Since visiting Munich and several small towns in Austria this summer, and being inspired by the phenomenal muesli breakfasts there, I have been on a quest to recreate this Central European staple. A cross between yogurt with granola and oatmeal, for me this muesli has the kind of magic that makes you look forward to tomorrow’s breakfast when you’re getting ready for bed. I cannot wait to one day return My Muesli in Munich, a store dedicated to the endless possibilities of muesli combinations. (If you happen to have plans to visit, My Muesli is adjacent to Munich’s Viktualienmarkt, aka Victuals Market, aka Vitals Market, where you can wander and find everything from beautifully displayed farmer’s market fare to extensive tables and benches for a mid-day Weiss under the Maypole…) Here we are trying to find just one favorite –
In the meantime, over the course of lots of experimentation, a few truths have risen to the surface when it comes to making traditional style muesli. 1.) The use of dairy is a must. While previous muesli’s we’ve made have incorporated lemon juice to help bring the zing back into the mix when substituting with almond milk, it is just not the same. The dairy should be in the form of runny yogurt, a la Kefir or the ‘European Style’ yogurt that some brands make. This yogurt has the right amount of tanginess but is not as sour as Greek, plus its consistency works best for soaking into the oats in this application. 2.) A small portion of seeds and nuts are essential for ensuring that the muesli has satiating power. I love using roasted hazelnuts, they are so flavorful and just generally remind me of all foods European. 3.) Fresh, seasonal fruit is the variable accompaniment. Tree fruit (non-tropical) works best because of its sturdy consistency – plums, apples, pears, apricots, peaches et al hold up well even when mixed and stored with the yogurt for several hours. A second fruit may be used as a topping, especially during berry season.
What’s also fantastic about muesli is of course that it can and actually should be made ahead. So, between the convenience factor, almost bottomless combinations and incredibly well rounded nutritional profile, this make-ahead is a staple in our rotation. More to come as we continue to test variations!
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 Cup Muesli Mix – Primarily rolled oats, plus some seeds (pictured here, pepitas, about 1 Tbsp), and dried fruit (pictured here, currants, about 1Tbsp)
- 1 Cup Kefir or ‘European Style’ Yogurt
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tsp Honey
- 1 Whole piece seasonal tree fruit, e.g. plums, apples, pears, apricot, peaches, diced
- 1/8 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts
- Additional in-season fruit for topping
- Add muesli mix, yogurt, cinnamon, honey and diced fruit to a sealable food container. Stir throughly, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Chop hazelnuts and store separately in a sealable container.
- Chop additional fruit topping and store separately in a sealable container.
- When heading out, pack all three items. Assemble by adding nuts and additional fruit to the muesli mixture.
Please share your favorite mueslis for future Muesli Project posts!