Müesli is a Swiss-German word for a mix. Bircher Müesli was introduced by the Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, for patients in his sanatorium called “Vital Force” that he opened in 1897. Serving a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of his therapy. Bircher thought it was healthier to serve a small bowl of nuts, oats, and apples to patients as an appetizer. You could say he was way ahead of the game about serving simple, wellness-driven, mindful food. Did you know that Thomas Man, a well-known novelist, visited the sanatorium and described it as a “health jail”? Maximilian’s “Bircher Müesli” was inspired by a similar strange dish that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps. The original recipe contained oats, apples, and almonds or hazelnuts. Over time, people have added additional ingredients to this mixture and even serve mix-your-own muesli for breakfast with containers of seeds, grains, and dried fruit set out on the table or buffet.
So how much oatmeal should you eat?
One thing is for sure, eating too much oatmeal loaded with sugar every morning will increase your calories. There are many ways to transform boring oatmeal by adding a touch of sweetness or texture — dried fruit, fresh seasonal fruit, nuts, or using flavorful spices such as cinnamon and vanilla.
The standard serving size of oatmeal is 1/2 cup of dry oats to 1 cup of water. This provides about 150 calories for a low-calorie breakfast meal. Oatmeal has that healthy halo, however, we all agree oats cooked with water can have a bland flavor. Because we all have a sweet tooth, we often pile sugar on our oatmeal to make it more enjoyable. If you are upping the sweetness with a lot of sugar, you may be slashing the health benefits. According to the American Heart Associations daily recommendation for consumption of added sugar, it’s a maximum of 24 grams a day for women and 36 grams for men. In the USA, the average adult consumes an enormous 88 grams of sugar a day.
Oatmeal starts as whole grain oats, which are then processed to varying degrees. The process begins with heating and cooling the oat groats to help give them a nutty flavor. After this, oat groats are processed into ground groats, steel-cut oats, old-fashioned rolled oats, quick-cooking oats, and instant oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the healthier breakfast items you can consume and is high in B vitamins and vitamin E.
Both vitamin groups act as antioxidants and help support healthy cell function. Additionally, steel-cut oats contain calcium, iron, protein, and potassium. Calcium and potassium help support healthy blood pressure. Although steel-cut oats are processed less than other varieties, they contain only slightly more nutrients. Steel-cut oats have more protein and calcium than old-fashioned and instant oats.
Nuts and Oatmeal:
According to a health claim first established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts (as part of an overall healthy diet) may be able to reduce the risk of heart disease. A tablespoon or two of nuts is plenty for making a real difference in the taste, texture, and nourishment of a dish or fruit treat. The “Müesli” mix may be a little high in fat (about 15g per 2 ounces serving), however, at end of the day, it is all about mindful balanced eating. As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts in moderation. The “Müesli” mix has only about 5g of sugar and 240 calories per serving. The American Heart Association recommends eating about four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Select raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil.
Steel-cut oats have twice the amount of fiber per 1/4 cup than old-fashioned or instant oats have. Fiber helps you control your blood sugar levels and can provide satiety after a meal. Every 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats, provides you with 4g of fiber. Steel-cut oats can help you reach your daily goal of 25 to 30 grams of fiber, as recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Because oats have a higher fat content than other grains, they go rancid more easily. For that reason, whether you’re buying oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, or oat bran, buy in smaller quantities and store these foods in the refrigerator.
"Müesli" Oatmeal or How to Sweeten Up a Bowl of Steel Cut Oats
Ingredients for oatmeal
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
Ingredients for Müesli mix:
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1 each apple cored skin on
Blend nuts and seeds
- Place the nuts, seeds and cored apple into your food processor. Add the vanilla extract and the cinnamon. Pulse the mixture until you reach your desired consistency. Be careful not to over blend.1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup walnut, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 each apple cored, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, coconut milk and salt. Stir the oats into the simmering water/milk mixture. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to stand for a few minutes.3 cups water, 1 cup coconut milk, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 cup steel cut oats
- Portion oatmeal into bowls, serve with "Müesli" topping and enjoy. Add seasonal fresh berries to the oatmeal to kick it up a notch.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate