Cereal Smackdown - Muesli vs Granola
By: admin On: 26 August 2021
How do you decide if your a granola lover or a stickler for muesli products? There are many great cereal products now that replace those; bland & overrated, and mostly sugared up, old fashioned commercial boxes of cereals. Lets take a closer look as what a good cereal , granola or muesli, should be.
Are you a diehard devotee of granola or do you prefer your healthy breakfast with a little less crunch? Do you think muesli got a raw deal whilst granola evolved into muesli plus?
It's a cereal smackdown but who will win the battle of muesli vs granola?
The difference between granola and muesli
If you stood the main ingredients of muesli and granola side by side they would be fairly similar. A healthy breakfast of wholegrains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, the major difference between granola and muesli is that muesli is raw whilst granola is baked. To facilitate this baking, and turn raw wholesome muesli into crunchy granola, oil and sugar are added. But there is more to granola than just oil and sugar, and in fact it never evolved from muesli at all.
Which came first - muesli or granola?
Most of us are by now familiar with the story of Bircher muesli and how it came about. But did you know that Bircher muesli was actually the first muesli invented? Never intended as a breakfast food, Swiss muesli was the poster child of healthy living. Other parts of Europe soon caught on, enticed by the clean image of fresh mountain air and pastures green. By 1960, commercial muesli was widely available.
Granola began life in the United States yet it was not the lovechild of muesli and flapjack at all. Muesli and granola both came into being around the end of the nineteenth century but the original granola was made from wheat, not oats. It was not until the 1960s that fruit and nuts were added by health conscious hippies, and commercial granola was not available until the 1970s. As it turns out, the two cereals may share many similarities but are in fact completely different things.
Muesli vs granola
So, other than grains, nuts, seeds and fruit, what's in the bag? Many commercial brands of muesli may have sugar and milk powder added. If your muesli makes the milk taste rich and sweet, chances are it has plenty of both. Gourmet muesli has far less, if any, of these additions. Granola will have some form of fat, and some form of sweetener, added. What these actually are will vary. Commercial varieties of granola are unlikely to be made with butter as it would turn rancid quickly, but they can contain high amounts of unhealthy hydrogenated or trans fats. Sugar content will vary from refined white sugars and corn syrup to the more acceptable face of honey or maple syrup. Even then, quantity counts.
Muesli is served cold, with milk or juice added. It can be soaked, as in Bircher muesli or overnight oats, or even cooked and served hot like porridge. Muesli is pretty versatile but you probably wouldn't want to snack on a dry handful straight from the box. Granola, on the other hand, was seemingly made for to be eaten naked and unadorned as a snack. Usually served cold, with or without milk, it is not unheard of to serve granola with hot milk. Granola is also an important feature of a granola bowl, smoothie bowl, or acai bowl.
Yet muesli got stuck with the health-food-as-penance reputation whilst granola got to be the good time girl. The acceptable face of oat eating. Both may have began life as health foods, but by the time the food industry got its wicked way neither muesli or granola could claim to be health foods.
Thankfully things have changed and most gourmet granola and muesli are full of the healthy grains, fruits, nuts and seeds that make cereal and milk the ideal healthy breakfast. But is muesli better than granola? Muesli may be less moreish, largely because it has no fat or sugar, but gourmet granola is not all about butter and syrup. Most of our healthy granola has no added sugar and is made with healthy fats.
Toasted muesli vs untoasted muesli
What even is toasted muesli? Is there a difference between granola and toasted muesli? Well, toasted muesli sits somewhere between granola and muesli. It can be made with no sugar or oil, but a little of each helps it along. Toasted muesli won't clump together into crunchy clusters like granola can, but the toasting adds an extra dimension of texture and flavour. Gourmet granola sometimes has more in common with toasted muesli than it does with granola. Which is no bad thing.
Can you make granola from muesli?
Well, yes you can. But why would you want to when there are so many delicious healthy alternatives available? Here's some of our favourite healthy granola, all baked by hand here in Australia.
This one is grain-free as well as gluten-free. A blend of fruit, nuts and seeds for the perfect Paleo granola.
A classic double baked muesli. Made with Australian pesticide-free almonds, cranberries, pecans and cinnamon alongside organic rolled oats.
The gluten-free version of our award winning granola. A gourmet granola with quinoa and puffed buckwheat instead of oats. Because contrary to popular belief, oats are not gluten-free.
An award winning granola made with agave and maple syrup.
A healthy breakfast idea made with ancient grain spelt as well as organic rolled oats. Uniquely favoured with cinnamon and a touch of cardamom.
Here is a great Bircher Muesli: Fig & Apricot Bircher.
Explore our range of healthy cereals here, or head over to our online store where our healthy breakfast cereals are available to buy in bulk as with many groceries at Opera Foods.
So who wins the cereal smackdown? We think both muesli and granola are absolute winners. Aaah.