Hands up, who else had New Year’s Resolutions this year to eat more healthily?
I know I did, and so I went out and bought a big box of muesli cereal to have with fruit and natural yogurt for a quick, nutritious breakfast. You know the muesli I mean - that Swiss style muesli with the wheat flakes and rolled oats. Good intentions and all. As much as I know it’s good for me, dry flaky muesli is just not my favourite sort of thing to eat – raw, dry porridge oats for breakfast, really? Once you get down to the bottom of the box it’s all unappetising powdery dregs too. I feel like I have to suffer my way through breakfast when I eat it, and life’s too short for that nonsense.
To be honest, I prefer the crunch and texture of granola clusters with my morning fruit and yogurt. With just two extra ingredients and 25 minutes in the oven you can turn dry, boring muesli into a delicious crunchy breakfast (that even the kids will eat!). Same ingredients, with crunch, so it’s still good for you, right?
UK Food Waste Statistics
Here in the UK we throw away a shocking amount of perfectly edible food – according to Love Food Hate Waste, the UK’s consumer charity campaign aimed at helping people reduce food waste at home, UK households waste enough to feed each person in the UK three square meals a day for seven weeks.
Households account for 70% of the food wasted in the UK, and almost three quarters of what we throw away is edible: things like leftover rice, vegetable peelings, brown bananas, salad wilted in its bag at the bottom of the fridge and half loaves of bread are most commonly discarded. More needs to be done urgently by us all to reduce the impact we have on the environment and also on our pocketbooks. According to Love Food Hate Waste the average family could save £60 per month on groceries by reducing food waste.
Other tips to reduce food waste at home:
- Use up the food in your fridge and cupboards before you buy new food.
- Store food correctly to prevent it going off too soon.
- Plan your portions in advance (we’re all guilty of making too much rice/spaghetti, right?)
- Make use of your freezer: pop your leftovers, or bread slices, blueberry muffins, etc. in the freezer for another day.
- Root vegetables don’t need to be peeled – simply wash your carrots, parsnips or potatoes before cooking them. It’s more nutritious too!
The good news is that, since 2015, we UK consumers have reduced our food waste by 400,000 tonnes, saving us around £1.3 billion. This food would fill the Royal Albert Hall eight times, or 3.3 million 240-litre wheelie bins!
So, before you throw that neglected box of stale muesli away, try my recipe to turn it into crunchy granola clusters and see what you think.
How to make crunchy granola clusters
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
200 grams Swiss style muesli
Preheat your oven to 150 °C (140 °C) fan.
Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Stir in the sunflower oil.
Pour in the museli and stir until the cereal is coated in the egg white mixture.
Spoon onto a baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes.
Leave the granola to cool completely on the baking tray before transferring into an airtight container.
This cereal will keep crunchy for several weeks, if kept airtight.
Serve over yogurt, or sprinkle over ice cream and stewed fruit for a delicious dessert.
You can jazz this recipe up too: try adding a little bit of honey or maple syrup if you want to sweeten the granola clusters, or even a little bit of brown sugar. You could add a handful of coarsely chopped nuts, if you wanted too. After the granola has cooled you could stir in extra dried fruit: dried blueberries, cranberries or even banana chips work well. The combinations are endless!
Other ways to use up muesli
- Add a handful to your fruit crumble topping.
- Use it, instead of porridge oats, to make homemade muesli bars for snacking on the go.
- Replace the porridge oats in your favourite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe with muesli for an extra tasty treat.
- Add some to your favourite healthy muffin recipe, sprinkling a little bit on the top before baking for extra texture.