If you were to choose your career all over again, what would you be? I love what I do, but I could have been very happy as a scientist.
Given my love of experimenting in the kitchen, a career in the lab would have suited me well. Though it’s not exactly research for a new vaccine or mapping out the human genome, when I receive a new product from a trusted company with the request to create a recipe for it, my creative and scientific wheels start spinning.
Such was the case with Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten-Free Muesli. Recipes for overnight oats have been quite popular in recent years, and they all stem from the original Bircher muesli.
Readers who have followed my blog for a little while know that I love a little history lesson, so for those who also like to know the origin of things….. Muesli was introduced around 1900 by a Swiss physician by the name of Maximilian Bircher-Benner. It was fed to 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.
For this dish, raw, rolled oats were soaked overnight with fresh or dried fruits, seeds, and nuts in milk and a little lemon juice. The softened oat mixture was eaten cold and never cooked. I have several recipes on this blog that mimic what Bircher-Benner created so many years ago. Bob’s Red Mill has simply provided a welcome shortcut by mixing the seeds and dried fruit with the oats for streamlined prep.
When I first started experimenting with this product, I tested it in place of rolled oats in a variety of recipes. The swap typically worked quite well and provided an extra layer of flavor and texture. I LOVE it in this recipe for a sort of chewy granola. (Make it with coconut oil instead of butter and maple syrup instead of honey for true deliciousness!) Bonus recipe: For a super speedy, prep ahead breakfast, I often mix 1/3 cup of the muesli with 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 2/3 to 3/4 cup of coconut-almond milk, 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. Give it a stir and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir in 1 tablespoon each of toasted coconut flakes, slivered almonds, and chopped dates…and a small chopped banana if so inclined. It’s crunchy, chewy, and super satisfying.
When I eventually swapped the muesli for the rolled oats in a variety of my baked oatmeal recipes, I had a challenge. The various recipes tasted great, but I found the texture to be a little crumbly. This was fine for those who like to add milk to their baked oatmeal, but for those who like to eat a square like a muffin…well…I just wasn’t satisfied.
I ultimately baked about 10 different versions of muesli baked oatmeal until I hit upon the ratio of ingredients that was everything a good baked oatmeal should be–hearty with a little chew to the oats, wholesome yet lightly sweet with just the right amount of moisture. Eggs are critical, but it shouldn’t be eggy. Having developed a loyal following for my baked oatmeal recipes, I have to keep my standards high, and the following version passed muster with my toughest critics. : )
Yield: 8-9 servings
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) pure maple syrup (may substitute honey (168 g) or brown sugar (96 grams))
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) unsweetened applesauce (may substitute mashed, very ripe banana or a grated apple)
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) coconut oil or butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk (regular, almond, etc.--choose your favorite)
- 3 cups (348 grams) Bob's Red Mill's gluten-free muesli
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the maple syrup and applesauce, followed by the baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Finally, stir in the oil or butter, milk, and muesli.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to overnight. (It's best not to transfer to a baking dish now as you will need to stir the mixture after it has soaked.)
- When ready to bake, grease a 9-inch square baking dish or a baking pan with similar dimensions. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and stir the mixture thoroughly. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading out the mixture and dispersing the dried fruit as necessary.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes (give or take a few depending on oven and proportions of selected baking dish) or until just set in the middle.
- Cut into squares and serve as is or with milk, yogurt, fruit, and/or other favorite oatmeal toppings.
- I usually bake the oatmeal at night, cool, and cover, so that it's ready to go first thing in the morning. After the first day, I refrigerate to prolong freshness. The baked oatmeal will keep for approximately one week in the fridge. Leftovers may be gently warmed or served cold.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Muesli offers a speedy shortcut for your favorite overnight oats recipes and is the perfect base for this wholesome, make-ahead breakfast.