Toasted Muesli // Camping at Heart Lake, Lake Placid

bowl of muesli & Argyle Cheese Farmer Maple yogurt (amazing!)

If I were to look back on my life and find myself eating a bowl of muesli, it would most likely mean I was with my brother and sister at my dad’s house for the weekend. We would have found the box, the only cereal option, nestled with the Jaffa Cakes, the After Eights, and the Earl Grey tea in the kitchen cupboard, and it would likely be several months old, its powdery contents stale, any dried fruit petrified.

If we were in luck, there might be some milk in the fridge. If we were in more luck, that milk might be just a day or two past expiration. And if the stars were really aligning for us, we would avoid getting our fingers pinched in the mousetrap set in the silverware drawer while searching for a spoon. My English father is many things: a man of the kitchen he is not.

It comes as no surprise then that I absolutely adore this toasted muesli, which resembles the muesli of my youth in name only, and which resembles a traditional muesli mostly by ingredient makeup. Like granola, the oat mixture is toasted with a little oil — three tablespoons of olive oil — and a sweetener — a half cup of maple syrup. Like muesli, the mixture can be bulked up with dried fruit and puffed cereal or other grains and nuts. A healthy scoop of millet offers the nicest crunch, and the lightly toasted mixture, less sweet than granola, can be enjoyed with milk or yogurt alike.

It’s another one of those breakfast foods that I go to bed dreaming about, that I can’t keep from eating all day long, that I want to pack in Mason jars and give to anyone who stops by my door, that we ate day and night this past weekend in the woods, and that I made immediately upon returning home because I couldn’t bear the thought of breakfast without a scoop or two in my yogurt.

If you haven’t yet come around to adding a cup of millet to your baked goods, this recipe might be a nice introduction to the seed. Shortly after posting the millet muffin recipe, my friend Darcy reminded me of Talley’s muesli recipe, which had introduced her to millet, which she adored wildly, and which she still makes regularly. I have a feeling I will be making this muesli all fall, and I hope you will, too.

jar of muesli

This recipe can be adapted to what you have on hand. I like oats, unsweetened coconut, sliced almonds and millet:
ingredients

The millet soaks for 30 minutes in boiling water:
soaking the millet

After the millet is soaked and drained,
drained millet

it’s ready to be added to the mixture of oats and nuts
ready to be tossed

and tossed with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 cup of maple syrup.
maple syrup and olive oil

Into a 325ºF oven it goes:
just-mixed muesli

And after 30 to 40 minutes with a few stirs here and there, it is done:
muesli

toasted muesli

Once the toasted muesli has cooled, you can add whatever dried fruit and/or puffed cereal you have on hand, though it is totally delicious without any of these additions:
optionional add-ins

dried apple

adding the puffed millet & apple

with puffed millet & dried apple

muesli1

I couldn’t find unsweetened cranberries, so I added a handful of sweetened ones to a half batch as an experiment. I loved the flavor but was happy I had added only a handful because they are on the sweet side.
with cranberries

Toasted Muesli

Recipe from House to Haus and The Garden of Eden (via Whole Living October 2012)

Note: This recipe is meant to be adapted to your tastes and to what you have on hand. I love the simple combo of oats, coconut, almonds and millet, and I actually prefer the muesli without any dried fruit or puffed cereal. So, if you like dried fruit, add it; if you don’t, the toasted muesli is delicious on its own or with fresh fruit. Also, if you know you like puffed cereal, go ahead and buy it, but if you are not sure, taste the muesli on its own first — I could only find an enormous bag of puffed millet, which certainly won’t go to waste — I’m going to try it in these granola bars — but it’s not something I see myself using on a regular basis.

1/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup (102g) whole millet
2 cups (204g) oats (not instant)
3/4 cup (48g) unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I still haven’t made this with sunflower seeds)
3/4 cup mixed chopped nuts (I used 1 1/4 cups (128g) sliced almonds)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Optional add-ins:
2/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries (I couldn’t find unsweetened, so I just threw in a handful)
1/2 cup mixed assorted dried fruit chopped (I used 1 cup dried apples)
1/2 cup puffed millet (puffed quinoa would work, too)

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºf.

2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over millet, cover with a plate and let sit for 30 minutes. Note: I don’t do this step anymore. If you are feeling lazy — just skip this steeping step.

3. In a large bowl mix the drained millet, oats, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and the chopped nuts with the maple syrup, olive oil and salt. Stir to coat.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the muesli mixture out on it. Place it in the oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is lightly toasted, about 20-30 minutes. Note: I didn’t start stirring until after 20 minutes or so. And I probably cooked the mixture for a total of 40 or 45 minutes, checking every 10 minutes after the 20-minute mark.

5. Let the muesli cool and then add the dried fruit and puffed millet if using. Stir to mix. Store the muesli in an airtight glass container for up to 2 weeks.

