In Praise of Muesli

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We’ll admit, it’s not everybody’s cup of … breakfast food. But muesli has come a long way from its humble beginnings as alimentation designed for hospital patients!

What is muesli?

While modern muesli can contain any number of ingredients, at its base it’s a combination of raw rolled oats, grains, dried fruits, seed, and nuts, that are then mixed with milk, yogurt, or fruit juice.

Wikipedia gives us the food’s history: Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar "strange dish" that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Muesli in its modern form became popular in Western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in health food and vegetarian diets. The original Bircher muesli was soaked overnight with water and lemon juice, and then eaten with yoghurt.

Nutritional benefits

  • Muesli typically has less sugar and fewer calories than most breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves.
  • It's high in fiber and whole grains, which regulate the digestive system, are filling and can aid in weight control.
  • Muesli is a potent source of antioxidants.
  • The addition of nuts provides a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (especially walnuts).
  • Milk or dairy alternatives that usually accompany muesli is a source of dairy and protein.

So it’s healthy. But does it taste good?

The beauty of muesli is that you can pretty much make it taste however you’d like. If you have a sweet tooth, you can increase the amount of fruit in your mixture, and add chocolate bits (or even use hot chocolate as your liquid!). If you’re looking for crunch, then more nuts are called for. Soy milk can be substituted for dairy milk, your oats can be rolled or whole-grain, and you can add almond flour, sweeten with agave nectar … the possibilities are endless.

You can find myriad recipes online for a great muesli, or you can buy the prepackaged kind for convenience. At Bliss Shurfine Food Mart, we have everything you need to explore this terrific food, whether you’re working from scratch or grabbing a package to go.

We’re not going to give you a recipe for the muesli itself—you’ll want to experiment and find out what works best for you and your family—but if you’d like to follow the original Swiss way of doing it, then mix apple, lemon, or orange juice and plain yogurt into your museli the night before. In the morning, add more yogurt if you’d like, grated apple, and a topping such as honey or maple syrup. Yum!