Variations On A Breakfast Favorite, Muesli

In the late 19th century, a Swiss physician and pioneer nutritionist named Dr. Bircher-Benner ran a sanatorium in Zurich, using diet as a means of healing patients. He created "muesli," a blend of hearty grains, seeds and fruit - but a different combination from what today is known as muesli.
     To me, muesli is a hearty and delicious breakfast dish using uncooked rolled oats, which my friend Claudia from Swizterland introduced to me many years ago. Traditionally, the oats are mixed with yogurt, milk and other ingredients and refrigerated overnight, which allows the uncooked oats to absorb the liquids, soften and blend. I've tweaked my recipe over the years, substituting nonfat dairy products, eliminating sour cream since I rarely have it on hand (original called for 3/4 c yogurt  + 1/4 c sour cream), and using apple or pear sauce instead of grated apple. Below I've posted my version of Breakfast Muesli, and then several of my variations… invent your own!
     I was inspired to share this recipe after learning of some Overnight Oats/Chia Pudding recipes my friends Richard and Regina have been enjoying. The ingredients and process are similar to the recipe below, with an addition of chia seeds. The chia seeds add a great nutritional boost, so now they are a mainstay in my recipe.

Author: Judy Lavoie
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Serves: 3-4
NOTE: Ingredients in red type are detailed on the "Ingredients" page of this blog

  • 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking, and gluten-free if that is a concern)
  • 1 c yogurt
  • 1-1/2 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c milk of choice (dairy, almond, cashew, rice, hemp, organic soy)
  • 1 t chia seeds
  • 1-1/2 t real maple syrup
  • 1/2 apple, grated OR 1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce or pear sauce
  • 1/2 banana, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans or other nuts
In a container with a lid, stir together all the ingredients except the apple, banana and nuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, prepare the apple and banana and stir them into the oat mixture. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of each serving. Eat and enjoy!


Carob and Raspberry Muesli
Add 2 t carob powder to the recipe above, and stir in 1/2-1 cup of fresh raspberries just before serving. Garnish with a few whole raspberries.

Pumpkin Muesli with Currants
Delete the milk and add these ingredients to the original recipe (above) before refrigerating overnight:
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1 t pumpkin pie spices
1 t molasses or sorghum syrup
When ready to serve, sprinkle dried currants over the top of each serving. (Or add them the night before, and they will absorb some liquid and soften a bit.)

Double Berry Muesli
Delete the apple and add these ingredients to the original recipe (above)  before refrigerating overnight:
1/3 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 c sliced fresh strawberries
OPTIONAL: 1 T buckwheat