Camping: Heart Lake, Lake Placid

Mt. Jo, Heart Lake, Lake Placid
Mt Jo, Lake Placid

Packing the car:
packing the car

Some food for the weekend: peasant bread, millet muffins, muesli, granola bars, no-bake energy bites (see below), a bar of chocolate, etc.
road food

A friend in VA introduced me to these widely popular no-bake energy bites:
no-bake energy bites

No-Bake Energy Bites:
Adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots

Note: This recipe is meant to be adapted to your preferences and likes. This is just what I did/had on hand.

1 cup oatmeal (I used quick oats)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used cashew butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened shredded)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (I used whole chia seeds…too lazy to grind them)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. I added some salt, too — maybe a half (whole?) teaspoon of sea salt. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated (or not) for up to 1 week.

no-bake energy bites

The tent:
tent

We had one cold morning,
cold morning

Wren, bundled

and so, we warmed up with some bloodies…are we bad parents?
bloodies

ate some muesli,
muesli

climbed Mt. Jo,
Mt Jo, Lake Placid

went canoeing,
canoeing

made some dinner,
dinner: skirt steak, peasant bread, ratatouille

ate smores,
smores

smores

finally smiled,
ella

and went to bed.
wren

49 Comments

  1. Another timely recipe. The first time my husband had muesli was on our honeymoon. He loved it! With our anniversary nearing, I was looking for a new muesli recipe to try and now I have one. Thanks for sharing!
    By the way, your kids are too cute! Glad you had a nice weekend away.

    Reply
    • So happy to hear this, Trish! Would love to know what you think. I think I like it best without dried fruit and puffed millet, but these ingredients do offer some nice textures and flavors. Have a wonderful anniversary! Thanks for writing in. xo

      Reply
  2. Looks like such fun! I recogonize those faces…..tears, scowl :)……I say Good for Mom& Dad, you deserve a bloody mary:) Happy to see the smiles on their little faces, they will lead to sweet memories when they grow up!

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  3. Yes! I love the Bloody Mary’s and I think it makes you awesome parents. It looks like you had a great trip and the family photo is fantastic. Also, Ella sure does have a cute pout that she has perfected! I’m intrigued by the energy bites… I’ll have to whip some up for our next mountain bike ride.

    Reply
    • My husband laughed out loud when he read your comment…he thinks my photo is more than a little misleading and thinks I should come clean about the tent nestled in the back seat along with the roof-top carrier filled with 80% of our gear. And you should have seen the car on the way home…not so impressive. THanks for your nice words. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  4. When I read that you were moving to upstate NY I wanted to call you right up and tell you all the wonderful places and foods you’ll encounter in the North Country> We have a home on Lake Placid and have hiked Mt Joe with our kids, so I was really amused to see this entry.I love your blog, and never fail to be pleased with the recipes.On the trip home, you’ll have to stop at Oscar’s Smokehouse in Warrensburg for some terrific bacon, sausages and cheeses. Some mornings grains just don’t make it! You should also explore Columbia County if you haven’t already.Beautiful farm country.Welcome to New York!!

    Reply
    • Fun! I wish I had known this before we came home! We will definitely stop there after our next trip. And we will be back. We loved it. Lake Placid and the surrounding area couldn’t have been more beautiful. Thank you for your kind words and suggestions. I have actually purchased some Oscar’s bacon and sausages from the Niskayuna Coop — it is truly a treat. But it would be more fun to stop by Oscar’s itself…must do so soon. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  5. Bloodies are a great way to start a busy day! Way to go for doing activities that are outdoors! It is much more effort to pull off an outing like yours than spending the day in doors!

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  6. Alexandra. Great post. I love camping but we haven’t been in years. When our daughter was young we camped a lot. She loved it also. Actually, when we would go to the mountains, she would have an awesome appetite and we could get her to eat more than she usually did.

    These recipes look fantastic and I am looking forward to trying them.

    Thanks so much for sharing them. Have a great day!

    Reply
  7. Bad parents?!? More like, the bravest parents EVER. Seriously, I’m in awe of these beautiful pictures and I CANNOT believe you camped in a tent with three little kids! Does that make me sound like a total suburban chick? Amazing!

    Reply
  8. Photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing! So green compared to the Australian bush! I’m tempted not to show this post to my hubbie as we’re going camping soon and he might expect that level of organisation and food!! :)
    Love your blog!
    Gillian xx

    Reply
    • Haha, I love it…don’t be fooled by the lightly packed back of the car. This was an early shot in the packing game: tent was nestled under Graham and Ella’s feet; a roof-top pack carried sleeping bags, extra blankets, etc. Enjoy your camping! Hope I get to Australia one day :)

      Reply
  9. I absolutely need to make this muesli – I started work again and am finding I need a little more than my usual yogurt/banana combo in the morning to get me through to lunchtime. Is it the work or the almost-toddler waking up at the crack of dawn causing this hunger is still to be determined…Anyway, I am excited to try it and also the baked oats you wrote about a while back. How long do they keep in the fridge – husband not a huge fan of grains so I will have to get through them myself.
    And, like everyone, I love the pictures and I am so impressed you took the baby camping!! And don’t you love your ergobaby carrier?

