We’re all about life’s big questions here at TMix+. Chicken or beef? Champagne or prosecco? Would we like fries with that? Today’s is one that exercises some of us every time we pass through a supermarket cereal aisle: what’s the difference between muesli and granola?
Thankfully some of the food world’s finest minds have been hard at work on this very conundrum. Their conclusions? Although both muesli and granola are made of grains, seeds and dried fruits, and are typically enjoyed at breakfast, muesli has its origins in Germany and Switzerland, and granola is an all-American invention. Traditionally (but not always—we’ll get to that in a minute), muesli is raw but granola is baked. Muesli is loose and can seem dusty or grainy but granola comes in clumps. That’s because granola is usually baked with added sugars and oils not found in muesli. Ergo: muesli is Teutonic and virtuous, and granola is its frivolous American cousin?
Not so fast. Here in the Antipodes, many of us grew up with commercial “toasted” muesli that often contained added sugars and oils—much like granola. These days toasted muesli is less likely to contain oil, and honey is often substituted for cane sugar, but that history goes some way to explaining why the terms “muesli” and “granola” have come to be seen as somewhat interchangeable.
This on-the-go winner from Yolaine Corbin is a muesli bar pepped up with granola pizzazz, packed with seeds and dried fruits and held together with rice malt syrup and coconut oil. It may not be precisely what Neil Diamond had in mind when he penned his 1971 Crunchy Granola Suite, but one bite will have you agreeing with his contention that “Crunchy granola’s neat”.
- Preheat oven to 150C. Grease and neatly line a square or rectangular baking tin about 25 x 25 (or 30 x 20) centimetres with silicone paper while leaving some hanging over the edges so the slice will be easier to remove.
- Place almonds in the Thermomix bowl and chop 0.5 seconds/Turbo. Repeat. Add oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into the bowl with the almonds and dry roast 10 minutes/120 degrees/Reverse/speed 1. Add coconut and roast a further 5 minutes/120 degrees/Reverse/speed 1. Set aside. (For TM31, apply Varoma temperature.)
- In the emptied bowl, melt rice malt syrup and coconut oil 2 minutes/90 degrees/speed 2. Add orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sea salt and vanilla extract and cook 1 minute/90 degrees/speed 1.
- Return the oats, seeds and coconut mix, add in the dried fruits and cacao nibs and stir for 30 seconds/Reverse/speed 2 until thoroughly combined.
- Press the mixture firmly and evenly in the tin and bake for 25–30 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Allow to cool completely before gently removing from the pan and cutting into even slices.
AND … If you find the mixture too sticky to press down, wet your hands lightly or line a piece of baking paper over the top before compressing down with your knuckles. If you wish, you can drizzle some melted white or dark chocolate over the slice after the slice is baked, sliced and cooled, or dip the bottom part to coat. The bar will keep fresh for a week in an airtight container.