Breakfast Mission: Muesli
Okay, so the mission continues…for the past week and a half I’ve managed breakfast every day. Most days it’s been oatmeal in various permutations, which I like but which is getting a little old no matter how much variety I attempt to introduce. Once it was a piece of whole grain zucchini bread, good but too much sugar and not enough stick-to-the-guts-ness so I was hungry an hour later, and once (sigh) it was an egg-and-cheese wrap from Dunkin Donuts (Give me a break, it was a Sunday when I had to play the 7:30 service, and I’m so not a morning person…the one day every 3 weeks or so when this happens I do allow myself the drive-through. ), but every other day it’s been oatmeal. The box emptied yesterday morning.
So yesterday I’m shopping for more, and I ran across the whole Bob’s Red Mill section of the cereal stuffs. My immediate attention had been caught by the “on sale” sign for the multigrain hot cereal, a pound for $1.99. Right next to it was a pound of Bob’s “Muesli” for $3.69. They looked fairly similar, except that the muesli had some fruit and nuts and seeds and stuff in it too.
My husband really likes muesli. I have tended to shy away from it simply because it seems to cost so much more than ordinary grain cereal, and isn’t THAT much better, at least to me. But I bought this stuff because, you know, breakfast mission and research and stuff. (The blog becomes a rationalization for so many things…:-)
Had some this morning. Rarity of rarities, I found it too sweet–I soaked it overnight in milk like the package suggested (1 part cereal to 2 parts milk), and I think the dates (dates are almost pure sugar, you know) just gave up too much and the milk was crazy sweet. Soaking it for less time, or making it hot, might help this.
(Did you know that in ancient world in the Middle East dates were the primary source of all sugars–still might be, actually–and that in the Bible when it talks about a land flowing with “milk and honey” the honey it’s referring to is probably date syrup?)
On the other hand, making my own might help more. Because essentially, as far as I can see, “muesli” is German for “granola you didn’t bother to bake.” This was a major light bulb moment for me. Because baking granola, as yummy as it is, introduces a lot of oil into the mixture and also is just an extra step and more work. So I’m going to start making my own muesli, to see if it’s another way I can fit a healthy whole grain breakfast into my life without being more stressed or losing any sleep. (My mission parameters are fairly clearly stated, and the speedy-quick is a big one.) Putting cereal and juice/milk/whatever into a bowl in the fridge before bed and just pulling it out to eat the next day sounds like an incredibly easy thing to do, so let’s see how that goes. (And I guess I can always heat it up if I want a hot breakfast.)
Infinitely Varied And Substitutionny Cold Muesli Recipe
- whole grain, 1/4 to 1/2 cup per serving. This can be rolled oats, wheat, rye barley, or one of the “multigrain hot cereal” mixes that are easy to find and cost about the same as old fashioned rolled oats. (Stay away from steel cut oats for this; they are a different story, delicious but require a time commitment to actually cook!) Some recipe sites suggested using pre-made corn flakes, wheat flakes, whatever…but that sounds like cheating to me. 🙂
- dried fruit/raw nuts, almost any kind you like. Anywhere from half as much fruit-and-nut as grains on up to equal parts of each, but remember that the fruits and nuts will up the calorie content significantly and too much might, er, mitigate some of the Advantageous Digestive Benefits Of Eating Nice Whole Grain Breakfasts. (You know what I’m sayin’–too much fruit will take it one way, too many nuts the other.) They also cost more. But the bottom line is, don’t bother dirtying a measuring cup for this–just toss a little in till it looks right.
- liquid: fruit juice, yogurt, or milk. Twice as much liquid as solids, basically. If you used a total of about 1/2 cup grains, use a cup of liquid. This is where the real variety might begin–I even found one recipe calling for dried cranberries and almonds as the fruits-and-nuts, with cranberry juice as the liquid. It was sort of funny looking, bright bright red, but it might taste really nice.
- If desired, fresh fruit (a banana, a chopped apple, fresh or frozen berried) could be tossed in too. As much as you want, I guess–who needs recipes?
Mix together in a bowl before bed; chill in the fridge overnight. Pull it out in the morning and chow down. Quick, easy, yummy. Leaves plenty of time to make coffee and children’s lunches.
I think you can use this identical recipe and toss it into the microwave for 3 minutes, and you have hot cereal…