Muesli is a popular breakfast food first developed at the beginning of 20th century in Switzerland. At the beginning, it was used for patients in hospitals to provide them with a meal rich in fruit, vegetables and fiber. Muesli gained its world wide popularity in the 1960’s together with the expansion of healthy and vegetarian lifestyles.
Is muesli healthy?
Muesli requires a little preparation and it makes a tasty and nutritional breakfast. However, there is a lot of controversy regarding this popular breakfast cereal. Even though it is healthy and rich in nutrients, in most of the cases it contains large amounts of sugar. Pre-packed muesli, available at the grocery stores, comes in many varieties, some of which may also contain honey, spices, or chocolate. Actually, most of the pre-packed brands are saturated in sugar. An average cup of pre-packed muesli has approximately 289 calories and around 26 grams of sugar. There are also approximately 66 grams of carbohydrates per one serving.
On the other hand, muesli is rich in fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Combined with milk, it also provides the body with essential calcium. The oats, found in muesli, may help to regulate cholesterol levels, while the fruits contain potent anti-oxidants able to fight against free radicals and prevent the possible cell damage. Most of the muesli mixtures contain nuts, rich in monounsaturated fats and alpha-linolenic-acid. These compounds will provide body with omega-3 essential fatty acids, important for optimal cardio-vascular health and proper immune response.
To conclude, muesli is a healthy breakfast solution, but only if it does not contain too much sugar. Muesli bought in stores is usually high in sugar and it may be rather expensive. Making home-made muesli may be the healthiest and cost effective solution.
Healthy four-grain muesli
To prepare a homemade healthy cereal breakfast one should obtain:
1 cup of medium or thick rolled oats or oat flakes
1 cup of rolled rye flakes
1 cup of rolled triticale
1 cup of rolled wheat flakes
1/2 cup of dried dates
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds
1/4 cup of whole flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of raisins
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. It is advisable to keep it in the freezer or refrigerator if stored for longer periods.
To prepare two hot muesli servings, add ½ cup of muesli to ½ cup of water, milk or soy milk and bring it to the boiling point. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.