From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Dry muesli mix, served with milk and banana

Muesli ['m(j)u:zli] is a popular breakfast cereal based on uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts. It was developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It is available as a packaged dry form, or it can be made fresh.

In Switzerland, it is also eaten as a light evening dish; Birchermüesli complet is muesli with butterbrot and milk coffee.

Originally known in Swiss German as Birchermüesli or simply Müesli, the word is an Alemannic diminutive of Mues which is related to the Old English word moose, meaning stew or pottage.[1]


[edit] History

Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital[2], where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar "strange dish" that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Bircher-Benner himself referred to the dish simply as "d'Spys" (Swiss German for "the dish", in German "die Speise"). Muesli in its modern form became popular in western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in Health food and vegetarian diets.

[edit] Packaged muesli

Packaged muesli

Packaged muesli is a loose mixture of mainly rolled oats together with various pieces of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It commonly contains other rolled cereal grains such as wheat or rye flakes as well. In mass-market brands, large amounts of sugar and whey are usually included, which give it a far sweeter and richer taste than traditional mueslies. There are many varieties, some of which may also contain honey, spices, or chocolate. This dry packaged muesli can be stored for many months. It can be served quickly after mixing it with milk, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, or even just plain water. If desired pieces of fresh fruit may be added. Alternatively, the mix may be soaked overnight in milk and then served with fresh fruit or compote to taste.

[edit] Fresh muesli

Fresh muesli, made using rolled oats, orange juice, blended apple and banana, redcurrants, raisins, cottage cheese, topped with raspberries.

Muesli can also be freshly prepared using either dry rolled oats or whole grain oats that have been soaked in water or fruit juice. Other ingredients commonly included are additional grated or chopped fresh fruit (e.g., bananas, apples, berries, grapes, mango), dried fruit, milk products (e.g., yogurt, cream, condensed milk, fromage frais, quark, cottage cheese, or nondairy milk substitutes), lemon juice, ground nuts, seeds, spices (especially cinnamon), honey, and muesli mix.

[edit] Original Bircher-Benner muesli recipe

A slightly modernized version of the original Bircher-Benner recipe[3] is still a prototype for most fresh muesli today. For one serving, it consists approximately of:

The original recipe actually used sweetened condensed milk instead of cream, a compromise due to hygiene concerns regarding fresh milk products in 1900 (bovine tuberculosis etc.), before pasteurization and refrigeration became commonly available. The original recipe also advised to soak the oats in water overnight; this long soaking time is unnecessary with modern rolled "quick oats", which the manufacturers already soften through a steam treatment. [1][2].

[edit] Health benefits

All the main ingredients of muesli are considered important elements of a healthy diet:

  • A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer and other age-related diseases, and a serving of muesli can contain one or two servings of fresh fruit.
  • Oat products have been shown to help lower high blood cholesterol concentration (hypercholesterolemia) and thereby reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis.
  • Products made from whole oat and wheat grains are rich in fibre and essential trace elements.
  • Some types of nuts (especially walnuts) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with many health benefits, including the development of the nervous system.
  • Milk products, often served with muesli, are a rich source of calcium and protein.
  • The fruits that are in Muesli, as well as the oats are a source of fiber as well.

The low glycemic index of muesli without added sugar or honey helps with diabetes control.

While Muesli can be a vegan or vegetarian dish, it is not a raw food dish if the rolled oats are heated or steamed or "processed" in some fashion, but it is if traditional, old-fashioned, non-steamed, non-heated, just-rolled oats are used.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press,, retrieved on 2008-06-20 
  2. ^ J.A. Kurmann, et al.: Encyclopedia of Fermented Fresh Milk Products: an international inventory of fermented milk, cream, buttermilk, whey, and related products. Springer Verlag, 1992. Page 75: Bircher Muesli.
  3. ^ Ruedi Sperandio: 100 Jahre Birchermüesli – Wie ein Schweizer Brei zum weltweiten Hit wurde
Personal tools