See what I did there with the title of this post?
I may not have always know how to pronounce it, but I frickin’ love muesli. (For the record, I guess it’s me-yu-zlee or mew-zlee, not moo-sli or mweh-slee.) Muesli is a mixture of rolled oats and dried fruit, and often has nuts in it as well. Although it’s now often eaten with milk, it was originally typically soaked in juice overnight and served with freshly grated apples and nuts. There are a ton of muesli variations out there, and plenty of suggested ways to eat it. (The most popular way is probably to soak it in some milk and yogurt overnight).
Making your own muesli is definitely always the best way to go, because you know exactly what’s going into it. A lot of store brand muesli has added sugar and can be high in calories as well. However, not all of us have the time or ingredients to put together some good old fashioned homemade muesli, and I’ve been on a quest to find my favorite store-brand option. It isn’t exactly easy to find, as I’ve found out. So far, I’ve only found muesli at Trader Joe’s and a local grocery store. I’ve heard that Bob’s Red Mill makes muesli, but I’ve yet to see it in a store so I can buy some and try it. So far, I’ve tried Trader Joe’s Fat Free Blueberry Muesli and Familia No Added Sugar Swiss Muesli, which was available at the local grocery store. They also had another brand as well as the normal Familia muesli, but the other brand was pretty high in sugar and calories, so I stuck with the no sugar added Familia kind.
So how do the two compare? For starters, Trader Joe’s muesli was cheaper, probably because the other was imported and at an already overpriced grocery store. But taste-wise, both have their merits. Here’s how the two compare when prepared some of the common ways people eat muesli:
Dry with soy milk
TJ’s muesli is a bit sweeter, and with the addition of the corn flakes, it’s ideal for just eating with a bit of milk or soy milk. Familia’s muelsi was good with milk as well, but Trader Joe’s wins in this round.
Dry on nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Both work nicely sprinkled on yogurt; however, I did prefer Trader Joe’s on yogurt because it added a slight sweetness to plain unsweetened yogurt. Familia had more of a crunch, though, and would probably be better on vanilla or fruit yogurt.
Familia wins, hands down. Trader Joe’s with the applesauce was too sweet for me, and the cornflakes didn’t work very well; it just tasted kinda mushy.
Soaked in yogurt and milk overnight
I was kinda disappointed when I tried overnight oats with Trader Joe’s. It didn’t taste bad by any means, but the puffed rice and cornflakes got too soggy for my liking, and the dried apple-raisin pieces got kind of gross (the blueberry bits were okay, though). Not awful, but Familia was a lot better. The texture was ideal and the dried fruit didn’t get gross.
Best way to eat Familia: soaked in yogurt and milk for 10-15 minutes. It tastes good soaked overnight as well, but it was still a bit crunchy after 10 minutes, and I preferred that. Top with sliced bananas, apple pieces, and a bit of cinnamon and it’s even better.
Best way to eat Trader Joe’s: With a bit of milk, cold. So good, it’s hard to only eat the recommended serving size.
Nutrition Comparison for Both (1/2 cup dry serving size):
Familia vs. Trader Joe’s
CALORIES: 210 vs. 160
FAT: 3g vs. 0g
CARBS: 41g vs. 39g
FIBER: 4g vs. 5g
SUGAR: 7g vs. 10g
PROTEIN: 6g vs. 4g
Ingredients in Familia Muesli: oat flakes, wheat flakes, fruit flakes, date pulp, apples, banana puree, raisins, millet flakes, wheat germs, roasted hazelnuts and almonds
Ingredients in Trader Joe’s Muesli: whole rolled barley and rye flakes, blueberry flavored pieces (sugar, cranberries, blueberry juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, sunflower oil), corn flakes, brown rice puffs with sugar, salt, barley malt, raisins, currants, apples, blueberries with sugar, freeze dried blueberries, natural blueberry flavor
For those of you looking to make your own muesli, here’s a pretty straightforward recipe:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup skim or light soy milk
1 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey (or sugar)
1/2 diced apple
about 1/4 cup thin sliced banana
about 1 tbsp dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries
about 1/8 cup toasted sliced almonds
Soak oats overnight or a few hours in milk. When ready to eat, add milk, honey, and dried fruit. Top with fresh fruit and almonds. Add more honey if needed, and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.