Can't stop munching on granola? Unfortunately, it's not as healthy as you'd think.
If you’re like me, you’ve heard of muesli but gravitate toward granola. But once I open a bag or box of the crunchy goodness, chances are it won’t last long. If it’s good granola, the calorie count is going to be high, and even on my longest-run days, it’s not the healthiest decision.
Though, let’s face it—it’s not a decision. It just happens. I can’t resist the lure of that nutty-oaty-fruity flavor combo, that way it tastes with yogurt and blueberries, that way it taste straight from the package.
Recently I figured out a fantastic substitute: muesli. What’s that? It’s basically any concoction of oats, grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits, which sounds a lot like granola, right? Not quite—muesli is unprocessed, meaning there’s nothing to bind the ingredients into crunchy clumps—thus it’s not the kind of thing you’ll want to eat straight from the bag.
Sound boring? Honestly, some brands skew that way. But others deliver a satisfying combo of crunchy and chewy bits. As whole grains are making their way into more or more packages—and mouths—various brands are getting inventive and the cereal aisle is in flux.
If you like your granola with milk or yogurt, muesli can work the same way. There are two other options that you don’t have with granola: Muesli is like a fancy oatmeal, so you can either cook it up with water or your favorite milk, or you can combine with your liquid of choice (water, milk, juice, coffee or a combo) in a jar and refrigerate overnight for a ready-to-eat comfort food (or microwave).
The versatility is part of what turned me on to muesli. So far my favorite flavor is Seven Sundays Bircher Apple Cinnamon. The brand is all gluten-free and this flavor includes oats, sorghum flakes, buckwheat groats, almonds, dates, currants, coconut chips, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, apples, flax seeds, cinnamon and cardamom. It’s that last spice that really brings a novelty to my breakfast bowl.
It’s not as if I’m going to stop eating granola (Can’t. Resist.), but muesli can really be similarly satisfying and the bag can last a whole week or more!