Homemade Muesli and Overnight Oats

When I was a kid, I didn’t like to eat oatmeal. There were mostly only white dry oat flakes in the package, and I was not clever enough to find another way to eat it other than boiling it in water – quite tasteless and boring. Also in China, oatmeal was mostly designed as gifts for patients and the elderly; that made me feel it was simply not my kind of food.

Fortunately, I totally changed my mind the moment I tasted muesli. Muesli is a common breakfast dish in Switzerland and Germany based on raw rolled oats and other ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, grains and seeds and mixed with milk or yogurt. The taste is so rich that you can feel the multi-layered crunchy, juicy and creamy satisfaction in every single spoonful. There are also many nutritional benefits of muesli: overall it has less sugar and calories than most other cereals and is high in fiber and whole grains which are filling and at the same time regulate the digestive system. There are hundreds of different varieties of packaged muesli being sold in the supermarket that you could never try all of them out. But as long as you know what you prefer, the best muesli should always be made by yourself.

To make a standard muesli you can mix rolled oats with nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios…), dried fruits (raisins, apricots, banana chips…), and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds…), powder (cacao, coconut…). In this recipe, I add some goji berries and ground cinnamon which are common natural healthy food in China but maybe not yet having been considered to be put in muesli by others. Also try to buy some unordinary super healthy ingredients online or in special shops. For example, chia seeds were the food of choice of Aztec and Mayan warriors. They are high in protein, and one single tablespoon would keep them going for a whole day.

On cold days, you can warm the muesli in a small pot with milk or soy milk until it boils. Add one teaspoon of brown sugar to sweeten or one chopped banana will do the job too. On hot days, just pour the milk or yogurt over the muesli in a bowl and it’s ready to eat. Add one seasonal fruit or drizzle some honey if you want. One more clever way is to turn your muesli into overnight oats, which saves you time on weekday mornings before you run out the door.

INGREDIENTS for dry Muesli:
(serves 4-5 times)
200g oats
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons linseeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
one pinch of saffron strands
milk, jam and fresh fruits for serving

This recipe is so simple that you don’t even need instructions on how to prepare it. Just mix all the dry ingredients, store in a large glass jar and put in a cool place (room temperature). Better to finish it off in a month.

For overnight oats: Put the muesli in a bowl or a cup the night before, pour over the milk and add one teaspoon sugar or honey. Mix well (make sure the milk roughly covers the muesli) and cover it. You can put it in the fridge overnight. When the temperature is lower than 25°C, I just let it stay out. In the morning, chop a fruit into small chunks, add it to your muesli and add some more jam to give a color and flavor. Enjoy it with your regular morning drink and start your day the right way!