I was born and raised in Switzerland, and one of my favorite dishes made by my grandmother was her muesli. It was sweet, fresh, healthy and filling, but still seemed like a treat! It took me way too long in adulthood to try and recreate it. But once I did, I was so happy and knew it would be a regular breakfast for me going forward. Not to mention all the great health benefits muesli! So, here is for you a simple, vegan muesli – authentically Swiss.
1 cup oats
2 cups oat milk (or plant milk of your choosing, such as almond milk)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pitted dried dates
1 tbsp organic cane sugar
berries of choice, about 1/2 cup – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or strawberries
optional: seeds or other toppings of choice.
Why You’ll Love It
What better way to kick-start your day than with a delicious bowl of muesli? (And it doesn’t only have to only be a delicious start to your day – eat it at any time of the day!) Muesli is packed with a combination of whole grains, fruits, and nuts. It is a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a breakfast dish that offers a plethora of health benefits, aiding digestion, and your overall well-being. And yet, it is lightly sweet, making it feel more like a treat than the healthy breakfast that it really is! And the best part? It takes you only about 5 minutes in the evening to prep it and when you wake up the next morning, it’s all ready for you to devour!
Background on Muesli
Muesli, pronounced “myooz-lee,” is a breakfast dish that originated in Switzerland in the late 19th century. It was developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who believed in the importance of nutrition and a healthy diet in promoting overall well-being. In Switzerland, we often call it Bircher-Müesli, giving homage to its inventor.
Dr. Bircher-Benner created muesli as part of his holistic approach to healthcare. He believed that a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts could prevent and treat various ailments. Muesli was initially intended as a dish for patients at his sanatorium, where he aimed to improve their health through dietary interventions.
The original muesli recipe consisted of a blend of raw rolled oats, grated apples, condensed milk, lemon juice, and ground nuts. Dr. Bircher-Benner believed that this combination provided a balance of nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which would nourish the body and promote vitality.
Over time, muesli gained popularity beyond the sanatorium and became a beloved breakfast option worldwide. As reputation grew of the health benefits of muesli, variations of muesli emerged, incorporating different grains, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Overall, muesli has a rich history rooted in the philosophy of promoting health through nutrition. It continues to be a popular and nutritious choice for individuals seeking a balanced and wholesome breakfast option.
How to Prepare
Choose an airtight container that has enough room for about 4 cups of ingredients. I like to use a large mason jar.
Cut your dried dates into smaller pieces. I like to cut it into thirds.
If you have a grater, go ahead and grate your half apple. Otherwise, just cut it into thin pieces (this is what I do, because I don’t have a grater).
Add all of your ingredients, except for your berries, into your container and mix well. Add the berries.
Set into the refrigerator overnight. (If you’re really in a time crunch, it still needs at least an hour. Overnight is really the best!)
It’s ready to eat – nothing more needed from you!
How to Serve
Transfer your muesli into a bowl and enjoy immediately! You can, of course, add more toppings or add your berries now if you didn’t get to it last night. But if you already added everything last night, then you are good to go!
Here in the US, I’ve seen muesli recipes that are DRY, almost like a granola. But that’s NOT what we know it to be in Switzerland. For us, it’s always soaked in milk. Some people add yogurt to it. So, the authentic Swiss muesli is eaten cold, in a bowl, with whatever toppings you prefer, such as fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. And as mentioned, you can add yogurt to it too.
Other Muesli Toppings
While the above recipe is the authentic Swiss Muesli recipe and one that my grandmother often made for us, there are other toppings you could use. Either add them or substitute them for ones I have listed. Other options are:
- Dried apricots
- Dried cranberries
- Other dry fruits of your choosing
- Seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or even chia seeds
- Other fruits (not something I personally change for my muesli, but try around and use what fruit you like best!)
How to Store
You can leave your muesli in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 days if you’ve already added your berries. If your muesli doesn’t have the berries added, you can keep it in the fridge for about 5 days. I would not wait any longer for best results. The oats might expand too much and the nuts can get too soft.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
Looking for another recipe you can quickly prepare in the evening to create a healthy and delicious breakfast? Try out this 3-Ingredient Chia Pudding. It’s amazing!
What Are Some of the Health Benefits of Eating Muesli?
