Musing on Muesli

This is for when you want a hot cereal that’s jazzed up but no extra trouble in the morning. That’s how I enjoy this muesli, at any rate.

Muesli is, however, intended to be served cold, even though it’s mainly out-of-the-canister oats. Actually oatmeal, even the old-fashioned traditional sort, arrive in the grocery pre-cooked. Rolled oats are steamed, usually, then flattened to the shape we’ve known since childhood. (Steel-cut are raw, chopped oat groats; its quick or instant variations have been partially precooked.)

In Europe, the mixture of rolled oats with dried fruit and sometimes nuts generally is eaten after adding milk or yogurt at once, neither heated through nor refrigerated overnight etc. My Berliner nephew does that. I zap mine: Details in the recipe.

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats, not instant)
  • 1 cup nuts or seeds such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans, cashews (I use a couple of varieties totaling 1 cup)
  • 1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries or larger fruit cut to raisin size like dates, apricots or figs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 64 oz. (2 qt.) lidded food storage container. Refrigerate, covered.
  2. For one serving: Shake container to remix. Place 1/2 cup muesli with 1 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high (regular) for 2 minutes, stir and cook a further minute. If it’s still watery, then zap 30 seconds. When it cools enough to eat, it’s ready for some plant milk, fresh fruit etc. to be added.

This recipe makes about 5 cups, or 10 servings.

Adaptation of Mark Bittman’s Homemade Cold Cereal, found in VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6 to Lose Weight and Restore Health … for Good.


  • The original recipe includes 1/2 cup grated coconut. Go for it.
  • Lightly toasting the nuts before adding them is a nice variation.
  • Walnut pieces and pecan pieces distribute more evenly than walnut and pecan halves.
  • If you have a large steep-sided safe bowl, you can microwave the muesli with plant milk instead of water. It does want to boil over though.
  • My Beloved prepares hers by pouring 1 cup of boiling water from the kettle on to the half-cup of muesli. She sets a timer for 10 minutes, when it will be ready.
  • Health food stores sometimes offer rolled rye or rolled barley, manufactured like rolled oats. Those are worthwhile alternatives. Rather than making the muesli 100 percent of either of these, for the 3 1/2 cups of grain, 2 cups remain oatmeal then the remaining 1 1/2 cups comprise either or both of these.
  • The dried fruit and later the plant milk make a serving sufficiently sweet. But I’m not watching what you do!
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