I’ve been on a muesli kick for the last two weeks or so.
And just in time, because pumpkin seeds are on the list of healthy, affordable foods - and pumpkin seeds go great in muesli!
If you aren’t in the know, muesli is a cereal combo (usually) made with oats, nuts, seeds and dried or fresh fruit. Bananas have been my fresh fruit of choice lately, but frozen, thawed strawberries have been known to make an appearance in my bowl too.
You can soak muesli over night a la overnight oats, or eat shortly after you’ve added your milk or water for a chewier version. (I’ve been doing the latter during my most recent muesli spree, just to mix things up.)
I priced out some of the packaged muesli sold in stores, they ranged from $.23 oz to $.46/oz. My whole bowl of muesli (oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds) weighed 3 oz, and some quick math told me the ingredients in the entire bowl cost me about $0.70, which works out to be $0.23/oz (it would have been $0.14/oz if I’d have skipped the chia seeds, those suckers aren’t exactly cheap, but I do love them. For what it’s worth, Bob’s Red Mill seems to offer the best price around here, but we’re supposed to be talking about pumpkin seeds here, not chia seeds.)
I paid $4.99/lb for some raw, hulled pumpkin seeds. 1 Tbsp = 1/2 an ounce, so that’s less than $0.16 for a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds in your morning muesli.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of vitamins and minerals including manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron. That’s lovely, but to be honest I’m not usually thinking “ohhhh, manganese!” or “ahhh, copper” when I add pumpkin seeds to something. Just a run of the mill thoughts like “these are good for me” and “healthy fats!” and load ‘em in. 1 Tbsp of raw, hulled pumpkin seeds contains 50 calories, 4 g of fat, 2 g of protein. Men’s Health magazine considers pumpkin seeds one of the 10 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating - so get on it. They are a great crunchy addition to salads, in trail mix or a small handful as a snack.
More on Muesli
In addition to pumpkin seeds, you can consider adding ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, craisins, chopped dates or whatever fresh fruit you’ve got on hand. Just remember (as I’m reminding myself as well here) that seeds and nuts are pretty calorie dense, so consider the overall volume when heaping multiple ingredients into your bowl, because your bowl will runneth over with calories if you just keeping adding tablespoon after tablespoon of these fun nuts and seeds. When I use banana or chop up some dates it’s sweet enough for me, but you could also add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to sweeten it as needed too.
I’ve been putting my muesli mix together right before eating and making it a little different each time – but you can save time by putting a bunch together at once and storing in a large container to only scoop once when it’s time to eat, without having to haul a bunch of jars and packages out of the fridge each time.
From there, I’ve been adding a scoop of Greek yogurt and a dash of cinnamon,
and the a pour of (whole) milk and mixing it all together, giving a few minutes to soak before diving in.
Green tea on the side, this particular bowl was my breakfast after a nice and easy 3.5 mile run over the weekend (when we had a short stint of spring like weather!)
You could also use hot water or milk for a warm breakfast, and any non-dairy milk that you like will of course work here too.
So there you have it. Muesli. And pumpkin seeds! Another healthy food that doesn’t cost a small fortune. I’m sold.