Until last summer, the appeal of muesli completely escaped me. I wanted to like it…wholesome oats mixed with dried fruit and nuts, sometimes soaked overnight in milk or yogurt, sometimes not. I’d first encountered it on a childhood trip with a friend whose family ate something called Alpen, which came in a small box featuring the Swiss Alps on the cover. So European. So sophisticated. So not for me.
Pass the Cheerios, please.
I just couldn’t get past the raw oats. I like my oats anything BUT raw, thankyouverymuch.
That was until I got a taste of muesli at a hotel breakfast buffet over the summer that I could finally wrap my tastebuds around. It wasn’t just oats and a few nuts tossed in for good measure. It had loads of other goodies including crispy cereal, seeds, and the kicker: little bits of dark chocolate chopped up and mixed throughout. I ate it every morning at that hotel and started making my own version as soon as I landed back in my home kitchen. I’m now about 10 batches in and feel pretty close to the hotel muesli that inspired all this experimentation. Here’s the mix: rolled oats, golden raisins, toasted almonds, Uncle Sam’s Cereal, toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped dark chocolate, and if I have it in the cupboard, chia, hemp or flax seeds. I mix equal parts fresh fruit to muesli and cover it all with plain yogurt or cold milk.
A muesli-filled jar is now a staple in our kitchen. Mr. Mom’s Kitchen starts many work days with a bowl; if I add a touch of honey or brown sugar, the kids will sometimes go for it too. It’s wholesome, immensely satisfying, and is less caloric than most granola.
- 2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 cup Uncle Sam's Cereal or other small, crispy cereal (see notes)
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds or other favorite chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup golden raisins (or regular raisins)
- 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (about 1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds, hemp seeds, or ground flax meal (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the rolled oats on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
- Mix the cooled oats, cereal, almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chocolate, and chia seeds in a medium bowl. Store in an air-tight container.
Uncle Sam's Cereal is sold in some supermarkets, natural food markets, and specialty food stores.