Now, far be it from me to tell you who you should be falling asleep with. I will allow you all the trashiness, bad taste and cheap thrills your nocturnal hearts desire. I do however, have no problem with sternly suggesting what you should wake up to. Cereal rocks. Face it, there's a 12 year old inside all of us who wants a bowl of it at any time of the day whenever the munchies come knocking. But coco pops and rice bubbles don't only taste like milkshakes, they have about as much nutritional backbone as them as well. Nutri Grain and other shitty, ostensibly healthy things that come in boxes are pretty much processed, refined crap, with the vitamins and minerals added back in which the manufacturing processes have removed in their natural form. Special K is the worst. You may as well take little flakes of cardboard and submerge them in a bowl of gluggy milk. Commercial cereals fall into two categories: a sugar laden 'screw you' to your morning digestive system, or the slightly more insidious trumped up, nutritional null and voids which have you believing the crap they write on the side of their pretty boxes about all of the great things their product is just bursting with. I get angry when I think about children starting their day on these things. Why would you eat that, especially when you could eat this:
Sonoma's Honey Spice Breakfast Muesli is something to set your alarm for. These artisan bakers started out at a little Glebe shop a few years ago and continue to crank out some of the most wicked sourdough products you'll find in Sydney. I am just going to limit myself to their muesli today. Ladies, this is the equivalent of languidly rolling over in your bed on a sun drenched morning and waking up to a naked Christian Bale at your semi slumbering side. In fact, this wonder product has two very important things in common with Batman: it can save you, and it looks bloody good while it does the job. But, but, but, before we talk taste we're going to talk shop.
This brown bag of beguiling beauty is concealing one spunky mix of hand roasted oats, Australian Ironbark honey, coconut chips (pre smashed), sultanas (I pick these out, too sweet for me), pumpkin seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oil and spices...oh AND they deigned to not poison you either by leaving it entirely free of preservatives and additives. Natural. Deeply spiced. Crunchittycrunchcrunch. Wholefood, ladies and gentlemen, a very, very good thing. You know about fiber (insoluble and soluble, oats contain both) and protein and essential fatty acids and B vitamins, even men's mags have way too much to say about those things (you really have gone soft on us, boys, get back to bending over some car hoods, eh), so I am not even going to bother with any of that. Rather than talk about the mere components in food I want to talk about the state of it, how the way we prepare things alters the way they function when we eat them.
One of the reasons that so many people today find they have intolerances to grains has more, I suspect, to do with how grains are prepared than with the actual grains themselves. Jude Blereau's cook books are brilliantly informative on why grains either should be soaked or toasted before eating, and now that I have been doing some Biology cramming for my approaching exams, I feel very qualified to speak to you on the subject of enzymes.
A grain carries the potential to grow the whole plant that it comes from again, inside it, it's like a wanting seed. In order to preserve the life force inherent within until such time as it becomes ready to sprout and bloom, grains contain enzyme inhibitors which keep the dynamism of them locked in suspended animation. This is why even raw wholegrains like oats or rice can be digestively cumbersome, because in unsoaked/untoasted form, you're consuming the product with all of its enzyme inhibitors in full force, which means your body has to work extra hard to digest what it is taking in because it first must break down the elements present which block enzymes. I will do a piece on soaking grains soon. But toasted cereals, provided that are not toasted in a bad, excessive fat, actually turn out to be gentler on your body metabolically than the untoasted version, because the enzyme inhibitors become unhinged in the processes of heat and submersion in fluid. Bircher muesli and granola are hence metabolically better for you than straight up oats. Have I turned you off? I can see Tatsu reading this post at 7.03am and shaking his bleary head and going to Maccas for a Bacon and Egg McMuffin.
Don't be scared, this stuff tastes like crunchy ambrosia. Kieran was addicted for a while there. You can eat it like popcorn. The Earth Cafe serves it with sugarless, stewed fruit and yoghurt, I only let them put a little of the wet stuff on top, I like to preserve as much of the drycrunch, it's poetry as texture. I only eat this stuff at The Earth Cafe, if i buy a bag it simply doesn't make it through the day.
This is a rocking breakfast, beautiful nutiness and honeyed spice all the way through. Have it plain, with milk or without, with yoghurt or fruit. Honey Spice Breakfast Muesli tastes better than any crumble I have ever had, and because it's honey used as the sweetener, your pancreas won't off itself before 10am. They even have a Maple Spelt version. These lusty little wake up calls come dressed in some adorable wrapping that makes you feel like you're carrying a beautifully packed lunch your mum made you.
There isn't a toy at the bottom, there aren't any tokens to collect and there are no free things to send away for, but it'll make your tastebuds sing and your cheeks glow. It will also inspire your bowels to express themselves more fervently and more freely. The Batman Breakfast. It's the breakfast of people who roll their eyes at champions.
Pick some up from any Sonoma outlet (Glebe and the Orange Grove markets stock this), from The Earth Store, The Health Emporium, Wholefoods House, About Life and a million other places. It's where foodie meets health nut happily, dananananaaaaaaaaa!