What’s the Difference between Granola and Muesli?

By Kate Springer

Bowl of muesli on a wooden table

You know we sell Vermont-made organic granola, but you may not be aware that we also offer muesli. We’re taking the opportunity to introduce you to muesli, dive into how it differs from granola and explain which varieties we offer.

Granola vs. Muesli

While granola and muesli share similar ingredients, looks and locations on shelves and in stores, the two differ quite a bit.

What is Granola?

Bowl of granola with milk and metal spoon
Photo by Stacy Spensley

Granola is “a mixture typically of rolled oats and various added ingredients (such as brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and nuts) that is eaten especially for breakfast or as a snack,” according to Merriam-Webster. It was created in the U.S. in the late 1800s (if you need a refresher, check our blog on the history of granola), but really took off in the 1960s, when the recipe for modern granola debuted. Granola can also be made with barley or another type of grain, and is usually enjoyed as a topping — milk and yogurt are common things with which to pair it. Although there’s a lot of overlap between what’s in granola versus muesli, granola is ultimately baked.

What is Muesli?

Women holding bowl of muesli that's on a tablecloth with a spoon beside it

Muesli, a Swiss invention, is a combination of oats and seeds, sometimes containing dried fruit and nuts. It can be eaten a variety of ways, either hot or cold. Popular ways to eat muesli are having it with fresh fruit or cooked into porridge. The grains in muesli are raw.

What is its History?

Muesli has an unexpected history. It started in early 1900s Switzerland. Dr Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner, who founded a sanitarium in Zurich, was on a quest to combat tuberculosis through diet. He invented a dish, muesli, which was based on his proposed health diet of raw fruits and vegetables. The original recipe called for oats soaked in water, lemon juice, condensed milk, grated apples and nuts. Although much has changed since its founding, muesli is sometimes now known as Bircher Muesli in Bircher’s honor. While muesli is prepared differently today than it first was, it’s clear that this breakfast staple has made an impact on people worldwide. In fact, muesli is the only Swiss-German word to have worked its way into every major language. By bringing muesli to the Swiss people, Switzerland changed the way breakfast is consumed. Given muesli’s roots, it’s no surprise that the country’s now a center for healthy living and outdoor activity.  

Muesli’s Nutritional Benefits

Not only is muesli tasty, but it’s chock-a-block full of nutrients, too.

Here are some reasons why we love muesli:

  • It’s heart-healthy! Oat bran contains beta-glucan, which can help significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
  • It’s high in protein, even if nuts aren’t added! Yogurt, milk or non-dairy alternatives can help make muesli protein-rich.
  • It’s high in fiber, which most Americans don’t get enough of, and will help you stay full for longer than if you ate a doughnut or sugary cereal.
  • It’s loaded with antioxidants, which help protect against harmful free radicals and support immunity.
  • It’s a great source of iron (a natural energy booster), particularly for those with a meat-free diet.

I’m interested in trying muesli. What does TNG offer? Is it on sale?

We offer two varieties of muesli: Oats So Good Muesli – No Fruit or Nuts and Oats So Good Muesli with Fruit and Nuts.

Oats So Good Muesli Bag
Oats So Good Muesli Bag

Our original Oats So Good Muesli – No Fruit or Nuts contains rolled oats, rye, wheat and barley flakes, oat bran, raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, unsweetened organic coconut, cinnamon and cloves, yum!

Oats So Good Muesli with Fruit and Nuts has the same tasty ingredients as the original blend, but we also add almonds, pecans, apple juice-infused cranberries and dried unsulfured, unsweetened apples for some extra crunch.

Note: Our muesli can also be tried through our Granola Club (either the Mixed Granolas or Regular Granolas option). This is a great choice if you love our granola, but want to shake things up and try something new.

Both mueslis are on sale this month. Save 15% when you use the code ‘January20’ at checkout through 1/31.

Give our muesli a try, and we think you’ll agree that it’s like oatmeal, only better!