I always welcome an opportunity to change my mind. Is that actually a true statement? Not exactly. I can be hard-headed. Let’s talk about muesli.
I’d always categorized muesli in the part of my brain that tolerates both cold oatmeal and mushy bread. It’s a very tiny part of my back-brain that I generally ignore.
I love granola, but we all know that granola is easy to love. It’s the sexy/crunchy/toasty version of oats and nuts. Add chocolate to granola and it’s like eating oat candy. Muesli makes you work for it. It’s not sugared or overly sexy. Muesli makes you accept its simplicity and actually be grateful for it. Grateful for simplicity.
Wait… did a breakfast cereal just teach me lessons about life? I think so… that was awesome.
Muesli is a traditional Swiss breakfast. It’s usually made with uncooked oats and dried fruit and is served with milk, cream, or even orange juice. In this version of muesli we’re toasting both the oats and the coconut. The coconut is golden and fragrant. Toasting the oats brings out their nutty flavor. It’s just an extra layer of flavor. You know… no biggie.
I like to add a touch of sweetness and spice to everything. Why not… it’s just a touch. Dried cranberries and candied ginger add a lovely sweetness. Cinnamon and nutmeg bring in the spice. Dry roasted almonds add crunch and chia seeds are for health.
I told you about chia seeds before with this Spinach and Kiwi Smoothie. They’re especially good in this muesli because they thicken as they’re exposed to liquid. Perfect.
All of the dry ingredients are tossed together in a bowl and …. that’s it.
It looks like a soft version of granola.
You’ll make this and stand in front of the bowl thinking… that’s it. Sometimes it’s weird when things are easy.
Let’s talk about serving the muesli. You’ll need a bit of advanced notice. Muesli needs some time to soak. It’s best to soak muesli for at least 2 hours or overnight.
You’ll need as much muesli as you think you’ll eat, a handful of frozen blueberries, and enough almond milk to cover the whole situation. Easy!
I like to use frozen blueberries because I like how juicy they are as they thaw. They’re a bit soft after the freezing and thawing process and that’s perfect in this preparation.
If you have time to pour almond milk into a jar before you fly out of the house in the morning, you have time for a real-life, super cheap, totally healthy breakfast. Game changer, right!?
I was fully prepared to be completely eh on this whole muesli situation. I didn’t think cold oats could surprise me, and yet… they totally did. This milky concoction is hearty and completely satisfying. The oats drink up the almond milk and become tender and soft. The dried fruit plumps. The almonds maintain their crunch. The blueberries thaw and tint the milk a pale purple. I added a drizzle of maple syrup just before serving and enjoyed every bite like it was the last bite of perfectly soggy cold cereal in sweet milk.
Such a welcome surprise. This really ought to teach me to be less hard-headed. Next I think I’ll make myself like eggplant. And… go!
Toasted Oat and Coconut Muesli
recipe adapted from Food52
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (if all you have is sweetened coconut, that’s fine too)
1 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted almonds
1 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit you like)
1 cup coarsely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
cold almond milk
pure maple syrup
Place two racks in the center and upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oats on an ungreased and unlined baking sheet. Place coconut on a second ungreased and unlined baking sheet. Toast oats and coconut until coconut is golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Coconut browns quickly, keep an eye on it. Remove both the oats and coconut from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl toss together oats, coconut, dried cranberries, chia seeds, spices and salt. That’s it. Just toss it all together. To store, place in airtight jars or a well sealed plastic bag.
Prepare muesli the night before, or at least a few hours before you’d like to serve it. To serve, scoop desired amount of muesli into a bowl. Top with a handful of frozen blueberries. Pour almond milk over the muesli and blueberries just to cover the blueberries. Cover and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, drizzle with pure maple syrup and enjoy.