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Growing up, my dad was the designated müsli maker in the family. I owe him my love for toasted hazelnuts in muesli for sure – to this day, I don’t think I’ve ever made a batch without it. Having homemade muesli around is just one of those things I have with me since childhood. I remember when I first moved to New York and went to the store for the first time, just to get some essentials, and found myself a (very trendy-looking) bag of muesli – for $10. I quickly realized my breakfasts would have me go bankrupt, and started making my own muesli even in my tiny, tiny East Village studio kitchen (my counter space was 25 cm/10 in wide). This resulted in my smoke alarm going off on a regular basis, as even just the smell of toasted nuts could trigger it, but that was by no means the most dramatic type of event I dealt with there – no, that was when the entire ceiling came crashing down one night. It’s 100% true – the ceiling above the kitchen had fallen in one morning. I had spent the night at Mike’s place, and had quite the scene waiting for me as I walked in the door. But that’s certainly a different story.
Muesli is actually one of my favorite food items in the world. I always eat it sprinkled on top of a bowl of fruit (berries in the summer, cubed apples the rest of the year) and some type of plain yogurt + a generous amount of ground cinnamon, and then I stir everything together before I savor every bite of it. I’m always a little sad when I’m done, in all honesty. I quickly picked up that muesli the way Swedes eat it was a bit of a foreign concept to America. There, it seemed muesli meant Swiss muesli or bircher muesli, and was something you ate with milk or even soaked overnight (which then sounds awfully similar to today’s trend breakfast of overnight oats?). Anyway – to me, I think of muesli and its applications the same way I think of granola. I just prefer the unsweetened, not overly crunchy business – which, again, is a product of how I was raised. We had muesli as our standard, but whenever we were on a ski trip and you needed to load up on extra energy in the mornings, my brother and I could dig into the sweetened crunchy stuff as much as we wanted. Ah, fond memories. And how funny it is to realize those traditions stick.
Anyway, making your own muesli (or granola for that matter) is a great way to save money. Buying each ingredient in bulk vs. a pre-packaged muesli is far more affordable, and something we do without even thinking too much of nowadays. Throwing it all together really doesn’t take that long either, and you can make a big batch that will last a while. This is our go-to – and we hope you’ll like it as much as we do 🙂
Makes approx. ~3 liters of muesli
13 dl rolled oats
5 dl wheat germ
4 dl wheat or oat bran
3 dl raisins
3 dl hulled sunflower seeds
3 dl hulled pumpkin seeds/pepitas
2 dl walnuts
2 dl hazelnuts
1 tsp whole cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- Place oats, germ, bran and raisins in a large bowl and stir together.
- Heat up a dry frying pan over medium-high heat, and toast the sunflower seeds until golden. Stir often with a spatula to avoid burning. Depending on the heat, it can take anywhere from 2 to 10 min. When done, add the sunflower seeds to the large bowl with the oats etc. Repeat the same procedure with the pumpkin seeds.
- Then, toast the walnuts in the same fashion, but let these cool on a plate before either roughly chopping them or breaking them into pieces and adding them to the bowl (chopping before toasting almost always leads to burning the small pieces, which means waste). As the walnuts cool off, toast the hazelnuts. These will start to lose their peel in the pan, which is why it’s smart to do these last. Allow these to cool on a plate as well, before you rub off the remaining peel using either a kitchen towel or just your hands. We just place a few nuts in between our palms and rub them against each other. All the peel won’t come off of all the nuts, but that’s totally fine. Finish off by giving the nuts a rough chop and then adding them to the bowl.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cardamom into a powder. Add all the spices to the bowl and give it a good stir. Wait until the muesli is completely cooled off before placing it in an airtight container.