If you’ve ever been to Germany you might’ve noticed that German cereals can be quite different from their British or American counterparts. Müsli isn’t a sweet food per se. It was originally invented in Switzerland as a healthy food for breakfast.
Nowadays, most Müsli sold in supermarkets is sugary dessert. There are many good reasons to make it yourself if you’re conscious about your sugar intake. It’s much cheaper to blend your own mix and you can control which kind of grains, seeds, and fruits go into it. And for me, this version tastes much better than many of the commercial blends which are primarily aimed at children with a sweet tooth.
As a child, I used to eat Müsli for breakfast on weekdays. However, with time, like so many other German people, I’ve grown tired of it and now very rarely eat it. I like to have a bowl now and then on the weekend, but overall, I’m not that much into milk-soaked cereals anymore. However, homemade Müsli still tastes fantastic and is a real treat now and then.
The Building Blocks of German Cusine Series
This article is part of my basics series, which will introduce you to key ingredients and preparation methods. You can find all these articles in the ‘Basics’ category of this blog. Listed below are the articles that have yet been published in this series:
- Swabian Soup Noodles (‘Schwäbische Suppennudeln’)
- French Fries (‘Pommes frites’)
- Swabian Pretzels (‘Schwäbische Laugenbrezeln’)
- Kratzete, Eierhaber
- Duchess Potatoes (‘Herzoginnenkartoffeln’)
- Ribbon Noodles (‘Bandnudeln’)
- Muesli (‘Müsli’)
- German Bread Rolls (‘Weizenbrötchen’)
- Potato Puree (‘Kartoffelbrei’)
- German Potato Dumplings Bavaria-style (‘Bayerische Kartoffelknödel’)
- German Potato Dumplings Thuringia-style (‘Thüringer Kartoffelklöse’)
- German Bread Dumplings (‘Semmelknödel’)
- German Potato Pancakes (‘Reibekuchen’)
- Potato Noodles (‘Schupfnudeln’)
- German Boiled Potatoes (‘Kartoffeln’)
- Homemade Beef broth (‘Fleischbrühe’)
- German Pancakes (‘Pfannkuchen’)
- Homemade Semolina Soup Noodles (‘Hartweizen-Suppennudeln’)
- Chicken Broth (‘Hühnerbrühe’)
- Spaetzle (‘Spätzle’)
These kinds of grains and seeds go into my Müsli
Oats are the basis for müsli. Different than for porridge or oatmeal, they remain uncooked. I only toast them in a hot pan for a few minutes to enhance the flavor a little and to make sure they are dry enough for long storage.
The pumpkin seeds, almonds, and flax seeds should also be lightly toasted before blending. I love candied nuts so that I lightly caramelize the almonds with honey. This adds a bit of sweetness to the müsli blend together with the raisins and banana chips. Other than that, there’s no added sugar.
You shouldn’t forget to season your müsli blend with just a few pinches of salt. I know that might sound strange to some but it really helps to bring out the flavor of the grains. It’s much more efficient to add a pinch of salt than many tablespoons of sugar.
How to make the banana chips
You can buy banana chips or any other fruit chip you like ready-made in your grocery store. However, it’s quite simple to make them yourself at home as well. I don’t deep-fry my chips but dry them in the oven until crispy.
Just make sure you use parchment paper or a well-oiled roasting tray so the banana chips won’t stick. Different from freeze-dried fruit chips, the homemade banana chips will turn brown. And that is fine. They taste wonderful that way. Müsli isn’t really a dish where everything has to look beautiful.
You can serve your müsli very simple with just some milk. That’s the most common way to eat it in Germany as a quick 5-minute meal. If you want the müsli to be a bit more elaborate, you can also add fresh berries and yogurt to it.
It’s best to store your Müsli blend in an airtight container in a dry spot. That way it will last for many months without going bad. If you’re a regular eater, it’s very efficient to prepare a large batch every 2-3 months.