New Year, New Muesli

January  8, 2015

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a. fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A Middle Eastern-inspired muesli that resolved to be the snazziest grain dish at the breakfast table.

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Yes, muesli at the beginning of January. So, maybe it’s pandering a little. When January rolls around, it seems impossible to write about food separated from resolutions or the rejection of resolutions. So, ooh, I know, it’s January and we want to eat healthfully -- here’s some muesli!

Whatever time of year, muesli is such a friendly food. As it has been pointed out, it is essentially mush. And I hope we all now know how we should feel about mush: good. We should feel good. Muesli is simple, easy, unpretentious. Muesli is the original overnight oats. You just mix some oats and fruits with liquid and let it soak overnight. Add nuts and other flavorings at will. 

But, with the new year, the time felt right for a new muesli. As unassuming as muesli normally is in this household, I thought maybe it deserved a little spiffing up. And, one-trick pony that I am, I spiffed it up how I do most things: by adding lemon zest. There is no food that cannot be given pizzazz via a bit of lemon zest. It’s like the ultimate piece of flair. Anyway, the lemon zest gives the muesli a little unexpected lift and fragrance, and dates, pistachios, and a little drizzle of pomegranate molasses take the muesli in a slightly Middle Eastern-ish direction. Here’s to more than your mues-ual cereal in the new year!

Muesli with Lemon and Dates

Serves 1

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 or so dates, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped, toasted pistachios
1 pinch or so flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or honey -- adjust the amount you use to taste, depending on how sweet you like your oats

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


Emily L. January 20, 2015
Just made (and ate) this. So good, so simple. One (instead of three) fat Medjool date was the perfect amount of sweetness for me.
Nicholas D. January 15, 2015
This is delightful. Who needs teeth, anyway?
meganvt01 January 8, 2015
"the ultimate piece of flair" love it! and this looks perfect for the new year :)
molly Y. January 8, 2015
middle eastern inspired??! LOVE.