Breakfast of Champions

(Photo credit: Brookfarm Gluten Free Muesli by Kimberley Craig/Flickr  Creative Commons)

(Photo credit: Brookfarm Gluten Free Muesli by Kimberley Craig/Flickr Creative Commons)

Muesli was developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a pioneer in nutrition (an especially important character for those interested in raw foods). First developed a century ago, Bircher muesli is still popular.  This classic muesli contains rolled oats, raisins, hazelnuts, almonds, and dates among other things.

Of course, most recently, it has been developed in many new incarnations: fruity, nutty, and sweet (I was introduced to muesli via a chocolate flavor with chocolate chips, chocolate rice puffs, and coconut. It was delicious). Most importantly, it is easily customizable to your own tastes!

Making Muesli

You start with rolled oats.  Not oat flakes or corn flakes. Rolled oats. This is important because rolled oats are still more or less intact with almost 10 times the fiber found in flakes (weight for weight). That, and oats (or other whole grains) are good for heart health and weight loss: we know this because Cheerios says so, and from science. I typically start with 1/4 cup of rolled oats.

Then, to the fruits, seeds, and nuts. I might be beating a dead horse, but just in case, dried fruits and nuts are very calorie dense. While nuts have lots of good fats and some protein, dried fruits are mostly just carbohydrates. I suggest going easy on these–about 1 tablespoon of nuts or seeds and 1 tablespoon of dried fruit per serving.

Finally, it is time for extras! I like mini chocolate chips (70 calories in 1 tablespoon), but you could also add spices (for instance, cinnamon is yummy and is connected to improving fasting glucose levels in Type II diabetics), some sugared and dried mango, or a little something else that is less than great for you. Remember: everything in moderation.

Now, I would serve it up with some milk and eat it crunchy, but it can be eaten on yogurt, with fruit, or even made into overnight oats.


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