AskDefine | Define muesli

Dictionary Definition

muesli n : mixture of untoasted dry cereals and fruits

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A breakfast dish based on uncooked rolled oats and fruit.


breakfast dish

Extensive Definition

Muesli ['mju:zli] is a popular breakfast cereal based on uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts. It was developed around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It is available as a packaged dry form or it can be made fresh.
In Switzerland, it is also eaten as a light evening dish; there Birchermüesli complet is muesli with butterbrot and milk coffee.
Originally known in Schwyzerdütsch as Birchermüesli ([ˈbɪrxərˌmyə̯sli] or [ˈbɪrχərˌmyə̯sli] ) or simply Müesli ([ˈmyə̯sli]), and Müsli ([ˈmyəz̥li]) in standard German and standard Austro-Bavarian, the word is an Alemannic diminutive of Mues (st. Germ. Mus ), etymologically meaning porridge, but lacking an exact English equivalent. The term may be related to the English word mousse.


Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar "strange dish" that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Bircher-Benner himself referred to the dish simply as "d'Spys" (Swiss German for "the dish", in German "die Speise"). Muesli in its modern form became popular in western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in healthy vegetarian diets.

Packaged muesli

Packaged muesli is a loose mixture of mainly rolled oats together with various pieces of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It commonly contains other rolled cereal grains such as wheat or rye flakes as well. There are many varieties, some of which also contain honey, spices, or chocolate. This dry packaged muesli can be stored conveniently for many months. It may be served quickly after mixing it with milk, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, or fruit juice and (if desired) pieces of fresh fruit. Alternatively, the mix may be soaked overnight in milk and then served with fresh fruit or compote to taste.

Fresh muesli

Muesli can also be freshly prepared using either dry rolled oats or oats that have been soaked in water or fruit juice. Other ingredients commonly included are additional grated or chopped fresh fruit (e.g., bananas, apples, berries, grapes, mango), dried fruit, milk products (e.g., yogurt, cream, condensed milk, fromage frais, quark, cottage cheese), lemon juice, ground nuts, seeds, spices (especially cinnamon), honey, and muesli mix.

Original Bircher-Benner muesli recipe

A slightly modernized version of the original Bircher-Benner recipe is still a prototype for most fresh muesli today. For one serving, it consists approximately of:
The original recipe actually used sweetened condensed milk instead of cream, a compromise due to hygiene concerns regarding fresh milk products in 1900 (bovine tuberculosis, etc.), before pasteurization and refrigeration became commonly available. The original recipe also advised to soak the oats in water overnight; this long soaking time is unnecessary with modern rolled oats, which the manufacturers already soften through a steam treatment.

Health benefits

All the main ingredients of muesli are considered important elements of a healthy diet:
The low glycemic index of muesli without added sugar or honey helps with diabetes control.

See also


muesli in Belarusian: Мюслі
muesli in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Мюсьлі
muesli in Bulgarian: Мюсли
muesli in Czech: Müsli
muesli in Danish: Müsli
muesli in German: Müsli
muesli in Spanish: Muesli
muesli in French: Muesli
muesli in Hebrew: מיזלי
muesli in Lithuanian: Muslis
muesli in Dutch: Muesli
muesli in Russian: Мюсли
muesli in Finnish: Mysli
muesli in Swedish: Müsli
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1