Way back in the late ’70′s – maybe early ’80′s – I fell in love with Swiss Muesli, namely, Familia cereal. It was pricey, and I looked at the ingredients on the box and decided that not only could I make my own, but I could customize it to my own tastes and make it even healthier!
Those tastes have changed over the years, but I still make my Muesli. The biggest change has been a recent one – my brother stressed how important it is to eat almonds, and he has 10 every day. Prior to that, I had skimped on the nuts, the most expensive ingredient. Now I put in 10 nuts for every 1/2 cup serving – I’ve measured it out, below, so you don’t have to count. The other change is that I’ve been cutting way back on wheat products, so I usually substitute an extra half cup of barley in the recipe below.
I don’t think you’ll find any Muesli on the market that has this amount of nutrients – or a customized flavor profile – and you’ll find them from $4.99 a pound up to $7.99 a pound. My Muesli is $2.78 a pound.
Because the Omega 3 fatty acids in the nuts help deliver nutrients through your body, I like to serve my Muesli with fresh fruit, but I sometimes sweeten with a little bit of dried dates or berries. You can use any combination of fruits – go tropical, go wild – put in whatever you like in whatever combination. Do use some restraint – dried fruits are very concentrated calories.
Frugal’s Muesli – Fake Familia, makes about 7 cups, each serving is 1/2 cup, or 28 ounces.
- 2 cups of rolled oats or regular (not instant) oatmeal
- 1 cup of rolled barley
- 1 cup of rolled rye
- 1/2 cup wheat flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons millet (optional)
- 2 tablespoons kamut (optional)
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, toasted and chopped, or one cup of almonds and one half cup of hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
- Turbinado (organic, raw) sugar, if desired – I find that the toasting of the grains and nuts makes this so sweet I don’t need sugar
Put all grains on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10. Let cool. This step is optional, but I like to toast the grains to bring out the sweeter flavors and get rid of any “raw” taste. You don’t want this browned.
Toast nuts in a heavy skillet for several minutes, just until you smell them (this step is NOT optional you need it for the flavor!) Remove from the pan and let cool and chop – I use the food processor for this.
Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container, in fridge or freezer is best. Stir before using as it will settle.
Note: If you can’t find Kamut or Millet, omit – but they have a very sweet flavor that helps you get by with no sugar in this cereal.
Money & Time Saving Strategies:
It may be hard to find or more expensive to buy these ingredients in a regular grocery – but for me, it’s worth while to go to the “health food” store – my local coop. I’m a member, so my pricing is a little lower. Bring your measuring cup if you want – and think about getting enough of the Barley and Rye to make several batches – just keep it in your freezer.
- Oats: I used Quaker, 44 ounces on sale for $1.99 (the Aldi’s brand is even less.) 2 cups is 6 1/2 ounces, so the price is 29 cents.
- Barley: Priced out at $1.79 a pound, a cup is 3 1/2 ounces so the cost is 40 cents.
- Rye: 89 cents a pound, one cup is four ounces, so the cost is 22 cents.
- Wheat Flakes: $1.69 a pound, 1/2 cup is an ounce: cost 5 cents.
- Kamut & Millet: 2 tablespoons of each are going to run you about 13 cents.
- Almonds: It’s really worth while to look at alternatives to your grocery – I often buy at Aldi’s or our Mill’s Fleet Farm – which is a farm supply store with all sorts of products – everything from saddles to outdoor furniture. If you have a “nut supply” house in your area, their prices can’t be beat. I also stock up around Christmas and freeze my nuts. I pay about $4.99 a pound so the cost for 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) is $2.40.
- Dried Fruit: Again, I stock up during Christmas – and often use coupons. If the bag is flimsy, repackage. It keeps, literally, indefinitely. Your pricing will vary according to what you use, but for what I’m making today, I’m using mixed berries, one of the pricier options. I paid $2.99 for a five ounce package – 1/2 cup is 2.5 ounces so the cost is $1.50.
Put Your own Spin on It:
- Serve this like oatmeal – heat it in the microwave or on the stove.
- Try soaking it overnight in milk or eating it just like cold cereal.
- Sprinkle over yogurt or in yogurt parfaits.
- Add in whatever other ingredients suit your fancy: other nuts, pecans are wonderful, pumpkin seeds, etc. Flavor it with cinnamon or other spices if you’d like.
Frugal’s Muesli made April 2012