From Muesli to Miso - Help in the Kitchen

12 Nov 2011

Posted by karen
karen's picture

My house is a maze of boxes and suffused with the energy and excitement combo that accompanies an approaching change. No, I'm not in one of my rare seasonal house-cleansing frenzies. This weekend our daughter and family are moving out and forward, on to their next life adventure, ending their six-month transition period of living with us. A season where our house has pulsed with the activities and kafuffle generated by five people (and one cat) – added to our mix of two.

No surprise that the kitchen has been the hub – and a huge amount of gratitude goes to my daughter, Renee, who's masterminded (and implemented) most of the healthy feeding program to sustain all the creative and physical energy.

One person can't – or wouldn't want to – do such a task singularily. Renee's husband, Damien, has 'done' most breakfasts and I've taken some shifts as head or sous chef, cleaner-upper and filling in other gaps. Celine, Laurent and Brienne – aged 12, 10, and 8 – have had their daily kitchen chores plus food prep as requested. They're proficient in cutting and chopping veggies, concocting delicious salad dressings (move over, olive oil and balsamic vinegar), and blending super smoothies – all adding to the wake of accumulated food bits and pieces scattered on the kitchen floor.

My body has probably never been happier with iself – fuelled mostly by fruits and veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dried fruits instead of sugar. Meals and snacks (a favorite part of the food plan) have been just out-and-out delicious and nutritious....

African Peanut-Potato Stew...Tortillas...Pumpkin & Black Bean Casserole... Falafel...Simple Oatmeal Raisin Cookies...Slow-Cooked Tofu in Pineapple Barbecue Sauce...Creamy Cashew Lemon Pie...Easy Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna... Hearty One-Pot Meal Miso Soup...Raw Peanut Butter Cookies...Buckwheat Hazelnut Pancakes...Grated Beet & Carrot Salad... Chickpea and Roasted Tomato Salad...Savoury Millet Stew...Breakfast Rice Pudding...Roasted Potato & Asparagus Salad...Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge...

But even when it's great, we can have our moments when we want a change of menu. This week for Celine, that meant finding an alternative breakfast recipe that she could make for the household. This health-aware pre-teen found one, tweaked it to use ingredients she had available – and we ate it this morning! Yum yum.


The Recipe: Pomegranate Muesli


2 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup steel cut oats (could also use old fashioned oats – not quick or instant)

1/2 cup each sunflower and pumpkin seeds

4 apples, peeled and grated

1/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped

5-6 cups fruit – combination of sliced strawberries and blueberries

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

2-3 Tbsp. hemp hearts


Soak oats and seeds in pomegranate juice overnight in refrigerator.

In the morning, stir in remaining ingredients. 


Note – add or substitute other fruits.

Makes 5-6 servings.

Nutritrient Notes:

-- soaking the oats and seeds overnight contributes to better digestion

-- pomegranates - high in vitamin K, contain vitamin C, choline, magnesium, potassium and calcium

-- hemp hearts - high in protein and fibre

-- flax seeds - omega-3 fats, selenium, fibre, phytochemicals, antioxidants 


Celine's Dad peeled the apples (to helped speed up the operation) but she did pretty much everything else. When it came time to dish up our breakfast bowls, it wasn't only Celine who appreciated something new on the breakfast menu! 

The youngest cook in the house, Brienne, is not one to be left behind - in anything. You have to check out her Miso Soup Recipe - and try it. It's sure to become a lunch standby.

Cooking healthy meals takes planning, time and work - at any age. Inviting and allowing young cooks to mess about in the kitchen is messy. But it's fun - and offers them the pleasure of creating, and eating, nutritious food. A gift that will come back in spades - for their own healthy food habits and opening a window for future shared cooking experiences. 

When these young cooks are your grandkids, the pleasure is especially sweet. Who helps you in your kitchen?


(Photo thanks and credits to Fimby.)


Jess's picture

My boys (ages 2 and 3.5) are big kitchen helpers and more excitedly, big garden helpers!   We never have to worry about their veggie intake in season as they snack their way through the day (brussel sprouts, kale, carrots, green and purple beans, etc).  We wax and wane in our healthy eating out of season (always striving and trying to balance health with convenience).  Boys help out in food processing (prepping for freezing and canning) and we love that they think this is the norm! The above recipes look yummy, but I was also really intrigued in your recipes for pumpkin and black bean casserole and buckwheat hazlenut pancakes.  Keep writing... I love reading!



karen's picture

Good for you to let your little guys be part of the action - inside and out. It's great they're already eating such a variety of veggies that sadly, many kids wouldn't even try. I'll post those two recipes eventually - pumpkins are in season now so that one will probably be first. Thank you for stopping by!

Pam's picture

beautiful blog! I'm happy to have found you. I am always striving to leave my "habits" behind and eat cleaner and more natural. FIMBY sent me over :o). I love the muesili recipe and am excited to try it out with my own little cooks!

karen's picture

So thankful you (and the little cooks) stopped by. I love this recipe, my husband missed the last round so pomegranate juice is on my shopping list. Leaving habits behind isn't really so sad if you snatch onto healthier ones to replace them. 

Barbara's picture

This recipe is so good! :-) Thank you!

How many pomegrantes did you use to receive 2 cups of pomegranate juice? I tried to make the muesli last night, but the pomegranate which I bought (and it was a big one - around 800 g) turned out to be not juicy enough. I had to add some water to get 2 cups liquid.

 Oh and I used freshly crushed oats (I think that Renee mentioned that you have a flour mill, too).


karen's picture

Wow - I'm impressed that you used the fruit to get the juice. I bought a bottle - 100% pomegranate juice. Good idea to crush the oats yourself. Yes, I'm very fortunate to have both a flour mill and a machine that attaches to my Bosch that makes flakes out of whole grains. Did you use a coarse setting on your flour mill to get steel cut oats rather than flakes?

Barbara's picture

Ah, I see!  I thought you used the fruit. I think one needs quite a lot of pomegranates to get 2 cups of juice (or a very juicy variety).

Yes, I used a coarse setting on my mill (5 on a scale from 1 (fvery fine flour) to 9 (very coarse)) to make steel-cut oats. I find that steel-cut oats and flakes don't differ too much in in taste.


Thank you for your answer. :-) The next thing I'll try is your sauerkraut, I' just need to find a stone (to "close" the pan). :-)

Coresean's picture

Those men's and ladies who love to start working in the kitchen. They know some important things which are good in use and their essayroo prices style is also different. That's why i am not sure to talk about this article.

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