muesli (cold oats)

Oh, the controversy!

The recent roll out of McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal has sparked quite a debate all over the internet. Is it healthy? Is it the devil? Does it really have as many calories as a cheeseburger? I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter because I can just make my own oats in about five minutes.

I did realize, though, that I needed to share one of my favorite ways to eat oats: muesli. It’s easy, delicious, customizable and doesn’t even need to be cooked. Muesli is basically any mixture of dry oats with fruit and nuts. It’s different from granola in that it’s not baked so it doesn’t have that hard, crunchy texture. I used a basic mix of old-fashioned oats, raisins, walnuts and brown sugar. Other delicious options include: flax seeds, oat bran or germ, cranberries, almonds, coconut or dates.

Instead of being cooked, the muesli mix is soaked in either cold milk or cold yogurt until the oats are softened. If you’re using milk, it takes as little as five minutes, yogurt should soak over night due to it’s lower moisture content. I usually just let the muesli soak while I make my coffee then it’s ready to go! The result is a flakey, chewy oat with buttery bits of nuts and little, sweet dried fruit gems. The texture is delightfully unique and it’s a great alternative to hot oats during the warm summer months.

The muesli mix also doubles as homemade instant oatmeal packets. Just scoop a half cup of the dry mix into the bowl, add one cup water and microwave on high for 90 seconds. Your instant oatmeal is ready to eat.

Muesli (Cold Oats)

museli in measuring cup next to empty bowl with spoon

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5 from 7 votes

Muesli (cold oats)

Muesli is a cold oat alternative to your morning oatmeal. Completely customizable and super fast to make.
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 8


  • 3 cups dry old-fashioned oats ($0.51)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts ($0.84)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($0.28)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.08)


  • In a bowl, combine the oats, raisins, walnuts and brown sugar. Stir until evenly mixed. Store mixture in an air-tight container in a cool dry place until ready to eat.
  • To prepare the muesli, combine 1/2 cup muesli with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Let soak in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or as long as over night).
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 217.44 kcalCarbohydrates: 35.53 gProtein: 5.45 gFat: 6.91 gSodium: 4.9 mgFiber: 3.9 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Step By Step Photos

muesli ingredients (oats, walnuts, raisins (dark and light) and brown sugar) in  mixing bowl
I made a simple mix: oats, walnuts, raisins (dark and light) and brown sugar. The brown sugar is completely optional but I love the way it flavors the milk (kinda like how fruity pebbles does!)

mixed muesli ingredients
Just mix everything together and store in an air-tight container. Give the mix a quick stir before scooping out portions because the smaller particles tend to settle to the bottom.

muesli served in white bowl with spoon
To serve, simply measure a half cup of the muesli mix into a bowl and add either milk or yogurt. Milk only takes about five minutes to soften the oats, but yogurt tends to take a little bit longer. If you combine the muesli with yogurt in the morning, it will be ready to eat for lunch (or on your first break of the day).

muesli in white bowl with milk poured over top
Here is some muesli that has been soaking. You can see how the oats have expanded and softened. The soft, chewy texture of the oats along with the super cold milk is sooo good!

It doesn’t get easier than this.