January 16, 2008

Muesli is a Swiss breakfast cereal thing. It’s a whole-foods miracle, packing a nutritional powerhouse into a yummy and nutritious morning meal. It’s as fast as cold cereal as long as you’ve put the basic mix in the fridge the night before, but tastes better and lasts longer in the tummy.

I’ve had it from time to time in European hotels and the last time I had it, I decided it was so delicious and obviously healthy that I’d learn to make it, so I looked it up online, found some recipes & started playing. I now make it every few days, and I do it without a recipe.

One warning : it tastes really good but it looks really terrible.
small muesli

Here’s how I make it :

All this goes in a bowl that will go in the fridge (I use a Tupperware)

  • 1 cup rolled whole grain cereal. I buy this at the health food store, but you can easily use regular (not quick-cooking) oatmeal.
  • A small handful of dried fruit, chopped up to be small – I use different stuff – apricots, cherries, cranberries, raisins, prunes, whatever.
  • About 8 almonds roughly chopped or 3 walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • A good sprinkle of cinnamon
  • About 1 cup of rice or soy milk (not regular milk), and then more liquid, maybe about half a cup, of water or fruit juice or some mix of the two. You want the grains to be completely submerged in the liquid and they’ll absorb a lot, I go back and check a few hours later, stir it around, and sometimes add more juice or water. I think I probably use about 2 cups of liquid for one cup of grains. When you serve it, it should be about the consistency of thick-ish oatmeal.

Let sit overnight. Leave it in the fridge as is, add more liquid if necessary.

When I make this, it lasts me for 3 breakfasts. If I think my DH will have some I make more, but he rarely has breakfast at home, and when it does it usually involves butter slathered on something.

To eat : put some in a bowl but leave room, you’re adding more stuff

  • Grate a part of an apple or pear over the grain mixture (I usually grate about 1/3 of the apple and then put it in a ziplock for the next day). I tried grating the apple ahead of time but it turned brown and icky. Don’t add it to the muesli in the fridge, it turns the whole thing brown and mushy. I’m super-lazy, but I swear it only takes a second to grate in part of an apple. I leave the skin on (more fiber!). I’ve used chopped clementines for a change, and would love to try banana (but I hardly ever buy them at the market).
  • Add some yogurt (I use organic plain yogurt, but use whatever you like). I use about half a cup of yogurt on one serving. The muesli in the picture has this decadent Greek yogurt which is really rich and heavenly but it’s not my usual brand (and sadly the store isn’t close enough for it to become the new one!).

There you have it, muesli. Easy and very healthy breakfast – tons of fiber, a bit of fruit, some calcium and protein (yogurt & nuts), calories are reasonable and it really fills you up. For those on low-carb plans obviously this won’t work. To cut down on calories cut out the dried fruit and nuts.

Not very expensive, very fast, healthy, what more can you want? You don’t need to eat it every day either, it keeps in the fridge easily for one week.

I have made steel-cut oats for breakfast all the time for over 5 years and I find this a good alternative. It only takes me a minute to throw it together and stick it in the fridge, and I have breakfast ready to go for several days. I used to make a big batch of oatmeal once a week and then zap it in the microwave every morning. This is even easier, and that was pretty easy.

I’m pretty heavy into organic food and whole grains, and this easily fits the bill on both counts too.

The hardest part?

Yeah, you guessed it…

Same as always :

Leaving a bite uneaten 😉

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