My family are cereal eaters, especially of the granola, oatmeal, and muesli varieties. Me? I prefer Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch cereal, but I can't eat that in front of the kids or I will have to share. Oh yeah, and it's soooo bad for you. //eye-roll//
J.'s favorite place in the grocery store is the bulk food aisle. He likes to fill bag after bag with granola and if we ever have a flood, we can simply empty our cupboard and use those sacks in lieu of sandbags. Bunny likes the bulk section, too, but that is because she views it as her own personal snack bar. It takes two of us to wrangle her in the bulk aisle because one person has to block her access to the (super-expensive) pine nuts and dried pineapple while the other scoops.
I like to make my own Bircher muesli because it's easy, it's cheap, it's tasty, and you don't have to pre-cook or pre-toast it like you do with granola. I also like its fresh, simple flavors. And, it couldn't be easier to cook.
If you have a covered, glass Pyrex baking dish and a microwave, breakfast will be on the table in minutes.
CITYMAMA'S BIRCHER MUESLI
There are hundreds of different recipes for muesli. This is one that my family likes. To cook it, use a 2:1 ration of liquid (milk, soymilk, rice milk) to muesli.
- 5 cups of organic rolled oats (not the quick-cooking kind)
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup of raw wheat germ
- 1 cup of dried cranberries (the orange-flavored ones for Trader Joe's are great in this)
- 6-8 dried apricots, chopped.
Combine all ingredients and store in a tightly covered container.
To prepare (This makes enough for 2 adults and 2 kids.):
Place one cup of muesli mix and 2 cups of milk in a Pyrex bowl. Add a dash of salt. Cover with lid and microwave for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir in at least one grated apple (no need to peel)—a must-have. Garnish each serving with blueberries or any other fresh fruit—optional.
We always add at least one grated apple (sometimes two), but the other fresh fruit varies depending on what it in season. And sometimes we eat it just with the apple. It needs no other sweetening, but feel free to add brown sugar or honey as you wish. (P.S. Look at these Oregon blueberries. They are the size of grapes!)