The benefits to your health of eating Bircher Muesli are plentiful! From fiber for your digestion, to nutrients from the fresh fruits, as well as protein from the nuts (and seeds), there is just so much goodness in one bowl of muesli. And yet, it tastes deliciously sweet! Read on to read more specifics on how muesli can help your health.
Can Eating Muesli help with Weight loss?
Yes, muesli can help you lose weight, even though it’s a deliciously sweet breakfast! It is a high-fiber cereal that can help you feel full and satisfied after eating. It will keep you feeling full longer than other foods might, which can cut down on snacking and unwanted cravings. You can, of course, try using less sugar or cutting out the sugar completely. Adding some additional fruit might help to make it just as tasty, even when it’s an unsweetened muesli. Fiber can also help to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can help to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and keep your energy level more regular. Even though this dish does traditionally have some sugar in it, it isn’t as much as other sweet breakfast dishes contain and is, therefore, a much better option. Besides, a good part of the sweetness comes from the fresh and dried fruits. Plus, it means you’ve already added fruits and nuts into your diet for the day! All of these things are great whether or not you are on a weight loss journey!
Is Muesli High in Fiber?
Yes, muesli is high in fiber, making it a great healthy breakfast. This is especially helpful if you are experiencing indigestion, since fiber (found in the oats and fresh fruit of this dish) helps prevent and eliminate indigestion and create a more regular bowel movement. Moreover, the soluble fiber in muesli acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improving overall gut health. A healthy gut is essential for proper nutrient absorption and a strong immune system. By incorporating muesli into your breakfast routine, you can promote a healthy digestive system and support the well-being of your gut. Plus, the health benefits of muesli don’t end here! (Read on to learn more about the health benefits of muesli)
Is Muesli Good for Heart Health?
Yes, muesli can be beneficial for your heart’s health. One of the main ingredients in muesli is whole oats. This whole grain is rich in dietary fiber, which helps regulate cholesterol levels and improve heart health. The soluble fibers in muesli can effectively reduce what is known as “bad” cholesterol, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the presence of essential fatty acids in whole grains promotes cardiovascular well-being. By incorporating muesli into your breakfast routine, you can take a proactive step towards maintaining a healthy heart. Isn’t it just great that eating something as delicious as muesli can even make you healthier?! All it takes is a quick 5-minute prep at night, and you can enjoy all of the great health benefits of muesli the next morning!
Why Is Muesli So Healthy?
The health benefits of muesli stem from the fact that muesli is made up of a powerful mix of healthy ingredients. The combination of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds provides a diverse range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For example, almonds (and seeds if you add them) are high in vitamin E, which helps maintain good eye health. Nuts and seeds are also a good source of protein, healthy fats and micronutrients that support muscle growth, bone health, and a strong immune system. Starting your day with a healthy bowl of muesli doesn’t only taste amazing, but it’s a delicious way to nourish your body with a wide range of essential nutrients. There’s a saying in Switzerland that you need to start your day eating like a king, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Muesli, though simple, just might fit that role of a king’s dish for the first meal of the day!
Can My Kid Help Me Prep?
Yes, your child can help you prepare this muesli. It’s so simple, though, it will probably be done before your kid even notices you’re doing anything in the kitchen. My 2 year old can help by mixing all the ingredients. And she loves washing the berries while standing in her learning tower. There really isn’t much more to do! Your child will likely enjoy eating a hearty bowl of muesli because of its delightful sweetness. Helping prep the dish might get them over the threshold of trying a new food.
- 1 cup oats
- 2 cups oat milk (or plant milk of your choosing, such as almond milk)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup pitted dried dates
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1/2 apple
- berries of choice, about 1/2 cup - raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or strawberries
- optional: seeds or other toppings of choice.
- Choose an airtight container that has enough room for about 4 cups of ingredients. I like to use a large mason jar.
- Cut your dried dates into smaller pieces. I like to cut it into thirds.
- If you have a grater, go ahead and grate your half apple. Otherwise, just cut it into thin pieces (this is what I do, because I don't have a grater).
- Add all of your ingredients, except for your berries, into your container and mix well.
- Add the berries.
- Set into the refrigerator overnight. (If you're really in a time crunch, it still needs at least an hour. Overnight is really the best!)
It's ready to eat - nothing more needed from you!
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