Muesli is a nutritious breakfast dish composed of rolled oats, fresh and dried fruits, seeds, and nuts which are mixed with fruit juices and dairy products such as milk, cream, or yogurt.  The recipe for muesli was developed around 1900 by the Swiss physician and nutrition guru, Maximillian Bircher-Benner.  Dr. Bircher-Benner was ahead of his time in believing that a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and packed with vitamins was therapeutic and essential to the recovery of his patients.

While Dr. Bircher Benner’s views on nutrition were controversial at the time, his recipe for muesli became popular in Western countries starting in the 1960’s when there was increased interest in health foods and vegetarian diets.

Literally meaning “little mush” muesli is nutrient dense and full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

While Dr. Bircher-Benner’s original recipe called for hazelnuts and condensed milk, I substituted sliced almonds for the hazelnuts and low-fat half and half and yogurt for the dairy in the recipe.  Feel free to substitute other nuts and seeds such as walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds. You can use other dairy products such as cottage cheese in the recipe—or even substitute non-dairy liquids such as coconut or almond milk.

I like to place a colorful arrangement of seasonal fruit on top of the muesli.

Heart-healthy and delicious—muesli is the perfect breakfast to serve your valentine.


  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup craisins
  • 1 golden delicious apple, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 ½ cups fat-free or low-fat half-and-half
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups fresh seasonal fruit, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, or any other fresh seasonal fruit

Place almonds and coconut into a preheated 350-degree oven and toast until golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add apricots, craisins, apples, lemon and orange zests, lemon and orange juices, honey, oatmeal, half-and-half, yogurt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight. To serve: divide the muesli evenly among several bowls and garnish decoratively with the fresh fruit.

February 2017