If you have pondered the cost reward ratio of homemade organic muesli, then this is the post for you! For this homemade organic muesli cost comparison and recipe, I’ve crunched the numbers with surprising results. I’ve also included my favourite recipe for fresh, tasty homemade muesli and step-by step instructions.
surely homemade muesli is cheaper?
In my house, we go through so much muesli, it’s ridiculous. Muesli manufacturers are so funny too. ‘This (700g) bag contains 14 servings’. Just no. Stop lying to the public.
A while back, instead of buying our usual organic muesli, I started buying ingredients and making it. I assumed this would be cheaper. It felt like it should be cheaper, given the extra work involved. So, I decided to price it out.
Now, let’s get something out of the way. Yes, I could make savings just by switching to non-organic, and I have no problem with that. However, I’m a fusspot and the muesli I like is from an organic company, so for an accurate cost comparison, in this post, we stay crunchy.
First, let’s replicate an organic muesli
For this experiment, I reverse-engineered an organic muesli. A common flavour of muesli in NZ is ‘apricot and almond’. Under NZ law, as ‘apricot’, ‘almond’ and ‘oats’ are ‘characterising ingredients’, the percentage must be stated on the label. With this info, and the nutrition panel, it’s not difficult to develop a recipe.
In the next section I’ll give you the pricings for the original ingredients per the label from three different shops. In the section following that, I’ll show you a step-by-step for the muesli I actually made and the price for that. I made some amendments to account for ingredients on hand and personal preference.
Pricing: Storebought vs. Homemade Organic Muesli
At fist attempt, I bought the ingredients from my regular supermarket, New World. Upon pricing it up, the savings per packet (700 grams) was only $1.15. Probably not worth it for the extra effort and plastic packaging involved. I went further afield to hunt some bargains, hitting up Pak ‘n Save, and then the local organic shop, Liberty Market.
The table below summarises the situation.
|Pack ‘n Save|
|Per kg (NZD)||$18.56||$16.91||$16.26||$12.30|
Given that the ingredients for this mission had to be organic, it’s not surprising that the main savings came from a specialist shop. This may not be the case if you were using conventionally grown ingredients. For example, with the wholegrain, certified organic oats, these were: $9.75/kg at New World, $8.81 at Pak ‘n Save and $5.33 at Liberty. However, non-organic oats can be as little as $2.79/kg. So, probably, the scientific conclusion is that organic things cost more at the supermarket than the organic shop.
Another point for this experiment is that initial outlay is more when purchasing ingredients rather than a packet of muesli. Bulk buying brings down the price per kg, but may blow the budget for that week. So, again with the oats, at the supermarkets the pack was 850g ($8.20), but in the organic shop, it was 3kg ($15.99). For us, this is fine, as we’ll get through it quickly, but your (muesli) mileage may vary.
Ok, let’s make some muesli!
Now that we’ve priced out the ingredients on the muesli label, I’m going to switch things up to how I like my muesli. The swaps I’ve made are: maple syrup instead of coconut sugar, sultanas instead of raisins, olive oil instead of sunflower oil and no pumpkin seeds. Making things this way the saving dropped to $2.20 per 700g packet.
step By Step Homemade Muesli
Assemble the ingredients: You may wish to use rolled oats instead of jumbo/wholegrain. Your muesli will just be a bit less ‘chunky’.
Toast the nuts, seeds and coconut: The main thing here is to avoid burning these ingredients. Sprinkle them with some of the oil and start with five minutes in the oven. Watch carefully. This toasting step brings out the oils, enhancing the flavours and adding that wonderful ‘crunch’.
Toast the oats: These need a bit more oven time than the nuts and seeds. Put all the oats on a large tray (or two smaller ones). Mix the sweetener and oil through and bake until golden. I should have used baking paper here, they can stick a bit without it. A little scraping required!
Chop the apricots: While the oats are cooling, chop the apricots into smaller pieces.
Assemble your muesli: When the oats are cool, mix everything together. Once completely cool the muesli can be packed into jars. Don’t pack it warm, you will get soggy muesli and perhaps a mildew problem. Nobody wants that. Fresh and crunchy is the goal.
Here’s the final result! The product I replicated is in the bowl, and I think it looks pretty close in terms of composition.
Serve with fruit, yogurt or whatever you need to make breakfast great again.
Homemade Apricot and almond Muesli Recipe
Homemade Apricot and Almond Muesli
- 2 Oven trays
- 530 grams Jumbo oats
- 90 grams Sultanas or raisins
- 80 grams Dried apricots
- 70 grams Almonds
- 70 grams Sunflower seeds
- 34 grams Coconut chips
- 66 grams Maple syrup
- 60 grams Olive oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ (360℉)
- Spread a little oil on on tray and toast the almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut chips for about five minutes, until the coconut chips are just a little brown at the edges. Set aside to cool.
- On the other tray, mix the oats with the sweetener, salt and the remaining oil. Cook for 15-25 minutes, until the oats are golden brown.
- While the oats are cooking, chop the apricots into quarters.
- Let the oats cool on the benchtop.
- When everything is very cool, mix together and store in airtight containers.
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Enjoy, and let me know in the comments what your favourite flavour of muesli is. Do you make your own, or is that just more effort than it’s worth?