Muesli is a traditional Swiss dish based on uncooked oats, fruit, and nuts, and often soaked. Physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner is credited with developing the recipe around 1900 as part of the dietary treatment regimen for patients in his hospital.
Many types of pre-packaged muesli are available, but I wanted to try making my own. I followed the recipe from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions, which calls for soaking the rolled oats overnight in a mixture of water and yogurt. (This makes the oats easier to digest, and their nutrients more available to the body for absorption.) I made a couple of changes, adding ground cardamom and substituting dried goji berries for raisins.
Although I've had goji berries in trail mixes, I had never really tasted them on their own. And they are so delicious! When I opened the bag, I fell in love with their intense, rich and spicy aroma - reminiscent of a berry-heavy red wine. Goji berries also have many health benefits: rich in anti-oxidants, they have been used in Eastern medicines for thousands of years and are prized for their anti-aging effects. The berries impart a gentle - but not overwhelming - sweetness and subtle berry flavor to the muesli. This is a perfect breakfast, delicious and satisfying but not heavy. Try experimenting with whatever add-ins you like!
Goji Berry and Almond Muesli
1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped (or slivered almonds)
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1-1/2 cups filtered water, warm or at room temp
2 Tbsp plain whole milk yogurt (or whey, kefir, or buttermilk -- you can also substitute lemon juice or vinegar if you prefer not to use dairy)
1 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup goji berries
1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
- Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and spices in a bowl.
- Mix together 1-1/2 cups water and yogurt. Pour over oat mixture and stir well. Allow to sit, covered, at room temp for at least 7 and up to 24 hours.
- Bring 1 cup water and salt to a boil. Add soaked oat mixture and goji berries. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in ground flax seeds. Top muesli with butter, milk, or yogurt, and maple syrup, raw honey, or another natural sweetener of your choice.