The recent roll out of McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal has sparked quite a debate all over the internet. Is it healthy? Is it the devil? Does it really have as many calories as a cheeseburger? I don't know and it doesn't really matter because I can just make my own oats in about five minutes.
I did realize, though, that I needed to share one of my favorite ways to eat oats: muesli. It's easy, delicious, customizable and doesn't even need to be cooked. Muesli is basically any mixture of dry oats with fruit and nuts. It's different from granola in that it's not baked so it doesn't have that hard, crunchy texture. I used a basic mix of old-fashioned oats, raisins, walnuts and brown sugar. Other delicious options include: flax seeds, oat bran or germ, cranberries, almonds, coconut or dates.
Instead of being cooked, the muesli mix is soaked in either cold milk or cold yogurt until the oats are softened. If you're using milk, it takes as little as five minutes, yogurt should soak over night due to it's lower moisture content. I usually just let the muesli soak while I make my coffee then it's ready to go! The result is a flakey, chewy oat with buttery bits of nuts and little, sweet dried fruit gems. The texture is delightfully unique and it's a great alternative to hot oats during the warm summer months.
The muesli mix also doubles as homemade instant oatmeal packets. Just scoop a half cup of the dry mix into the bowl, add one cup water and microwave on high for 90 seconds. Your instant oatmeal is ready to eat.
Total Recipe cost: $1.71
Servings Per Recipe: 8 (1/2 cup each)
Cost per serving: $0.21 ($0.39 with 1/2 cup milk)
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 0 min. Total: 5 min.
|3 cups||dry old-fashioned oats||$0.51|
|1/2 cup||chopped walnuts||$0.84|
|1/4 cup||brown sugar||$0.08|
STEP 1: In a bowl, combine the oats, raisins, walnuts and brown sugar. Stir until evenly mixed. Store mixture in an air-tight container in a cool dry place until ready to eat.
STEP 2: To prepare the muesli, combine 1/2 cup muesli with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Let soak in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or as long as over night).
Step By Step Photos
I made a simple mix: oats, walnuts, raisins (dark and light) and brown sugar. The brown sugar is completely optional but I love the way it flavors the milk (kinda like how fruity pebbles does!)
Just mix everything together and store in an air-tight container. Give the mix a quick stir before scooping out portions because the smaller particles tend to settle to the bottom.
To serve, simply measure a half cup of the muesli mix into a bowl and add either milk or yogurt. Milk only takes about five minutes to soften the oats, but yogurt tends to take a little bit longer. If you combine the muesli with yogurt in the morning, it will be ready to eat for lunch (or on your first break of the day).
Here is some muesli that has been soaking. You can see how the oats have expanded and softened. The soft, chewy texture of the oats along with the super cold milk is sooo good!