22 October 2011

Sonntags Müsli

Ah, Sonntagsmüsli, a breakfast that by its name alone invokes thoughts of a dreamy, leisurely weekend breakfast.  Müsli (often spelled "muesli" in America), a healthy, energy-packed breakfast food developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner around 1900, is popular in many central European countries today.  I loved eating Birchermüsli while living in Germany, especially the Schokomüsli, which contains the addition of chunks of real chocolate.  Kind of decadent for a "healthy breakfast," but I guess it was okay since I usually only had this kind at dessert time.

But I digress.  Sonntag, meaning "Sunday" in Germany, was always a real day of rest for me and my family in Bavaria.  It was the one day of the week in which the bakery was closed, allowing the grateful bakers a chance to actually sleep until sunrise instead of waking up five hours before.  Mornings, we'd walk across the village, summoned by the church bells, and attend worship services together, singing hymns set to ancient melodies that have been sung through the centuries.  Returning home from church, we'd sit down to a traditional meal with a roast of some sort like Sauerbraten with Kartoffelklösse (potato dumplings).  Afternoons would be devoted to napping (for the bakers) or long walks through the surrounding meadows and forests (for me).

So when I talk about a Sonntagsmüsli, this is a müsli that is special: nutritious yet belonging to a day of profound rest and a broader sense of well-being.  Not your ordinary müsli, this one shows a little extra love, with a variety of fruits, nuts, and grains all mixed together in creamy yogurt.

While most müslis are oat-based, this one uses buckwheat (which is not related to wheat at all) as the primary grain.  If you are interested in the nutrition data, 1 ounce (28g) of buckwheat groats has absolutely no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, and with 20g carbohydrates (of which 3g are fiber and 11g are sugars) and 1g protein, comes to a total of 80 calories.  (It also provides 2% of your daily Vitamins A, C, Calcium, and 4% of iron.)  Set the groats to soak in water the night before, and then whip together the rest of the ingredients the next morning.  I've taken a few other liberties with the traditional Bircher recipe, adding in orange zest since we have oranges on hand in the garden right now, and adding pears leftover from our garden's pear harvest.  And using 0% Fage Greek yogurt, this breakfast is low in fat and high in protein while still decadently creamy.  Sonntagsmüsli certainly was a favorite of mine at family holiday brunches in Germany, and I'm glad to enjoy the memories while savoring this müsli here now.  Happy weekend everyone!

Sonntags Müsli 
Makes 4 servings

6 Tbs. (70g) buckwheat
¼ cup quick oats
2 Tbs. finely chopped toasted hazelnuts (husks removed)
2 Tbs. dried shredded coconut
½ cup milk
1 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
1 small apple, peeled and coarsely grated
1 small pear, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 small banana, mashed
1/8 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Agave nectar or honey, to taste

The night before, place the buckwheat groats in a medium bowl and cover with about 3 times as much water.  Cover loosely to prevent dust from entering and soak the buckwheat at room temperature overnight.

The next morning, strain the buckwheat and thoroughly rinse with fresh water.  Drain well, then place buckwheat in a large mixing bowl and add the oats, hazelnuts, coconut, milk, yogurt, fruit, and orange zest.  Mix well and then check flavor, sweetening as desired with a bit of agave nectar or honey.

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here: http://www.fageusa.com/community/fage-greek-getaway


the Junkie book said...

wow you set a thoroughly Victorian atmosphere by your mention of Sunday memories in Germany!!

wonderful muesli and glad you enjoyed it!

Jaime said...

I just found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen the other day and was completely unprepared for how much energy I would have the rest of the day. This is my new favorite breakfast. I've added a couple of additions as well...a little bit of blueberries and a sprinkle of bee pollen. Delicious!

erica said...

Jaime, that is awesome! And I love the idea of adding berries and bee pollen!

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