    Reply
    • Ohhh, good for you! I am sure that must have been a hard decision, and it probably feels great to go back to work in some ways but must be hard in others? And I think this muesli is just what you need to stave off that hunger till lunchtime, and it will complement your yogurt-banana combo perfectly. The baked oats are still a fave around here, especially on the weekends. I think they keep best for just a day or two — after that, while they certainly aren’t spoiled — the texture changes a little bit. And yes! Love my ergobaby carrier. Wren slept the entire way up Mt. Jo — about 1.5 hours going at our snail’s pace :) Camping was a ball!

      Reply
      • Honestly, if you are happy with your childcare, working is easy!! In other news, I made the muesli over the weekend….awesome!! Adding sunflower seeds adds some good crunch by the way. I also made the rhubarb buckle but with blueberries (wish I didn’t add sugar to the fruit), and the brownies you made for your birthday (French kids and parents loved them !!) It was a big cooking weekend over here, what can I tell you!!

        Reply
        • Oh, Mama Poule, so happy to hear all of this. I need to make the muesli with sunflower seeds. I’m also trying to figure out how to turn this muesli into some sort of granola bar. Or not…I should just let it be. I made another batch tonight — it is so easy to whip up. Your words about working are encouraging. I would love to get back into doing something even just part time — maybe when the baby get a little older? So happy you liked the brownies. They are my fave. And I have been dying to make a blueberry buckle — the sugar is always tricky…so hard to know until it’s baked. Sounds like a great weekend!

          Reply
  10. muesli and bloody mary’s – I love it! Healthy and rejuvenating all at the same time. So glad to hear that you like the muesli. Perhaps I’ll follow your lead and use dried apples and maybe sneak some cinnamon in there for a fall flavor.

    3 little kiddies in the woods for a weekend, I’m very impressed. We took our first trip with Alice (to Zermatt) and although she was a great traveler I came back exhausted. Of course it was all worth it to get away for a bit.

    Your kiddies are absolutely adorable! Love Ella’s pout. Darcy’s right, she really has perfected it. I bet you have a great series of Ella-pout photos, beginning with the one that used to be on your “about me” page.

    Reply
  11. I have made many different types of granola/muesli in my time, but hot damn this is by far THE BEST. I love how light and crispy it is while still adding some heft to my yogurt, and the olive oil/maple syrup lends a perfect salty-sweet combo. I also added in some cinnamon as it’s officially fall around these parts and I thought it would warm it up a bit (I was right!). This is definitely going in to regular rotation!

    Reply
  12. Love these camping pictures! I feel inspired to get more creative with our camping food after seeing all those delicious treats. That looks like an amazing adventure.

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  13. Oh wow, I’m amazed at your ability to whip up such great food for a camping trip! I just finished a long road trip around the US to visit all kinds of relatives, and the best we could muster was turkey and cheese sandwiches. I’m definitely inspired to pack tastier recipes like this museli or whatever that gorgeous dinner is for our next trip!

    Reply
  14. Such a lovely post. I went to school in Potsdam, and I miss the New York North Country so much in autumn. If you’re ever looking for another camping location, Meacham Lake is gorgeous as well!

    Reply
    • Awesome to hear this. I am falling in love with upstate New York. Seriously. It is SO beautiful. We just went camping at Lake Sacandaga. Will definitely look into Meacham Lake. Love these suggestions. Thanks!

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  15. I usually eat millet in traditional way (first roasting in the frying pan, then boiling and eating with apple sauce), so I was a bit worried to use it like you wrote. But I made it and it is so fantastic! I added sunflower seeds (like it very much), almonds and didn’t use any puffed cereals or dried fruit. This would be one of my favourite muesli recipe for sure!
    And I love this photo of your youngest child in tent :) So cute :)

    Reply
    • Wonderful to hear this! I am intrigued by your millet cooking method — I have only used millet in the non-traditional way (added to muffins; and in this muesli) — but I have been dying to cook with it more. I found a Chinese porridge recipe online that looks yummy. Thanks for writing in!

      Reply
  16. This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it!!! Your kidlets are adorable.. your oldest with the “puss on” lol reminds me of my daughter who is now 44 yrs old..she hated camping with a passion…saw that face regularly as we were avid tent campers..I was wondering if u can tell me what kind of tent is in your pics..we need to downsize from a huge Eureka 2 room Riverside..it reminds me of a Eureka I saw one time camping..thank you in advance for any info you can provide…Sandra

    Reply
    • Thank you, Sandra! This muesli is a staple in our house yearround. And yes, Ella, can give quite the stink eye! She’s gotten much better though…now Wren (the baby) has assumed that role :) I know the tent is Coleman brand, but I don’t know the exact model. I will check with my husband when he gets home on Friday. Thanks for writing in!

      Reply

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