Muesli is a classic passed down by generations of Europeans - it's delicious, simple, and inexpensive! Try our take on a Swiss muesli recipe that combines rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon, for an entirely plant-based breakfast option.
If you grew up in a Swiss or European household, you're likely all too familiar with this traditional Swiss muesli cereal, also called Bircher muesli.
This staple is similar to granola but a little healthier - we'll get more into that later.
The classic recipe contains some dairy, usually sweetened condensed milk, but sometimes you'll see cream or muesli with yogurt instead.
We wanted to enjoy muesli nutrition as a part of a plant-based diet, so we created this recipe for a healthy muesli breakfast free of dairy and vegan-diet friendly.
This vegan muesli stores well in the pantry, so you can make a big batch every month or so and add it to overnight muesli for the most delicious, fuss-free breakfast that's perfect for busy weekday mornings.
Follow below to learn more about plant-based muesli, the difference between muesli and granola, and how to make your muesli at home.
What is Muesli?
Muesli has Swiss origins dating back to the early 1900s when the Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, adapted it as an easy way to help hospital patients eat fresh fruits and vegetables regularly.
The classic recipe for "Bircher muesli" contains grated apples, nuts, rolled oats, lemon juice, and cream or sweetened condensed milk.
Modern muesli, and our vegan recipe below, contains rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. You can enjoy this muesli plain, sprinkled on vegan yogurt, or made into a delicious bowl of overnight oats.
It's similar to oatmeal, with a few extra add-ins. Is oatmeal vegan? It certainly can be when made with water or non-dairy milk instead of cow's milk.
Muesli vs. Granola
The modern muesli recipe is quite similar to what you'd see in a batch of granola. Although muesli and granola have quite a few similarities, granola's common additions can make it high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-fat.
Why is muesli a healthier, better, low-sugar alternative to granola?
- Muesli can be cooked on the stovetop like oatmeal and served warm, or turned into overnight oats in the fridge and served cold.
- We serve granola exclusively at room temperature to top a bowl of yogurt or munch on by the handful.
- While we toast muesli in the oven without any unhealthy additives, we bake granola with added oil and a sweetener like raw honey, sugar, or maple syrup.
How to Make Muesli
Making muesli is as easy as throwing all of your favorite ingredients together.
We chose our favorite ingredients:
- pumpkin seeds
- dried cherries
- dried apricots.
Still, you can easily swap any ingredient out for ones that suit your preferences a little better.
Don't like almonds? Try walnuts instead! Hate dried apricots? Use raisins or dried cranberries! I've even grated some orange zest into the mix every once in a while for a delicious change.
This muesli recipe could not get any more straightforward but follow the toasting time closely and oven rack placements to avoid burning any of your ingredients.
Once you toast the oat and nut mixtures, you'll toss them together with dried fruit, and voila, a delicious batch of homemade vegan muesli is ready for you!
Muesli - FAQ
Is muesli healthy?
We're not huge fans of the original recipe that contains sugar and saturated fat-laden sweetened, condensed milk.
Our recipe is high-carb but is suitable and healthy to enjoy in moderation as part of a regular diet.
Muesli contains high-fiber oats and wheat bran, which can positively affect cholesterol levels.
Our muesli will keep you full for hours with all of that fiber and even longer if you up the protein content by adding some non-dairy yogurt.
Be sure to add in dried fruits with no sugar added, as they contain natural sugars already.
Is muesli vegan?
While "Bircher muesli" contains dairy, our muesli recipe is 100% vegan-friendly.
How to Eat Muesli
There are literally million ways to enjoy our vegan muesli.
- Simmer it on the stovetop as you would regular oatmeal, with some plant-based milk or water as the liquid base.
- Toss your muesli on a big bowl of coconut yogurt, with some sliced fresh strawberries or blueberries. A drizzle of maple syrup is optional for those that aren't on sugar conscious diets.
- Our absolute favorite way to enjoy muesli is in a big, chilled bowl of overnight oats. You can leave this muesli recipe overnight in the fridge with a few extra ingredients to have a delicious bowl ready for you to enjoy for breakfast.
To make overnight muesli oats:
- Combine equal parts of non-dairy milk, like oat or almond, with vegan muesli.
- Stir and place in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Leave overnight, and the muesli will have puffed up to the perfect, pillowy texture when breakfast time rolls around the next morning.
Muesli Add-In Options
We love the variety you can get by adding different ingredients into your muesli recipe.
Here are our favorite muesli ingredients, other than the ones you see above:
- Walnuts and dark chocolate chunks
- Dried blueberries and chia seeds
- Dates and pure vanilla extract
- Dried apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- Orange zest and dried cranberries
- Cashews or peanuts
- Pistachios and macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds or ground flaxseed
- Nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and ground cloves
This muesli can last you practically forever, but we imagine you'll be eating it up in no time.
You can store your muesli in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 month, but potentially longer in a storage area away from moisture.
Pop your sealed, dry muesli into the freezer if you'd like it to last up to 6 months or longer.
If you're short on freezer space, try placing your muesli in a sealed, freezer-safe Ziploc bag instead of a container.
Final Notes: Healthy Muesli Recipe
This updated muesli recipe is the perfect solution for the busy mornings and at times when you need of a plant-based solution.
With a little prep work upfront for each batch, you'll be able to enjoy having muesli on hand for months to come.
Whether you're trying our vegan muesli as a hot bowl of oatmeal or a chilled bowl of overnight oats, we're sure you're going to love them!
Muesli Recipe: An Easy Homemade Vegan Breakfast of Champions
3 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c wheat bran
1/2 tsp kosher salt or another coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c raw almonds, sliced
1/4 c raw pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 c raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 c dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 c dried cherries
First, toast the grains, nuts, and seeds in the oven. Arrange 2 oven racks, divide the oven into even thirds, and then preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss the rolled oats, wheat bran, kosher salt, and cinnamon to combine, then spread the oats in an even layer on the lined baking sheet.
In the now-empty mixing bowl, place the almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds and toss to combine. Spread the nuts and seeds in an even layer on your second lined baking sheet.
Once the oven is preheated, transfer both baking sheets to the oven. Place the oat mixture on the top rack and the nut mixture on the lower oven rack.
Bake both the oats and nuts until they are fragrant, around 10 - 12 mins.
Remove the baking sheet covered with the nuts, and set aside to cool. Sprinkle the coconut flakes over the oat mixture and return to the oven's upper rack. Then, bake the mixture until the coconut flakes are golden-brown, another 5 minutes. Remove the oat sheet from the oven and set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the contents of both lined baking sheets to a large mixing bowl.
Add the chopped apricots and dried cherries, then toss until combined thoroughly.
Immediately enjoy some muesli oats while they're still warm and extra delicious! Then, transfer the leftovers from this homemade muesli recipe to an airtight container for storage.