Day 187: Cranberry Almond Toasted Muesli

Cranberry Almond Toasted Muesli

Day One Hundred and Eighty Seven (23.11.2012)
Processing: Oven (60-70 minutes)
Yield: 7 x half-pints (7 cups)
Recipe Source: followed method shown HERE
So over the past two days I have made choc raspberry sauce and homemade yoghurt, so today I wanted to make my own granola. I also wanted something that could be made in bulk and stored either in the pantry (2-3 weeks?) or longer in the refrigerater (4+ weeks), which meant cutting back on the added oil, but also still having all of the yummy ingredients that granola is famous for! Now here in Australia the word granola is copyrighted, so I have called mine toasted muesli instead. If you think of a catchier name, let me know! Today I made my toasted muesli with dried cranberries and slivered almonds, but you could substitute for your favourite dried fruit and nuts - even adding a 1/4 cup or so of seeds or coconut to the mix if you wish. I'm thinking for christmas a few jars of cranberry (red) and pistachio (green) toasted muesli won't go afar!

1/2 cup sugar - you can use brown, white, raw, etc (I used brown sugar)
1/4 cup honey (you could substitute for maple syrup)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5 cups wholegrain rolled oats
1 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, but use whatever chopped dried fruit you wish)
1 cup chopped/sliced nuts (I used slivered almonds)
1/4 cup coconut/seeds (OPTIONAL)
Pre-heat oven, line tray.The secret to making homemade toasted muesli is baking it LOW AND SLOW - pre-heat your oven to 275'F (135'C) and line a baking tray with baking paper so the mixture doesn't stick to the tray.

Combine wet ingredients.
Whisk the sugar, honey and water together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the salt, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon, whisking until combined. Allow to cool enough to touch (usually cool enough by the time you've chopped up the dried fruit and nuts).
Stir into rolled oats.
Combine the rolled oats and the syrup in a large mixing bowl, using fingertips to evenly distribute throughout. Stir through the remaining ingredients until mixed through.
Pour mixture onto prepared tray.
Spread mixture evenly onto the lined baking tray, don't press down as we want to break the muesli up as it cooks. Pop into the pre-heated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes at 275'F (135'C) or until golden, checking every 15 minutes and stirring the mixture to break up any forming clumps. It will be soft from the heat but once cooled will harden, so watch the colour change to golden to check when it is ready to come out of the oven.
Cool muesli.
Leave to rest in the tray after baking for about 10 minutes, then put onto a big platter or dish (I used a big Tupperware bowl), to cool overnight whilst covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap (or a big food net if you like). I also heated my jars after baking and rested those (covered) overnight so they were nice and dry in the morning.
Heat jars and cool.
Heat your jars (I use half pint/125ml or pint/450ml or quart/950ml) by covering in water and simmering for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before use - you don't want moisture in the jars ruining your muesli! You will also need clean, dry lids - plastic ones are perfect, especially if you are going to refrigerate your mix.
Spoon toasted muesli into jars.
Scoop your dry toasted muesli into your clean, dry jars and cover with a clean lid. You can store this in the pantry for a few weeks, or refrigerate (some say freezing also works well but I haven't tried that out yet) for a month or more!
and rest jars in canner for 5 more minutes before removing to a tea towel covered surface to cool overnight.

Enjoy! Sprinkle a spoonful atop yoghurt and fruit slices,
use as a cereal with milk, or make granola bars!
I'd love to see your creations!
Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
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