MuesliBowlIn my quest to eat healthier in January, I’ve been avoiding added sugar. This means that my several times a week fruit, plain yogurt and granola habit has been tabled of late. Then I ran across this recipe for Hazelnut Cherry Muesli. I’d been collecting muesli recipes for a while, but had never gotten around to trying one out. This one seemed like a great place to start.

ChoppedNutsMuesliWhat is muesli? It’s a mix of grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits served with yogurt and fresh fruit. It is popular in Europe and originated in Switzerland. The muesli is often mixed with yogurt or milk the night before and allowed to sit until morning. In short, it’s granola without the added sugar or fat. If you like oats on the uncooked side (my husband mixes uncooked rolled oats with bananas and peanut butter and calls it a snack) then you will probably like muesli.

MuesliDriedFruitHere’s an adaptation of the cherry/hazelnut recipe from the link above, allowing you to mix and match ingredients to your own taste (or based on what you have on hand, which is always the case with my pantry). You can also double or triple the recipe when you find a combination you really like.

Muesli As You Find It

  • 1/2 cup nuts of choice (hazelnuts are great, but go rancid quickly, so should probably only be used when you can get them fresh in the fall – freeze for year round use). Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamia, even peanuts…whatever you like.
  • 1/4 cup seeds of choice. Pumpkin, sunflower, flax, amaranth, millet, sesame, poppy, or some mix of whatever you have on hand. Flax should be cracked in a spice mill to get the most nutritional benefit. Otherwise they tend to pass right through you undigested.
  • 1 1/4  cups rolled cereal (thick cut oats, rolled rye, rolled wheat or spelt) or some mix of any of the above. Stores with a large bulk section will have more “rolled” choices.
  • 1/4 cup bran (oat, wheat, psyllium husk). The idea is to increase the fiber a bit. Optional, but why not. You could also try wheat germ.
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (dates, cranberries, plums, cherries, raisins, currents, chopped apricots, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger etc.), optional.
  • Fresh or frozen fruit and plain or flavored yogurt, for serving

OatsRyePreheat oven to 300 degrees. If you want your nuts toasted, lay them on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until you can smell them in your kitchen, 5-7 minutes. Remove, cool and chop.

Spread the rolled grains onto the same baking sheet. Bake grains until lightly toasted and fragrant, 12-15 minutes, stirring a couple of times to prevent edges from burning. Watch carefully the last few minutes. It’s easy to overdue it and end up with chicken muesli (i.e. grains fit only for the chickens, which I accomplished the other day). Remove from oven and cool.

MuesliSpiceMix nuts, grains and all other ingredients except fresh fruit/yogurt in a medium bowl. Store in airtight container. When ready to serve, chop up a cup or so of fresh fruit per person (apple is really good here), top with as much yogurt as you like (I use about 1/2 cup), and add muesli mix (I use about 1/4 cup as I’m watching calories). Drizzle with about a teaspoon of honey if desired and stir.

Eat immediately or store overnight in the refrigerator and eat in the morning. In a “go” container, this is a great on-the-go breakfast that can be made the night before.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2012, where we’re miles away from never eating granola again, but find that this muesli, with its mix of whole grains, fiber, protein and fat from the nuts will keep me going for quite awhile.