At my niece’s first birthday party I found kindred spirits. I was selling my new blog title to the growed ups and when I brought up muesli, my brother-in-law’s parents jumped in and told me everything they knew. They are Swiss, so I obviously took their 2 cents as muesli gospel and moved myself right over next to them to better hear the info they had to share. Also they were sitting closer to the food.
Here for your-learning-something-new-everyday pleasure is the history of muesli in a nutshell. (If you are allergic to nuts we can put it in an eggshell. A seashell?)
Muesli was invented in the early 1900′s by a Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner. His plan was to increase the fruits that his patients were eating. The original recipe was uncooked oats, fruit and nuts. Pretty much the same recipe as now. It was first called Birchermuesli. My guess is that the marketing folks shortened that up.
I’ve covered making your own muesli already, so I won’t re-sow those oats.
This recipe is also tasty.
Christine Cushing’s Muesli
There are a million and one recipes for muesli and you can easily make up your own.
Somedays call for desperate measures and you need an instant breakfast. Throw together what I call welfare muesli. Yoghurt, (or milk) oats, whatever nuts or seeds you have, fruit. Done. Grated apple with a little cinnamon is a tasty addition and gives you a head start with your apple a day plan.
I suppose a more politically correct name would be ‘pantry muesli’. It’s nowhere near as much fun to say.
There are no muesli police. That I know of anyways.
Now, Granola! Granola is pretty much the same as muesli but it is baked with a sweetener added. Honey or Maple syrup if you make it yourself and HFCS if you buy a pre-made variety. I didn’t research the history of granola. It’s not in my blog title and there wasn’t a nice Swiss man around to tell me.
Before I was a muesli-a-holic, I was a granola hippie. I stopped making it because it made a huge mess in my oven. As I’ve said, I am a lunatic with a scoop at the Bulk Barn and I buy too much. I overwhelm my roasting pan and it’s a granola yard sale in my oven. If you can manage to restrain yourself at the bulk food store you should be ok. That or get a bigger roasting pan. Or someone to come in and clean up after you. That last one is probably the best choice, let’s all do that.
It’s important to note that I am not any cleaner making muesli, the mess just isn’t in the oven.
While granola brings to mind Mother Earth types eating uber-healthy breakfast foods, in truth sometimes it can be pretty nasty. Many store bought granola’s are really high in crap. Added sugar and salt and fat. Who knows what they coat the goodness of oats with? Lard and HFCS.
Making your own guarantees that you will be eating a super duper healthy breakfast or snack or whenever you decide to eat it.
This recipe is from Anne Lindsay’s New Light Cooking.
I’ve never used a measuring cup and never made it the same way twice.
Combine 5 cups oats, 1 cup wheat bran, 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ, 1/4 cup each almonds (almonds are magic) sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Stir in 3/4 cup honey. If you like clumpy granola, clump it up now.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350, until toasty and brown looking.
Add 1 1/2 cups raisins if you would like.
Store in an airtight container.
Easy Pease to change it up.
Here’s a fancier recipe.
Wikaninnish Inn Granola
OK, I caved in to the pressure of wikipedia. “Granola” was trademarked by John Harvey Kellogg.