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Vanilla, date and orange muesli

I try not to start the day on a sugary note, as a hit of glucose first thing in the morning can have a knock on effect of plunging blood sugar below ‘normal’ levels, and a consequent desire for a mid morning snack (most of which are high in sugars, so the peaks and troughs of disrupted blood sugar levels continue…)

A savoury breakfast of complex (unprocessed) carbohydrates and protein or ‘good’ fats, such as a veggie omelette or avocado on spelt toast with slow roasted tomatoes, can positively balance blood glucose levels and liberate the satiety hormone ‘grehlin’, preventing the need to eat between meals (which maintains weight or enhances weight loss).

However, Benji with his tiny sweet tooth still making loud demands, hankers for something honey-ed every now and then. So we mix up this natural muesli filled with beneficial polyunsaturated omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (nuts & seeds) to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and modulate blood sugar levels; medium chain triglycerides (coconut) to provide an immediate source of energy; fibre, natural fructose sweetness, vital minerals (calcium, zinc, iron, potassium and magnesium) and vitamin B1, B2, B3 and folate from dates, more fibre and a sustained energy source from oats; and immune boosting/mucus clearing/anti-histamine properties from orange zest (also chosen for its beneficial ‘whiff of Christmas’:-).

This muesli is delicious eaten with coconut yoghurt and sliced fresh figs. Alternatively, you can also mix the ingredients, skip the baking and just soak the muesli overnight in almond milk (to soften and begin to break down the fibres, aiding digestion). Mix with pureed fresh raspberries and a little coconut yoghurt in the morning.

Ingredients: (Makes 500g)

100g coconut oil

150ml raw honey (or you could use maple syrup if preferred)

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

2 tbsp desiccated coconut

300g whole oats

1 handful of walnuts

1 handful of pecans

1 handful pumpkin seeds

1 handful of cashew nuts

Zest of 3 oranges

50g dates, pitted and roughly chopped


1. Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2.

2.Stir the coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and salt in a saucepan, over a low heat until the coconut oil has completely melted, then set aside.

3. Roughly chop the nuts and put them in a large mixing bowl along with the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and orange zest, then pour the liquid ingredients over the top. Mix until everything has been coated well.

4. Spread out the muesli on a large greased baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, taking the tray out every 10 minutes to toss the oats.

5. Stir in the dates, then bake for a final 10 minutes. Leave to cool on the baking tray, then pour the muesli into an airtight container where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.

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