Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada
Fresh muesli, moist from soaking and rich with juicy fruit, is a revelation to those who have only eaten dried muesli. It has the consistency of oatmeal with the freshness of raw ingredients. This fresh fruit muesli makes a satisfying way to start the day.
In a large bowl, combine the bulgur with about 1 cup water and stir to combine. Cover and leave to soak for 30 minutes to soften the bulgur. Drain well in a sieve and return to the bowl.
Add the rolled oats, apple juice, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower kernels, apricots, figs, brown sugar, grated apple and diced persimmon. Fold into the bulgur.
Cut the passion fruit in half. Place a sieve over the bowl of muesli and spoon the passion fruit pulp and seeds into it. Press until the juice has passed through the sieve and only the seeds are left behind. Discard the seeds.
Add the almond extract, if using, and a little more apple juice, if needed, to make a moist but not sloppy consistency. Keep, covered, in the fridge until ready to eat, then serve topped with pomegranate seeds or blueberries, plus additional persimmon. The muesli can be kept in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. Stir it well before serving, and then add the fresh fruit garnish.
Per serving: 394 calories, 8 g protein, 14 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 60 g carbohydrate, 43 g sugars, 12 g fibre, 29 mg sodium.
Sunflower kernels are a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage by free radicals (thus helping to protect against heart disease and cancer). They also provide useful amounts of niacin, thiamine and zinc. Dried figs are a good source of potassium, with small amounts of calcium as well as fibre, both soluble and insoluble.
Fresh fruit muesli variations: This muesli makes a wonderful breakfast for those who do not eat dairy products. However, if you do eat dairy products, you can serve a large spoonful of plain low-fat yogurt on top of your fruit muesli or perhaps layer the muesli with yogurt, like a sundae. You can also decorate each serving with fresh cherries instead of pomegranate seeds or blueberries, if desired.