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Originally known in Swiss German as Birchermüesli or simply Müesli is a popular breakfast cereal based on uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts, which was first developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It is available as a packaged dry form, or it can be made fresh. In Switzerland, it is also eaten as a light evening dish; Birchermüesli complet is muesli with butterbrot and milk coffee. It is a very healthy breakfast cereal due to its raw whole grains and variety of other natural ingredients.

Packaged muesli is a loose mixture of mainly rolled oats and/or cornflakes together with various pieces of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It commonly contains other rolled cereal grains such as wheat or rye flakes as well, some varieties may also contain honey, spices, or chocolate. It can be served quickly after mixing it with milk, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, or even just plain water. Alternatively, the mix may be soaked overnight in milk and then served with fresh fruit or compote to taste.

Fresh muesli can also be prepared using either dry rolled oats or whole grain oats that have been soaked in water or fruit juice. Other ingredients commonly included are additional grated or chopped fresh fruit (e.g., bananas, apples, berries, grapes, mango), dried fruit, milk products (e.g., yogurt, cream, condensed milk, fromage frais, quark, cottage cheese, or nondairy milk substitutes), lemon juice, ground nuts, seeds, spices (especially cinnamon), honey and muesli mix.

The original Bircher-Benner preparation is proportionately the opposite of most muesli available in today's supermarket varieties, calling for far more fruit than grains. One serving based on the original recipe consists approximately of rolled oats, soaked in water,lemon juice, cream, apple (preferably a sour variety), finely grated and mixed with the above directly before serving, optionally topping with ground hazelnuts or almonds. The original recipe also advised to soak the oats in water overnight as raw oats need a lengthy soaking to soften them before eating. This long soaking time is unnecessary with modern rolled "quick oats", which the manufacturers already soften through a steam treatment.

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