I often get asked what I eat for breakfast. This is one of my common choices.Muesli is so tasty and full of nutrition it keeps me feeling full for a long time. With the availability of fresh fruit I tend to top my muesli with whatever fruit is in season along with a little almond milk. At the end of the recipe I’ve listed several variations to change up the flavors in every bowl, the possibilities are seemingly endless!

THE TWIST

If you want to prevent heart disease or diabetes, eating muesli made with rolled oats is the way to go. Oatmeal contains a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan which has proven to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. Studies show that consuming 3 grams of soluble oat fiber daily typically lowers total cholesterol in persons with high cholesterol by up to 23%. This is significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol, if it is high, translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. Some time ago I lowered my own cholesterol levels by 13% just by eating rolled oats daily for a year. Along with soluble fiber, antioxidant compounds unique to oats help prevent free radicals from doing their damage that leads to cardiovascular disease. Much research has been done which indicates rolled oats significantly enhance immune system response to bacterial infection, help stabilize blood sugar, help decrease the symptoms of asthma, are associated with DNA repair which reduces the risk for cancer especially breast and colon cancer. Consuming rolled oats and all whole grains has been linked to protection against hardening of the arteries, stroke, insulin resistance and diabetes, obesity and premature death. And keep in mind that oats are a good source of protein with a cup providing 21% of the daily value. They also provide an array of minerals including calcium, iron, zinc and especially manganese. Manganese helps ensure healthy bones, assists in metabolic processes, proper function of the thyroid, alleviates PMS syndrome and mood swings, prevent headaches, alleviate depression and irritability and is very important for normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Much has been said lately about the health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa. While dark chocolate might be healthy, whole cacao beans and nibs are best. Many of the health benefits are lost when raw cacao is made into cocoa and chocolate, even dark chocolate. Raw cacao has more antioxidants than any other food tested to date, but these benefits can be lost when processed. Cacao nibs provide protection from environmental toxins of all kinds while promoting a positive mood  and feelings of calmness and well-being. Raw cacao powder and nibs will stimulate the secretion of endorphins which act as anti-depressants and increase a sensation similar to a runner’s high. Cacao nibs also help build strong nails and hair, promote beautiful skin, detoxify the liver and support healthy pancreas functioning among many other benefits. Although muesli can be made without the cacao nibs, leaving them out also leaves out their incredible health benefits.

Starting the day with a bowl of muesli not only boosts energy levels but also goes to work for one’s overall health benefit. When eaten with fresh fruit there is a synergistic effect creating a team of nutrients from all the ingredients to ward off possible diseases and fight weaknesses.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/breakfast-cereals/1597/2
http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html

MUESLI

9 cups old-fashioned, regular rolled oats (or mixed rolled grain)
1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut (or coconut chips or slices)
1 ½ cups chopped dates (or raisins)
1 ½ cups other dried fruit such as cherries, blueberries, apricots etc…
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup cacao nibs*
½ cups ground flaxseed

Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to a large airtight container.  To serve, pour a little muesli into a cereal bowl and add almond milk or other non-dairy milk, stir.

*For variations add  any fresh fruit such as raspberries (shown), other berries or bananas as desired. Try adding ground spices to the muesli just before serving such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, allspice or ginger, or add a tiny bit of vanilla extract or other flavorings, or a bit of raw cacao powder for an increased chocolate taste tossing with the dry muesli just before adding the non-dairy milk. When making the muesli, swap the almonds in the recipe for other nuts such as pecans, pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts etc.. or use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds or unhulled sesame seeds. Swap the ground flaxseed for chia seeds, which do not need to be ground to get the nutritional benefits from them. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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APPETIZERS AND SNACKS
Authentic Guacamole
Basil Dip
Black Bean Hummus
Cranberry and Coconut Trail Mix
Hummus
Layered Taco Dip
Mango Salsa
Protein Bars (Three Ways)
Pseudo Queso Dip
Pumpkin Pie Dip
Steamed Artichokes with Basil Dipping Sauce
Twisted Nachos

BEVERAGES

Citrus Cooler
Hot Chocolate
Naturally Flavored Water
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie
Tropical Green Smoothie

BREAKFAST
Acai Breakfast Parfaits
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Carrot Cake Muffins
Chia Cereal with Hemp Milk
Green Pancakes
Herbivore Breakfast “Sausages”
Macadamia Nut Waffles with Coconut Cream Sauce and Mangos
Muesli
Tofu Scramble
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Zucchini Muffins

DESSERTS
Chia Lime Parfaits with Mango
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Flourless Fudgy Brownies with Frosting
Fudge Bites
Peach Ice-Cream (And Other Fruit Variations)
Peppermint and Triple Chocolate “Cheesecake” bites
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Squares
Rhubarb Pie
Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies
Zucchini Fudge Brownie Bites

MAIN DISHES
Avocados Stuffed with Quinoa and Black Beans
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Poblanos and Onions
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Coconut Curry with Vegetables
Eggplant with Marinara Sauce
Falafels with Cucumber Sauce
Farro and Garbanzo Bean Cakes with Eggplant and Mushroom Sauce
Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Lasagna
Linguine Primavera
Pan-Seared Eggplant with Quinoa and Spinach Chimichurri
Peaches with Cucumbers over Quinoa
Pistachio Stuffed Baby Portobellos
Pizza for Herbivores
Poblanos Rellenos with Enchilada Sauce
Quinoa Polenta with Truffle and Mushroom Gravy
Seitan in a Crockpot
Shish Kabobs with Pineapple Sauce
Spinach and Mushroom Crepes
Stuffed Red Bells with Pesto Sauce
Tempeh Fillets with Fennel and “Sausage” Dressing and Pomegranate Glaze
Thai Coconut Red Curry
Tofu Scramble
Zucchini Boats With Seasoned Rice

SALADS AND SALAD DRESSINGS
Almond Cinnamon Vinaigrette
Chocolate-Orange Vinaigrette
Lemon Dream Vinaigrette
Kale Salad
Raspberry Rose Vinaigrette
Roasted Beet Salad
Summer Tomato Salad With Cashew Cheese
Taco Salad With Chipotle Orange dressing
Tangerine and Cranberry Wild Rice Salad
Vanilla Vinaigrette

SANDWICHES AND WRAPS
Antipasto Hoagie Sandwiches
Black Bean and Barley Wraps
Cumin-Crusted Tofu Tacos with Avocado Salsa and Chipotle Cream
Pizza Pockets
Portobello Mushroom Burritos
Reuben Sandwiches
Rocky Mountain Burgers
Shredded Barbecue Sandwiches
Toasted Pecan and Pear Sandwiches
Vegetable Fajitas

SAUCES, SPREADS AND CONDIMENTS
Cashew Cheese Spread
Cranberry Sauce (Sugar-Free)
Romesco Sauce
Pico de Gallo
Tempeh Seasoning

SIDE DISHES
Butternut Garden Medley
Brussels Sprouts with Saffron Aioli
Confetti Rice
Lemon Scented Steamed Kale
Pecan and Apricot Dressing
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Saffron Rice
Spaghetti Squash with Herbs
Spicy Green Beans with Pecans

SOUPS, STEWS ETC…
Artichoke Bisque
Beet Soup
Carrot Ginger Soup
Chili
Creamy Zucchini Soup
Hearty Mushroom Stew
Jalapeño Bisque
Sopa Casa
Spinach Leaf Soup
Sweet Potato Bisque
Tomato Basil Soup