Muesli with strawberries, bananas and coconut milk

Once I started to think seriously about breakfast, questions started popping up here there and everywhere.

Should we eat breakfast at all? Contradictions galore here from a stream of experts. When I was young I was sure the first meal of the day should be considered a visit to the fuel pump. Fill ‘er up. This is my children’s solution. Stacks of food first thing, and not much for the rest of the day.

Then, as is the way with such things, came another medical breakthrough. Have nothing for breakfast, and use the midday meal as a stoker. Problem here. Aren’t we at work, or school, or asleep, at noon?

The only constant seems to be that you don’t eat too much for dinner, as it rocks and rolls around in the tummy all night. I speak for this theory, but ignore its wisdom. Dinner is pretty much the only time, in our culture, when we have a chance to eat together as a family, and/or socialise, so, as with most things to do with good medical advice, if it doesn’t suit, I roll on regardless. Which, in the end, is why I always eat breakfast: always have, always will.

So, if we all ignore the medics, and all eat breakfast, why do we treat it with such disdain, preferring coffee, toast and packaged cereal (now that we are scared off eggs) day in, day out? No argument here. We are too lazy, and prefer the extra half hour in the cot.

No more. I decided to make my own version of what the Swiss call muesli, the Americans crunchy granola. Now it is part of my life’s work to wean my daughters off Weet-Bix and on to crunchy granola.

I don’t think it will succeed. Even my trump card — replacing plain milk with a strawberry and banana thick shake was, excuse me, fruitless. ‘I can’t like that yukky milk,’ they both proclaimed, simultaneously. Well, I can. So there.


1 cup coconut milk

1 cup milk

½ cantaloup or a banana


1 cup oats

½ cup sesame seeds

¾ cup whizzed oats

cup whizzed pecan nuts

¼ cup desiccated coconut

¾ cup raisins

½ cup flaked almonds

½ cup honey

½ cup walnut oil

½ cup water


a little milk

whatever soft fruit you have available, but strawberries are a must — Other likely lads are bananas, cantaloup, raspberries, and if the pocket is okay, some pawpaw, papaya, or mango.


Whizz up the coconut milk, milk and cantaloup/banana, and freeze in a cube tray. This is not absolutely vital, but as near as. The milk mix at breakfast must be ice- cold.


Mix all the grains, raisins, etc. There are plenty of other options — grains and dried fruits (check the larder), but I wouldn’t do without the oats, or sesame seeds. Warm through the honey, walnut oil (extravagant this: vegetable oil will do, but you should at least try walnut oil — it is delicious with salads, anyway) and water, until the honey melts and mixes through the grains until all are touched by the honey-oil. Spread out on tray(s).


Heat the oven to 200°C and put in the grains. When the aroma is quite strong, remove and stir so that none of the grains stick. If you want your breakfast really roasted and crunchy, put back in the oven until they are quite tanned, but be careful, lest they burn. Otherwise remove when they separate easily. Allow to cool, and put in jars.


Make the frothy milk. Combine the milk with the soft fruit and a couple of coconut-banana-milk ice cubes. Whizz until fluffy and pour over your crunchy business. At the right time of the year, serve with raspberries and mango slices.