My mother forbade sugary cereals from entering the house when I was a child, with the exception of the incredibly uncommon box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which we ate straight from the box like candy. mainly because candy.
Otherwise, I was against cereal. My mother always chose the nutritious, fortified, fiber-rich cereal, but I never cared for it. I struggled to see the appeal of cold milk and mushy ingredients in a dish on a more fundamental level. It resembles cold soup. Can someone vouch for me on that? Additionally, I detested the sound of metal spoons scraping on bowls at such an early hour. I renounced the entire category and started eating toast with peanut butter instead.
Up until my junior year, when I went to France for a semester abroad, I continued to eat toast and wrinkle my nose at the cereal bar in the dorms. The dormitories lacked toasters. There is only a stove, no refrigerators or microwaves. In my small room, I kept my food in a cupboard, and I quickly figured out how to survive.
I discovered milk that didn’t need to be refrigerated until opening in the French grocery stores. Additionally, I learned on my own that I could only keep the milk at room temperature for a day or two after opening. (Mom, I’m fine!) Then my buddy Mandy showed me the wonder of the French cereal section. The French are skilled at producing delicious, chocolaty cereal. I lived on cereal in France despite my years of outspoken anti-cereal sentiment.
After all of that, I went back home and re-started my toaster. Just like French cereal, we don’t produce cereal here. I eventually branched out into oatmeal, egg-based foods, and baked muffins. Here we are with muesli after I taught myself how to make granola, which is now a mainstay. Until I ran out of my yogurt and homemade granola in Austin, I wasn’t a fan of muesli. Ali gave me some of her store-brand toasted muesli and almond milk, and it turns out that when toasted muesli is included, I enjoy cold soup.
Also read: Lemony Roasted Potatoes & Broccoli Rabe
Not to disparage my beloved granola, but muesli is like a better, lighter version of it because it has substantially less sugar and oil. It can be prepared without any sugar or oil at all, but flavor-wise, a little goes a long way. I prepare muesli like granola in the morning and combine it with almond milk or yogurt. Extra muesli can be retrieved like a box of cereal by freezing it in a bag and keeping it in the freezer.
The majority of muesli recipes call for simple, raw oats, but if you want to make great muesli, toast the ingredients in the oven. The oats, almonds, and coconut are enhanced by the heat. To my delight, the oats keep more texture as they slightly crisp up.
Like I do with granola, I’ve been experimenting with muesli varieties. In fact, using the recipe below as a model, you could modify any granola recipe to create muesli. I made the decision to add a reasonable number of little chocolate chips to the mixture since muesli makes me think of cereal, which makes me think of France. The Almond Joy of muesli, really.
Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are frequently contaminated by surrounding crops in the field or in processing facilities where flour is used. For my gluten-free buddies, I can now make my favorite oat-based waffles and pancakes thanks to Bob’s Red Mill’s painstakingly tested gluten-free oats.
- Old-fashioned oats, 4 cups
- Almonds, cut, 1 1/2 cups
- One and a half cups of big, unsweetened coconut flakesJust one teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
- maple syrup, 3 tablespoons
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, melted
- Vanilla extract, two tablespoons
- one-half cup of small dark chocolate chips
- serving recommendations
- Your preferred milk (I prefer almond milk) or plain yogurt
- sliced berries, bananas, or other fruit.
- The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. Line a sizable baking sheet with parchment paper for simple cleanup (I was out, so I did not and it was fine).
- The oats, almonds, coconut, salt, and cinnamon should all be combined in a sizable mixing dish. Mix well. Mix thoroughly before adding the vanilla extract, maple syrup, and coconut oil. The chocolate chips should not be added; we’ll add them afterwards.
- Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, tossing halfway through baking for about 15 minutes, or until the oats and coconut flakes are aromatic and light golden.
- Before adding the chocolate chips, allow the granola to cool entirely. If you add the chips too soon, they will melt and create a delightful mess of cocoa muesli. Serve individual servings in bowls with yogurt or almond milk. In order for the oats to somewhat soften, I like to let my muesli sit for a few minutes. Enjoy!
- In a freezer-safe bag with the air squeezed out, keep chilled muesli. Best storage is in the freezer (no defrosting time required).
Recipe roughly adapted from my cranberry orange granola.
MAKE IT VEGAN/DAIRY FREE: Be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips and non-dairy milk, like almond milk.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.