Müsli

Müsli — nourishing and satisfying weekday breakfast or snack, that, with a tiny bit of foresight, is easy and quick to prepare. All you have to do is take five minutes before you go to bed to throw some oat/mixed grain flakes, nuts and seeds in a container with a dollop of yogurt and plant-based milk. In the morning, top with some fresh fruit and you’re set. The ingredients are highly customizable depending on what you feel like or have on hand. Here are some guidelines, along with a concrete example from today’s breakfast.

Base: oat, wheat, barley, spelt, quinoa flakes – I usually buy a mixed-grain bag. If you’re eating gluten-free, options are gluten-free oats, quinoa or buckwheat.

Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds (grind them first for maximum nutritional value). Note that chia seeds absorb quite a bit of water, I usually add them only in the morning with another splash of milk ten minutes before I plan to devour.

Nuts: chopped, raw almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, brazil nuts.

There are, of course, a myriad of müsli mixes out there, but they tend to be sweetened (either with sugar/syrup or dried fruits or both) and I prefer to do that myself. And it’s much cheaper in the long run to grab a few of the above and mix them up as desired. But if you’re too lazy, by all means, go for a ready mix.

For the liquid component, any plant-based yogurt or milk will do – I usually get soy yogurt because it’s the most easily accessible and cheapest choice, then add some grain or nut based milk like oat, spelt or almond. Another option is to skip the “milky” ingredients altogether and opt for (diluted) fruit juice instead. Or maybe even tea? Haven’t tried this but it could be delicious.

In the morning, flavour it up:

Sweeteners: optional, and depending on the amount and fruit you choose to top it with. A drizzle of birnel (pear syrup), maple syrup, agave syrup works well, as do some dried fruit like chopped dates, raisins, figs, mango, etc. I sometimes do molasses, especially for its nutritional boost. Sugar is obviously also an option, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a non-refined, flavourful variety like palm sugar. Any jam or fruit compote works well, especially if it’s more fruit than sugar.

Spices: I almost always add a sprinkle of vanilla. Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric and saffron can also be used depending on the flavour route you choose to embark on. If you happen to have have orange-blossom water or rose water on hand, a few small drops can add a lovely floral flourish.

Fruit: no rules here, just load it up! Play around with the format: large or small chunked, grated…

Other toppings: coconut flakes, toasted nuts or seeds (especially if you didn’t add them to the soak mix), fresh herbs like mint, basil or lemon balm (!), chopped chocolate

A note on nutrition: I’ve heard from several sources that soaking raw grains, nuts and seeds makes their them more digestible, increasing their nutritional value. That’s why I usually go for the overnight müsli as described here, rather than simply putting everything together in the morning. That said, for nuts in particular, sometimes I prefer to leave them out of the soak mix, toast them a bit in a pan, and sprinkle them on top for extra crunch and flavour depth.

Finally, here is this morning’s combination, fig-almond, pictured above: oat, wheat and barley flakes, sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chopped raw almonds soaked in soy yogurt and oat milk. In the morning, stirred in a little bit of fresh sour cherry jam and vanilla. Topped with fresh figs.

Other combo suggestions:

sesame, walnut, orange juice + yogurt, grated apple, cinnamon

saffron, vanilla, coconut yogurt, dates, raspberries

vanilla, coconut yogurt, blueberries, lemon balm

pecan nuts, black tea + yogurt, pears, chopped chocolate

cardamom, coconut yogurt, mango, palm sugar or maple syrup, coconut flakes

hazelnut, sesame, yogurt, apricots, fresh thyme leaves

cashews, vanilla, banana, strawberries

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