Julie’s Swiss Muesli

December 17, 2012 | My Jottings

(updated from the archives….)

I have no idea if this is true, but I recently heard a well-known financial advisor say on television that she believed America would be facing bread lines in coming years due to the state of our economy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time Americans waited in bread lines was in the late 1920s and early 30s. I refuse to worry about this, because there’s nothing I can do except try to live carefully and generously. My life is in God’s hands, and if part of His plan for me is to someday wait in bread lines, I will.

I think it’s appropriate to give thanks for food while we have it in abundance. We have so much variety and so many delicious things to choose from, and we can easily take for granted what many in our world only dream about.

Have you tried a Honeycrisp apple lately? I paid $1.00 each for them at the grocery store yesterday and didn’t care — they’re wonderful eating. What about fresh, raw pecans? I try to eat some every day. I’m thankful for sharp cheese and tomatoes that are deep red, not pale pink and anemic looking inside. I’m grateful for shredded purple cabbage and warm, fresh-baked bread. I like balsamic vinegar and capers and hazelnuts and pineapple! And what about Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream? You’re missing out if you haven’t scouted that out in the frozen aisle — in our city it sells out fast at every store we frequent, and Michael and I grin stupidly at each other when we go shopping and actually find a pint of it left on the shelf. See the ribbons of peanut butter winding their way through the chocolate?


But even the tastiest food can sometimes be nothing special to look at, as in today’s recipe. My Swiss Muesli is cold, gray and lumpy, but mmmmm is it good.

Apparently Muesli was invented by a Swiss physician for his patients around 1900. I wonder what medicinal qualities he thought Muesli had? There are dry varieties available in cereal boxes these days, but this recipe I’m sharing here is closer to the original, gloppy mixture – it’s made with milk and yogurt and needs to be stored in the refrigerator. I don’t think I’ll take a picture of the Muesli in our fridge right now, because it looks, well, cold, gray and lumpy. It would never hold a candle to the ice cream photo above. But Swiss Muesli is delicious! And nutritious. And it’s filling (my mom would have said, “this sticks to your ribs!”) And if you use good yogurt, it’s probiotic and so good for digestion.

So, if you’re willing to sacrifice visual appeal for delectability, here’s something to try:

Swiss Muesli

1/4 cup honey
1 cup plain yogurt (don’t use flavored or even vanilla yogurt here — with the above honey it will be too sweet — I tried)
1 cup milk (I use 1%, and very often I use unsweetened almond milk)

I stir these three wet ingredients together in a large Tupperware container that has a lid — this is what I store it in.

Next, stir in:

1 cup regular rolled oats
3 T. grated unsweetened coconut (sweetened will work but unsweetened is better)
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans (you can use walnuts too)

This is my adaptation of a recipe I found in a magazine a long time ago, and that recipe also called for 1/4 cup raisins or dried apricots, and 1/4 cup chopped Granny Smith apples, which you might throw in if those sound good to you. (Authentic Muesli has fruit in it along with the nuts and oats.)

I often make a double recipe of this, and after it sits in the lidded container in the fridge for a few hours, the oats soak up all the flavors and it looks like a bland, uninteresting porridge. Sounds blechy, I know, but it’s pretty yummy. Michael and I eat this for breakfast at least three times a week, and we both like a little dollop of peanut butter stirred into our bowls with it.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and I say Swiss Muesli shouldn’t be judged by its moist, gray lumps, either.

En guete!  (Which means “Good eating” in Swiss German! — thank you Helen!)


  1. Kay says:

    Are you really up at 4:32 am blogging about breakfast foods? When do you sleep? 😛
    Thanks for the Muesli reminder…I got this recipe from you a while back, but have not yet made it….think I’ll give it a try this weekend.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Unfortunately there are many nights when I wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and just can’t fall back to sleep. I get up and try to get a few things done when that happens. 🙂

  3. Dorothy Sooter says:

    I have been struggling with eating breakfast and will definitely try this. Thanks, you are so versatile and I think I know what you were saying about the yogurt – similar to acidophilus, I think. Love, Dorothy

  4. Christy says:

    Sounds really good…..I will definitely be trying this. When Larry read your post saying watch for this recipe coming up….he had a fit. He thought muesli was a fish.

  5. Helen in Switzerland says:

    Aah, now I understand why you mailed me yesterday!!
    Your recipe is for what the Swiss call Bircher-Muesli (invented by Prof. Bircher!) – it tastes wonderful and it’s very good for you!!

  6. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Helen. I like it best when it’s just made, and the oats are still a bit dry and haven’t soaked up the yogurt yet. 😉

  7. Kay in UK says:

    Dorothy’s comment reminded me of the time when Alan was admitted to hospital with a suspected stroke (false alarm, thank God). When asked what medication he was on, Alan was obviously feeling a bit stressed and instead of telling the nurse that he was taking acidophilus tablets, he told her he was taking anti-syphilis tablets! My face was as red as the tomatoes you were talking about in your post, Julie!! I suspect that the nurse had great fun in her tea-break telling her colleagues about Alan’s gaffe! 🙂
    Your muesli sounds lovely, but perhaps I’d better stick to my porridge mix – I know the calories in that and I’m trying to be good.

  8. Just Julie says:

    My desk is almost shaking from my hard laughter, Kay. Anti-syphilis tablets instead of acidophilus! Oh my, oh me, I can’t stop laughing. Another one for your future blog, dear Kay. 😉 xxoo

  9. Ganeida says:

    OK, I am a muslie eater, & I do actually make this when I am feeling domestic ~ which is not often ~ but true to form I own a version of this that negates every positive atribute in one fell swoop! Replace your milk, honey & yoghurt with sweetened condensed milk! To die for! Now that I have ruined your morning….

  10. Just Julie says:

    LOL! So funny, Ganeida. I think that would be so delicious, but probably not as healthful. Ha! xxoo

  11. Carey says:

    I’ve never tried making this Swiss Muesli, but it’s on my list of things to do this week. The folks that adhere to the Traditional way of eating would give this recipe a thumbs up, especially if a person uses Crispy Pecans instead of raw pecans.

    The Swiss were quite astute when they chose to soak the oats in yogurt. According to Sally Fallon (author of Nourishing Traditions Cookbook) all grains should be soaked overnight in an acid medium (yogurt, lemon juice, buttermilk or whey). This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid (an anti-nutrient) and dramatically increases our ability to absorb the nutrients in the grain.

    Who knew, huh? I guess the Swiss did!

  12. Just Julie says:

    Your information here makes me feel even better about this muesli, Carey! Let me know if you like it or not! xxoo

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