As an avid fan of yogurt and granola, when I started seeing muesli popping up on my Instagram feed looking all pretty and delicious, I was immediately intrigued. What was this yummy-looking granola-like dish? It looked like granola, but was it? A little internet search seemed to tell me otherwise.

Muesli is simply toasted oats with dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Talk about serious health benefits! The difference between muesli and granola is simple: muesli is raw and you can't (or I guess shouldn't) eat it by itself. There are numerous ways to enjoy it, which will be detailed down below. But first, how did muesli come about?

muesli, yogurt, granola
Kirby Barth

Where Muesli Comes From

Muesli was invented by Maximilian Bircher-Brenner, a Swiss physician, during the early 1900s. Muesli was a staple for his patients, especially since he was a firm believer in the importance of whole grains and fruits and vegetables in addition to exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits are all laden with nutrients and fiber, which makes this dish a wholesome addition to any diet. This doctor was definitely ahead of his time! Since then, in Switzerland and Germany, it has been a popular healthy breakfast, although in the US it is not as well known. Hopefully, as more people become aware of it, they will start adding it to their breakfast or healthy snack regimen.

milk, cereal, muesli, oatmeal, granola
Meredith Ross


Muesli can be made from scratch using rolled oats, rye, wheat, and barley flakes, in addition to dried fruit, nuts and seeds. It's all up to your imagination and creativity! For example, this popular recipe uses pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs. Don't have any time to make it? No problem! In the grocery store, it can be found where the granola and instant oat mixes are. 

After falling in love with IKEA's muesli that I picked up on a recent trip there, I researched and found that the preferred muesli brand is Bob's Red Mill. Bob's Red Mill offers many types of muesli, two gluten-free, as well as a paleo/grain-free muesli, so there is something for everyone. 

granola, muesli, cereal, cranberry
Kate Drapkin

My Preference

As far as my favorite way to eat it, I love soaking the muesli overnight in yogurt, since I am personally a fan of the thick, almost pudding-like consistency. I also do enjoy soaking it in milk; it definitely brings out the nutty/seedy flavor of the muesli. As a fan of granola, I love crunchy clusters of granola on my yogurt, but I almost don't miss them with muesli, which doesn't really form any. If I make it at home, I am a lover of dried fruit, especially dried cranberries, so I love adding those into the mix. Now and then, I'll pop in a few chocolate chips for some chocolate flavor, too. 

Marissa Rodriguez

If you are a fan of granola or trail mix and you see muesli in the store, don't be afraid to pick it up and try it! It might just be a new awesome, healthy addition to your mornings. To enjoy muesli, soak it in milk or in yogurt for at least a couple hours or overnight, or if you're feeling adventurous, just add milk and enjoy it immediately. Which ever way you choose, I'm sure this European breakfast trend is bound to be appearing more frequently on your breakfast table.