As a typical American, I came to Switzerland eating cereal for breakfast. Kay, on the other hand, ate a very Swiss breakfast of freshly sliced bread slathered in butter and jam. For years it went on this way. He had his bread and I had my cereal.
One could argue about the healthiness of either breakfast, but eventually Kay switched over to the dark side so that he could be a little faster in the morning and sleep a little longer. Slicing bread and doing all that buttering and spreading takes a long time! But he didn’t switch to conventional brand cereal like me… no. He started buying ingredients to mix his own muesli so that it would be healthier and less sugary than whatever I was eating.
I called it “Pferd Futter” or “Horse food” because that’s what it looked like to me.
Anyway, I more or less stopped eating cereal in an effort to incorporate more fresh fruit in my diet and then with the celiac diagnosis and Kay’s absence, I didn’t even want to think about cereal and how depressing it is here. We don’t have Chex in Switzerland. You can buy gluten free cornflakes from Migros and Coop, and from Coop you can also buy chocolate crispy rice for kids. From non-specialty stores, that’s it!
L-R: Bio cornflakes: 2.20CHF for 300g ($2.45 for 10.5OZ) / Schär cornflakes: 2.90 for 250g ($3.23 for 8.8OZ) / Schär Flakes Milly Magic 123: 4.95CHF for 250g ($5.51 for 8.8OZ)
You can’t even buy most normal muesli ingredients in the store without them being laced with gluten. I can buy puffed amaranth from Migros, but all the soy flakes are coated with malt flavoring, making them a no-go.
So why don’t I just let Kay buy his normal muesli ingredients and let it go? Crumbs. CRUMBS. Or shall I say, dust. Every time Kay makes muesli in his tupperware and every time he gets some out in the morning, cereal dust flies into the air and all over the counters.
If that cereal dust happened to be wheat-y, barley, malt or otherwise gluten-y… it would be all over our counters. And because we are in a hurry in the morning, that gluten death trap would be there in the evening too. Cleaning up his muesli mess is not one of Kay’s strong suits, but if he did… I would have to worry about him contaminating the dish towel and then forgetting to change it out with a new dish towel. I know… anal. But with celiac, you have to be.
There’s always a question of how much gluten is bad for you, but in my own home, I would rather not doubt what I am eating. I don’t want to worry about wheat particles flying around while I bake, nor do I want to question what the dish towel was last used to clean. Nope. Gluten-free cereal for all is the way forward.
But since oats are a no-no the first year, I wanted to find a way to make oat-free granola to mix with those boring cornflakes. I’ve been lurking on Against All Grain and found this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Granola, so I had to try it out!
First I soaked the nuts overnight which is supposed to break down the phytic barrier and give the granola a nicer crunch. Kay just thought I was crazy to be soaking them in water and then dehydrating them.
All chopped up and ready to be baked. We have a convection oven, so I used that instead of going out and buying a dehydrator, but after baking 3-4 hours at 75ºC/170ºF, the muesli still came out pretty moist.
I didn’t feel like baking it longer at this point, but I would definitely bake it longer next time. I feel like buying a plastic dehydrator from the store seems like a waste of money when we have an oven with airflow, but maybe I’m wrong.
I threw all the muesli in Kay’s new GF cereal container with GF cornflakes, buckwheat flakes from the health store, puffed amaranth balls, and millet flakes from the health food store. Then I poured it in a bowl to mix before putting it back in the container.
This muesli is delicious! It smelled heavenly and it had a lovely autumn flavor that had me wanting to start eating cereal again too!
See all that mess up there? Haha… homemade muesli is still quite messy, but I don’t have to worry about it being a gluten mess now! And by watering down the expensive health store gluten-free alternative flakes with homemade muesli and cornflakes, I can feel better about the cost of our gluten-free muesli.
Even if you aren’t gluten free, you should go try this muesli out! It is seriously delicious!