I’m a creature of habit, however much I try to ring the changes and do things differently (though I do also succeed at that from time to time).
And when it comes to breakfast, I’ve been DIYing for more years than I can number. First off, the bread and the jam (of course). Then came the eggs (delicious, though just an occasional breakfast treat). Porridge is a winter standard.
And over the past 10 years or so, the muesli too.
I thought I didn’t like muesli, because I never ever found a ready-made version that wasn’t too sweet for my taste. Then I realised eventually that what I was looking for was so simple, I should just mix it up myself. So I buy a large pack of porridge oats at our local Coop shop, and I buy rye flakes and barley flakes and various seeds (sunflower and linseed are what I like best), and whatever dried fruit I fancy and sometimes nuts too at our local (cooperative) whole food shop, Harvest.
Then I take it all home, mix it up in a large bowl, decant it to an old glass sweet jar I’ve had since my student days, and there it is – a fortnight’s worth of daily breakfast muesli, ready to go, in less than 5 minutes.
Normally I just eat it cold with milk. Sometimes I have it with plain yoghurt and home grown fresh or stewed fruit (especially nice for a quick comforting evening meal if I don’t feel like cooking). In winter my friend in Denmark cooks this kind of mixture to make a porridge with it, often with added cut up fresh apple.
Of the several bonuses (beyond it just being a breakfast I really enjoy):
- it’s much (much!) cheaper than buying processed cereals
- I know exactly what’s gone into it, and can vary it at whim (Malcolm doesn’t like dried fruit, so these days I add that separately when I dish up so we can share the base mix)
- there’s no added sugar, salt, or any of the other (weird!) ingredients whose names you’ll see on the back of a pack of processed cereal (just read those packs….)
- packaging is kept to a minimum (the plastic bags from the oats all get reused multiple times in our kitchen for keeping fruit or vegetables in the fridge, freezing bread and other stuff, giving away vegetables)
- I’m supporting businesses I believe in when I buy these ingredients, not a multi-national corporation
- the money I’ve spent mostly stays in my own community, plus the further communities which supply some of the raw ingredients
If you want the detail, well this is most of a 1 kilo pack of oats, plus just over a third of a 500g pack of barley flakes, the same of rye flakes, and the rest is my mum’s approach – you put in till it looks right! Mix well, store and eat. Enjoy!
Downsides? Well I can’t think of any. Let me know if you can.