What if you fell so far head over heels in love with a food that you built your livelihood around it? In a nutshell, that’s kind of what happened with Hannah and Brady Barnstable, muesli, and their company Seven Sundays.
Muesli (pronounced “muse-lee”) is a simple mix of ingredients, typically consisting of grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. It was first concocted over 100 years ago by Swiss nutritionist Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who used the cereal as part of his therapy. Muesli is different from granola in that it is very minimally processed – it isn’t baked, and it traditionally isn’t sweetened. People eat it cold, with milk or yogurt; hot like oatmeal; or mixed into baked goods.
Hannah and Brady discovered, or re-discovered, muesli on their honeymoon in New Zealand, and it made them “fall in love with breakfast again.” Back home, Hannah created her own muesli recipe, started selling it at local farmers’ markets, and the rest was history. (You can now find Seven Sundays at many Target and Whole Foods locations, and other grocery stores around the country.)
We had a chance to sample Seven Sundays for the first time at the natural foods show Expo West and we were hooked. We don’t like to play favorites, but we do have a slight lean toward the Vanilla Cherry Pecan flavor (SO GOOD!!!!). We still haven’t convinced our kids to eat muesli the “old-fashioned” way – soaked in milk – but they like layering it on yogurt and fruit for breakfast.
With that said, we’d like to introduce our Strawberry Muesli Crumble Bars, because it’s a healthy-ish treat that our kids and their friends keep clamoring for. (Yes, with the butter and sugar it’s more dessert than breakfast, but there’s lots of good stuff wrapped up in there too.)
Since it’s strawberry season here in California, we cooked up a filling for these bars with fresh strawberries from the farmers’ market. But in a pinch, you can use your favorite jam.
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup Seven Sundays Vanilla Cherry Pecan muesli (or your favorite muesli)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- To make the filling: Place the strawberries and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat the strawberries over medium heat until bubbly. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes, or until the strawberries melt down into a nice sauce (chunky is OK). You should have about 1½ cups of filling - if not, add some jam to round it out. Set aside to cool.
- To make the crust: Place the flour, muesli, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the ingredients are evenly mixed and crumbly.
- Pour about ¾ of the crumb mixture into a greased 9"x9" or 11"x8" pan. Press down on the mixture until you have an even and firm crust on the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the filling evenly over the crust. Then sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top (no need to press down).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
If you haven’t tried muesli before, the Vanilla Cherry Pecan is a good place to start (they actually call it their “starter muesli”) because it’s simple and a little bit sweet, closer to the granola that you might be used to. Also, although all of the muesli flavors are wheat-free, only the Blueberry Chia Buckwheat is gluten-free. Here’s to breakfast!
Blogger disclosure: Although we were given samples to try, we did not receive compensation for this post. We write about food that we like because we like it! All opinions expressed are our own.