water is gone and the dates are a thick paste (About 5-7 minutes)
While the dates are cooling roughly chop the almonds
Combine almonds, oats, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond flavoring with date paste
Stir until all of the almonds and oats are completely coated
Spread oat mixture on a non-stick cookie sheet
Bake for 18-20 minutes stirring halfway through
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before dumping onto wax paper
Once the muesli is cooled it can be placed in an airtight container
198 calories per ½ cup