This cardamom muesli provides a nourishing blend of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits that’s sure to keep you going all morning long. A perfect summer breakfast!
Although muesli may have a Swiss beginning, it’s a go-to breakfast in Sweden as well. You will often see recipes for Swiss Bircher Muesli, which is basically overnight oats.
In Sweden, however, muesli isn’t soaked, rather, it’s usually eaten like cold cereal, but with filmjölk, cultured milk that is similar to plain kefir. And that is the key to the complete goodness of this breakfast: adding cultured milk or yogurt.
Unlike granola which is yummy to eat on its own, muesli usually doesn’t do solo acts. It needs milk–whether it’s yogurt, kefir, non-dairy milk, or classic milk.
Digestive Power Breakfast
Muesli and cultured milk make an optimal breakfast for supporting digestive health. The muesli provides fiber-packed whole grains and the cultured milk provides gut-friendly probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that live inside your gut. Having a steady supply of probiotics from foods such as cultured milk and yogurt may help promote everything from immune health to digestive health.
Sweeten to Your Preference
Growing up, I would always add jam to the muesli and filmjölk to give it a little more sweetness. These days I sometimes add jam but more often go for fresh fruit and maybe a little honey for extra sweetness. Sliced bananas, fresh berries, and clementine pieces are all delicious toppings. You can even add frozen wild blueberries, they tasted delicious warmed in the microwave but are also refreshing frozen on a hot summer day–in addition to making pretty blue swirls when stirred.
So what about the cardamom? I decided to add cardamom to this muesli because it’s my favorite and sounded like a good combination. Turns out, it is a delicious combination! Of course, you could use cinnamon or ginger instead–or leave out the spice entirely if you prefer!
Traditional Swedish Muesli
In Sweden, traditional muesli contains a 2:3 ratio of whole oats to rye or wheat flakes, in addition to the other goodies, such as wheat germ, nuts, and dried fruit. Since both plain rye flakes and wheat flakes can be hard to find in US grocery stores, I decided to make a version using extra oats instead. I included the wheat germ in this recipe, however, personally, I usually add ground flax meal instead. But instead of mixing it in with the rest of the muesli, I add it as a topping, that way it can stay fresh in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
This recipe is based on a Swedish one that also suggests roasting the grains and nuts for just 10-15 minutes, this really helps bring out their flavors but is totally optional. While my grandmother would never have skipped this step I often do if I’m short on time or don’t feel like turning the oven. It’s all good!
Soaking is Optional
Another optional step is to let the muesli soak into the milk or yogurt for 15-30 minutes (or more) before eating. Though this wasn’t traditionally done when I grew up, I often do it now. It’s a nice way to soften the oats a bit and let the flavors start to mingle. If you add chia seeds to the mix, this also allows the chia to absorb some of the liquid.
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats certified gluten-free if needed
- ¾ cup wheat germ (or chia seeds) optional; use chia seeds or quinoa flakes if gluten-free and/or add flax meal upon serving
- ½ cup chopped or sliced almonds
- ½ cup chopped pecans or hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom optional; could also use cinnamon or ginger
- ½ cup chopped prunes optional
- ½ cup raisins optional
- Mix everything together in a large bowl. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread oats, nuts, and seeds onto the baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes until just fragrant.
- Let cool and then sprinkle with cardamom, and add the wheat germ or chia seeds and dried fruit. Mix well and then add to an airtight glass container.
- Serve with your favorite cultured milk or yogurt. Stir together muesli and yogurt or milk and enjoy right away or let sit for at least 30 minutes before eating if you prefer the oats to soften a bit first. Then top with additional toppings such as fresh fruit, flax meal, honey, and/or jam.