Modern Love: Muesli
The great thing about homemade muesli is that you have control over the amount of sweetness as well as the ratio of grains, nuts, and dried fruit. In the Amazon original series Modern Love, which is based on a series of New York Times essays, Anne Hathaway plays Lexi, a troubled professional looking for love. Finding it isn’t the problem – but maintaining it with the extreme highs and lows of bipolar disorder is the big challenge in this episode.
Her comfort food when she crashes into a deep depression is muesli, which makes sense because this healthy anytime-snack contains a variety of wholesome ingredients: whole grains, dried fruit with antioxidants, and protein-rich nuts – it’s comfort food with a healthy kick.
Historical tidbit: Muesli was first invented by Swiss physician Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Bennee. The original recipe included rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of water, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Chopped raw hazelnuts or almonds and one large grated apple with the skin on is also added for the fruit and nuts portion.
If you’re wondering how to make your own muesli, especially since it costs a premium at the grocery store, it’s super easy. The best thing about this muesli recipe – depending on your preference, you can use different amounts and varieties of ingredients. You can adjust the ratio to your liking, but here’s one that works for me:
- 4 cups whole grains: oats, sorghum flakes, chia seeds, etc.
- 2 cups nuts: sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, hazelnuts, cashews
- 2 cups dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, cherries, coconut flakes, dates
Skill level: Beginner
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Large bowl & mixing spoon
- Glass airtight container for storage
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/2 cup dried fruit – cranberries, blueberries, and raisins
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut flakes, salt, cinnamon and spices. Mix well, then add chopped dates, coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly.
- Bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway – the oats and coconut flakes should be light golden brown and fragrant.
- Let it cool completely. Then mix in the dried dates, cranberries, blueberries, and raisins.
- Serve with milk for cereal, use it as a yogurt topping, or enjoy it by the handful as a healthy trail mix. Store in a freezer bag or glass jar with an airtight lid.
Bonus tip: Top with honey or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.