Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Oats & Muesli Breakfast Post

The Oats & Muesli Breakfast Post
Home Cooking

This should barely be labeled as 'home cooking' since meals with muesli rarely involves cooking. There might me some 'preparation' but generally, this thread is meant to be more so for inspiration and ideas than to instruct you on how to eat your muesli. This is how I like to eat my muesli for breakfast.

I love breakfast. Breakfast food is (2nd to dessert) my favorite type of food. I don't go out for breakfast nearly as much as I'd like to. My idea of a perfect breakfast would be thick pancakes with fresh fruit and cream (for something sweet) or Canadian-style French toast with bacon and maple syrup (for something savory; well, sorta savory).

On an everyday basis, I don't do anything as extravagant. Breakfast time these days is my chance to get the carbs in along with as many other nutritional things as I can think of. That's how I got really into muesli and yogurt. With those 2 wonder foods, you can make breakfast time delicious but really healthy.

I've already mentioned some brands that I like. However, I'm always trying new products and I have about 4 boxes of cereal items in my pantry at the moment:
  • All Bran
  • All Bran Dual Fiber
  • Vogel's Fruit and Nut Muesli
  • Table of Plenty Velvety Vanilla Muesli
Plus various 'additives' to make things interesting:
  • Rolled oats
  • Fruit and nut mix
  • Sultanas
  • Dried apple
  • Roast whole hazelnuts
  • Toasted coconut
  • Almond flakes
  • Ground cinnamon
You always need something fluid to bring it all together. I have:
  • So Good Fat-free soy milk (most frequently used)
  • Jalna Biodynamic yogurt (usually, I have the low-fat Vanilla)
  • Pauls Smarter White milk
Fresh fruit toppings:
  • Banana
  • Granny smith apple
My usual strategy

1. Choose a muesli/cereal (my favorite is still Carman's Fruit and Nut for having with yogurt and Vanilla Almond Granola to have with milk; I'll probably go back to that after I trial some others).
2. Decide if I want to have it with milk and/or yogurt.
3. Add some All Bran. I think All Bran is completely inedible on its own but if I mix it with other cereal in reasonably insignificant quantities, it's not really noticeable.
4. Add some mix-ins.
5. Stir it all together and top it with fresh fruit (optional) or nuts.

My version of bircher muesli

1. I soak the muesli overnight in soy milk (some people use juice but I find that makes it too sweet. If I'm using sweetened yogurt, I'll soak in soy milk. If I have natural, unsweetened yogurt at home, I might soak the muesli in fruit juice... natural yogurt definitely needs some sweetness).2. The next morning, mix the swollen muesli with a couple dollops of yogurt and usually (if I have one and have some time), 1/2 a shredded Granny Smith apple and/or some chopped banana.3. Apple and cinnamon go together well so I'll add some of that too. Delicious. When I did this with Carman's Fruit and Nut muesli and Jalna Low-fat Vanilla yogurt + apple and cinnamon, it was like eating a rice pudding. So unbelievably thick and creamy but with zero cream or added sugar.
All mixed together - creamy and chilled, like rice pudding

Topped with hazelnuts for a bit of crunch

My version of breakfast porridge

1. Oats can take a while to cook (I have traditional rolled oats, not the instant kind) so I soak them overnight with some dried fruit (sultanas, dried apple, chopped dates, whatever) in some soy milk.
Oats and dried fruit pre-soaking (this is a mix of rolled oats plus Table of Plenty Velvety Vanilla and some extra sultanas and dried apple)

Soaking the oats and dried fruit in soy milk (just enough to cover it all)

After soaking (the next morning, most of the moisture is absorbed)

2. The next morning, I cook in a small saucepan on low heat with more soy milk or low fat milk.
You might need to top up with a bit of milk along the way. Stir constantly to prevent burning. When the oats are thick and creamy (after absorbing the milk; around 10min), I add cinnamon (goes nicely with oats, dried apple and sultanas). This is a really nice winter breakfast.

Warm bowl of creamy oats topped with cinnamon and honey

Yummy! This is really filling so I sort of overestimate how much to make... remember that oats soak up milk and expand

I like muesli so much I sometimes have it for lunch, or as a snack. Oats are extremely versatile and low GI but they can be a bit boring on their own. It's worthwhile to have a host of add-ons in stock that means I can mix things up and have something different to look forward to every morning.


  1. They look great! I especially love bircher muesli :) I love breakfast foods but often at night. I'm sure that is a sign of madness or something but I crave them then!

  2. I"m the owner of Carman's Muesli - So thrilled you like it so much! Email me your postal address and I'll send you some with my comps. Cheers Carolyn