What is it with the sky here in New Zealand? It’s amazing. Day after day. A cerulean blue river of sky clotted with long, puffy gray saturated clouds. I just stare and stare at it. Particularly in the morning. At Takatu, my routine has been to get up early and head for the main house where Heather has laid out breakfast—ricotta pancakes with fresh berries one morning, plump local figs with clotted cream and cheese the next, and always there is Heather’s spectacular muesli.
I pour a bowl, mix in a few of the fat tart blueberries picked from bushes just down the road, and head outside to sit in one of the comfortable canvas chairs anchoring the end of a bocce court. Small birds dive after the insects floating in the breeze above the vineyards; in the distance I see fishing boats heading out of Omaha Bay. I eat my muesli, drink my coffee, and watch the clouds float overhead.
When mixing up this homemade muesli, Heather Forsman often uses pear juice instead of apple juice and dried blueberries, figs, or fresh dates instead of apricots.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
3/4 cup shelled almonds
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup thinly sliced apricots
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Put oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, sesame seeds, apple juice, and vegetable oil into a large bowl and stir to combine.
2. Spread mixture out evenly on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Sprinkle apricots over cooled muesli and toss to combine. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit.