Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What's for Breakfast?

At our house this is one question that's pretty easy to answer. A while back, while trying to get more raw foods into our diet, I began to make muesli for breakfast. Muesli is an oat based cereal that originated in 1900 with a Swiss doctor. He came up with it as a healthy food for patients in his hospital. In it's most basic form it's a mixture of oats, nuts and/or seeds and fresh or dried fruit. Because it's made from whole grains it gives lots of energy that we and our kids need to start the day. In fact, it's one of the only things I feel really keeps me going until lunchtime. It's high in fiber, low in fat and sugar, inexpensive, easy to prepare, and it tastes great! I make a batch about every two weeks and store it in a gallon jar.
We eat this most weekdays. Once a week I will make pancakes or muffins with the kids for a little variety. On Saturdays we have waffles made from scratch, and Sundays vary. Depending on the time sometimes I will make eggs or we eat cold cereal.
I make it a little differently each time, depending on what we have around. I try to buy raw nuts and seeds, as they retain more nutrition. You can use whatever kind of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that your family likes, or add fresh fruit when you serve it. An Austrian woman once made this for me and she mixed it with yogurt the night before and let it soften. There's no one right way to make or eat it, so even though we eat the same basic breakfast most days we still have lots of variety!
This is a great recipe for the kids to help with. Peregrine loves to help measure and pour and stir, and since the amounts aren't so important he can have a little more freedom than with some other recipes.
Here's our basic recipe:

7 C. Oats
4 C. Oat Bran
1-2 C. Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc.)
1 1/2 C. Nuts
1-2 C. dried fruit (any combination of raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apples, etc.)
1 T. Cinnamom
1 t. Cardamom (optional, but good for digestion and tastes yummy)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl then transfer to an airtight container. This makes enough to fill a gallon jar. To serve, scoop out 1/3 to 1/2 cup into each bowl. We like to add 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup and then mix it with either plain yogurt or kefir. You could also also sweeten it with honey or applesauce. Fresh or frozen berries or chopped apple are a nice addition, but not necessary.

What do you do for breakfast?


  1. I love muesli but I have never made it. I should give it a try. We usually have eggs or cereal and fruit but my kids like a lot of breakfast foods, waffles, oatmeal, bagels, cottage cheese and applesauce. I am going to give this a try and I will let you know how it goes. Oh, one of my kids favorite special things is popovers made with eggs and milk and baked in a muffin tin. Those are always a hit,

  2. Thanks for the recipe, I love this. I've been doing a cold oatmeal that is pretty much like a muesli but with less stuff. This inspired me to get a big batch ready with lots of stuff in it. My kids can't eat nuts but they can eat seeds!

  3. Mmmm... sounds good. I didn't know it was so simple to make.
    After John goes to work on weekdays, Aria and I eat a bowl of cooked oatmeal together, hers is plain and mine is with organic sugar and a little milk.
    On Saturdays I make whole wheat pancakes with a slice of cheese melted in the middle (something my mum used to do and tastes surprisingly delicious) topped with real maple syrup, or eggs and hashbrowns.
    We're always late Sundays so I usually do something quick. But in my family when we were growing up, Sundays were always something special like Danish, cinnamon buns, or hot cross buns--not nutritious, but oh, so tasty!:-)

  4. Anonymous8:47 AM

    sounds like an easy way to make a quick breakfast cereal! I have been getting some from the bulk section at our local store but have been wanting to make my own. I have a question about the Cardamom. I've never heard of it before. What is it and how do you use it? Is it a ground spice or like a nut or seed? Thanks!

    1. Cardamom is a spice that can be bought in various ways; in the pod, whole but out of the pod, or ground! In this recipe, you would want it ground. It's often used in Middle Eastern and East Indian sweets and adds a nice flavor, but is entirely optional.

    2. Anonymous10:51 AM

      Thanks for your reply. I might look for it the next trip to the store. Looking forward to try this out, maybe my boys will like it too if I let them pick some of the dried fruit to include.


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