Are you someone who was going through breakfast options in your shopping outlet aisle or online and came across two options, in particular, muesli and granola? “They both seem similar, what is so different about them?” you might wonder. Well, we are here to tell you just that, and discuss further what the difference is between them!
The difference between muesli and granola!
What is muesli?
Muesli is a combination of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
It was developed by Maximillian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician and nutritionist, and is renowned across Europe as a nutritious breakfast meal.
Unlike granola, the ingredients in muesli are not baked, which means they are fresh and loose. Predominantly, it is soaked overnight in milk or juice and eaten cold—just like the famous overnight oats.
Optionally, you can consume it straight out of a packet of milk, just like cereal, or boil it with milk or water to make porridge so you can enjoy it sweet.
What is granola?
Granola was invented by James Caleb Jackson, an American doctor. To this day, it stays a popular breakfast item in several American homes.
It is made by combining ingredients such as nuts, oats, and dried fruit with oil and sweeteners—usually honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar—and baking. It produces the classic crunchy clusters.
In comparison to muesli, granola is often eaten cold. You should eat it out of your bag as a snack, with milk, or as a crunchy coating with yoghurt.
So, what’s the difference between muesli and granola?
1. Calorie, carbs and glucose content
Both muesli and granola contain largely similar ingredients. As a result, their dietary values are very similar. However, granola has a higher calorie, carbohydrate and glucose content than muesli thanks to the added sweeteners.
2. Difference in disadvantages
Both muesli and granola are oat-based cereals that have balanced beta-glucans. However, each has its own disadvantages, including high sugar content and the presence of anti-nutrients.
3. Added sugars
Added sweeteners such as honey or fructose greatly raise the sugar content in granola. Plus, although muesli is not normally sweetened, some products are sweetened. In addition, the sugar content of dried fruit (the main component in both products) is further increased. Excessive consumption of sugar can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, excess weight, and heart disease.
4. Phytic Acid
The pure oats in muesli are a type of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that binds to minerals such as zinc and iron, which can impede their absorption. However, soaking muesli in water, milk or juice greatly decreases the phytic acid content of oat and increases the absorption of minerals.
5. Baking and oil
The big distinction amongst muesli and granola is that although both are made up of grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits, muesli is uncooked while granola is baked with a sweetener and oil to tie the ingredients together.
6. The way it is served
Muesli can be eaten cold (soaked in liquid) or wet (cooked in simmering liquid). Granola, on the other hand, is often eaten cold, usually with a splash of milk or yoghurt, or sometimes as a snack.
To conclude, Granola and muesli have many parallels, including much of their ingredients and health benefits. The biggest distinction is how it is made. Granola is baked and typically includes additional sweeteners such as honey or sugar and dried fruit. Muesli, on the other hand, is eaten raw and sweetened with dry fruits only.
Nutritional values of muesli and granola
Since the two forms of cereal consist largely of almost the same materials, their nutritional values are relatively identical.
Below is a contrast of 1/2 cup (43 grammes) of muesli and 1/2 cup (56 grammes) of granola:
Though muesli does not generally have artificial sweeteners, it has a reasonably high sugar content if it contains dried fruit, much like granola. If you can see, the discrepancy between them is around 5 grammes per serving, which is equal to 1 teaspoon.
It is also worth noting that the added sweeteners, even though they come from a natural fruit source, greatly raise the carb and calorie content of muesli and granola. Both forms can also be appreciated in moderation.
In addition, bear in mind that standard serving sizes range from one food to another, which could ultimately increase—or decrease—your average calorie and nutrient intake.
For example, the average serving size of granola varies from 1/4–1/2 cup (28–56 grammes) when used as a topping, containing approximately 7–15 grammes of sugar per serving, respectively.
On the other hand, the average serving size for muesli when consumed as porridge or breakfast cereal is significantly greater at 1/2–3/4 cup (43–65 grammes), which means that it could contain around 11–16.5 grammes of sugar per serving.
In comparison, while the above-mentioned muesli and granola have a comparable amount of fat, you can find that some of the commercial brands have a wide variety of fat content.
This is because the variations in their dietary values rely on additions such as grains, nuts and dried fruits. So, try to read the dietary knowledge label to select the one that best fits your needs.
Which one should you buy? Muesli or Granola?
Both muesli and granola have their share of advantages and disadvantages, while granola appears to have more calories than muesli.
At the end of the day, you should weigh their ingredients while choosing one over the other.
Review the list of ingredients for muesli and figure out if the form you’re considering has been sweetened, then try to stick to the one you haven’t considered. As far as granola is concerned, pick a form that does not contain candied fruit or chocolate, as this would help increase the sugar count.
Alternatively, you should make a homemade version of your beloved muesli or granola in order to reduce the sugar content.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet of parchment paper.
- Combine the oats, nuts and/or peas, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing cup. Stir to blend in.
- Add oil, maple syrup and/or honey and vanilla. Mix together before each oat and nut is finely covered. Pour the granola over the prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
- Bake until softly brown, around 21 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway through (for extra-clumpy granola, press the stirred granola down with your spatula to create a more even layer). The granola is going to crunch up while it cools.
- Let the granola cool down completely, undisturbed (at least 45 minutes). Top of the dried fruit (and optional chocolate chips, if using). Break granola into bits with your hands if you want to hold huge chunks, or stir with a spoon if you don’t want extra-clumpy granola.
- Place granola in an airtight jar at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks or in a sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months. Dry fruit can freeze tight, meaning that it can be warm at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before eating.
- 4 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup toasted wheat germ
- ½ cup wheat bran
- ½ cup oat bran
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
Combine oats, wheat germ, wheat bran, oat bran, dried fruit, almonds, sugar and seeds in a large mixing cup. Mix well. Store your muesli in an airtight bag. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 months.
Also read: Okra Is The Answer To Many Health Issues
Now that we have given you all the necessary information for your decision, are you going to pick muesli or granola?