One of the things we most want to do during our year-long road trip is to try different ways of living. Small towns, big cities, mountains, deserts, farm life, and most especially—tiny living. There are so many people who aren’t living the way we live in Boston with 1,400 sq. ft., a sizeable mortgage, looooong work weeks without clear boundaries between business and personal. And while this was the life we crafted and one that gave us a lot of satisfaction to build, it’s sort of mind-blowing to stay in a yurt on ninety-six acres, a tiny cabin in Pray, MT, a horse farm in Wisconsin, and realize that you can strip away a whole lot of the stuff and space and live really, really well.
This is very much the same for eating. I had some anxiety about leaving behind my KitchenAid stand mixer, my food processor, dehydrator, ice cream machine and all the little tools and gadgets I’d so thoughtfully purchased over the years. Those are all nice-to-haves and however we choose to live when this year comes to a close, I’ll for sure want to be reunited with some of my previous kitchen arsenal. Truly though, you do not need these things to cook or eat well.
This vegan muesli began as an idea for granola, but when I realized we were working with a toaster oven that smoked every time we attempted to use it and another heat wave in Washington without an air conditioner or a fan (lots of people don’t have AC because it’s not normally as hot as it’s been), I simplified further and decided muesli was a better option. I took advantage of bulk bins from a local natural grocer and a plum tree in a strip mall parking lot. Finding that tree, with its branches heavy with juicy, red plums, gave me a whole boat load of satisfaction. If plums aren’t growing from a nearby tree or cost a small fortune, use whatever fruit is local, in-season, and within budget near you. Same goes for toppings. I chose mine with an eye towards superfoods (the berries, nuts and seeds that are extra nutritious, anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants) and based on what was available at the store in town. The beauty of this recipe, much like so many aspects of living well, is that there are endless possibilities to get it “right”.
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- goji berries
- pumpkin seeds
- chopped walnuts
- unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- sliced plums
- pure maple syrup
- Combine the rolled oats, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a storage container or jar. For each serving portion out ½ cup into a bowl, top with your mix-ins and a sliced plum, and serve with your favorite non-dairy milk and a small pour of maple syrup. Stir to combine and enjoy! Pro tip: keep some extra milk handy since the oats and chia seeds will absorb it.
P.S. Cinnamon plum merlot sorbet.