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This muesli recipe was given to me by a fellow hippie at the University of Marburg in 1978 and has metamorphosed over the years. It helped me survive my student years and has always been the most healthy and satisfying thing I eat every day. I eat it with frozen blueberries and soymilk, and it goes with me wherever I travel. It is a fast and easy breakfast — once you have assembled it in quantity. Muesli’s are usually not cooked, but eaten raw, and I prefer them that way. However, some people like to soak the cereal in soy milk or fruit juice for a couple of hours to soften it.
Mix together in a large container:
8 cups organic rolled oats
1 ½ cup nuts (I prefer pecans, but walnuts, cashews, or hazelnuts are great too, and best toasted)
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, currants, cherries
¼ cup whole flax seed (I prefer golden, but brown is good)
¼ cup sesame seed (toasted is better)
1 cup wheat flakes or rice chex (optional – makes it more light and crunchy)
¼ cup buckwheat groats, toasted (optional)
Prep time: 1/2 hour. Makes 12 servings.
How to eat: ½ cup muesli with chopped fruit (apple, pear, banana) or frozen blueberries and soymilk or other nut-milk. You can increase the dried fruit content if you need more sweetness (or add some maple syrup).
In general, this recipe calls for improvisation, as long as at least half of it consists of rolled oats and the other half of mixed nuts/seeds, grains, and dried fruit. You can customize it with different nut and fruit variations, or add shredded coconut or dark chocolate chunks. It also tastes different with different vegan milks.
Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. Bircher-Benner was a visionary in terms of understanding the relationship between health and a whole foods vegetarian diet. Even though the medical establishment attacked his ideas and practice, he had a wide following in the general population. On a hike in the Alps with his wife, Bircher-Benner was served a “strange dish”, which he adapted for himself and his patients; he referred to the dish simply as “d’Spys” (Swiss German for the dish or the food, in German die Speise). Muesli in its modern form became popular in Western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in health food and vegetarian diets.
Copyright 2016 Eva-Maria Simms