Do you really know your oats?

It’s no secret that a bowl of oats is one of the healthiest breakfasts around, and two significant and distinct categories have sprung up around this staple ingredient, namely Muesli and Granola. On a 12-month basis, Muesli and Granola account for 10.5% of value in the Cold Ready-to-eat cereal market (RTE).

Many brand owners and shoppers wrongly position Granola as a variant of Muesli.  But do you know the difference and why it’s important?

Simply put, they’re both typically made with oats, nuts, fruits, and seeds, but while granola is mixed with a sweetener, such as honey, and oil, before being roasted or baked, muesli remains unbaked and is less likely to contain these additives. Granola, therefore, tends to be crunchier and sweeter, whereas muesli is more oats-like in its consistency. While people have been eating gruel and porridge for breakfast since at least the Ancient Greeks, the idea of eating cold cereal is relatively new. Both muesli and granola were popularised by physicians promoting alternative health in the 1800s.

An early champion of muesli in Europe was the Swiss doctor and nutritionist Maximillian Bircher-Benner, who promoted the virtues of muesli throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s as part of his belief in the health benefits of a raw-food diet. If you’re a fan of Bircher porridge, which are oats soaked overnight in either apple juice, cream, or milk, you’ve got Maximillian to thank.

“Alpen Swiss Muesli” has been made with exacting precision to the same recipe for the last 50 years and offers a healthy, nutritious start to the day, packed with energy.  More recently, our range of Muesli has expanded to include “No Added Sugar” for those wanting an even healthier alternative, and “Dark Chocolate”, which, while being slightly more decadent, also contains powerful antioxidants found in quality dark chocolate.

“Alpen Swiss Muesli” is delicious simply served with cold milk or plain yoghurt and, if you wish, a little honey.  You can add a variety of fruits and berries or even soak it overnight for that true creamy, rich Bircher experience.

While both options are healthy, Granola is most often filled with added sugars, dried fruits, and lots of oil, which helps it bind together while it’s baked or roasted. Since Muesli is uncooked, it invariably has less added sugars and oils, which can make it a healthier option over Granola.  Also confusing is that many Granolas wrongly refer to themselves as Muesli – if it’s baked, crunchy & clumped, it’s not muesli!

Another common mistake is that people enjoy larger helpings than they should of this delicious cereal – as Muesli is packed with fibre and energy a 40g serving is perfect for the average adult.

At Alpen, our advice is simple:

  • Choose a “Swiss” style, or low-added sugar and low-fat Muesli. Our “Alpen Swiss Muesli – No Added Sugar” variant has only 4.9g of sugar per 40g.
  • Limit the baked granola style mueslis that are clumped in clusters and opt for the “rawer” healthier options (where you can see the oats or bran in their natural form).
  • Dietary fibre should be 6g per 100g or more –  Alpen Swiss Muesli is over 8g per 100g.
  • Stick to the recommended portion size – 40g is approx. 3 tablespoons.

We’re sure Alpen Muesli, whichever variant is your favourite, helps you reach your peak, every day!

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