Meat Pie vs. Museli: A Classic NZ Conundrum
Happy #foodanddrinkfriday (seek, do) Lovers! Alyssa here with my first official blog post of the month! Today, I'm previewing what's to come next week: a FULL recap of my New Zealand adventures (because it is by far the most incredible place I have ever seen and I can't help but babble about it whenever I get the chance). But before we jump in to my full-blown NZ swoon-fest, let's start off with the important things: NZ breakfasts. The food in New Zealand is heavy, to put it mildly. Full fat meats, cheeses, and milks make up the bulk of the NZ diet. As Ron Burgundy would say: This [food] is delicious, but it is filling!
The most common breakfast food options are various options of meat pies. I'm not joking. Savory meat and cheese filled pies are EVERYWHERE in the mornings. We've all heard of breakfast for dinner, but New Zealand takes the opposite approach: dinner for breakfast! My boyfriend, a NZ native, ate a full pie prettyyyyy much every single morning. And while I have zero opposition to meat and cheese filled pies, sometimes it was a *little* heavy for breakfast. We started our days early in NZ to maximize our sightseeing time, so I found it to be a *little* challenging to force down a savory pie before my eyes were fully opened.
Also, fun fact, if you ask for plain black coffee in NZ they will bring you straight espresso. Plain black drip coffee is pretty much not a thing they do there, which was a major adjustment for this three-cup-a-day drinker. Virtually all of the coffee we found in New Zealand is either instant coffee (just add hot water!), or espresso-based drinks with whole milk. There's really no in between. While I ate my fair share of meat and cheese pies with whole milk lattes over the course of our trip, I was itching for another option. Enter: Muesli. While not authentic to New Zealand, it is offered on virtually every breakfast menu, and I quickly became obsessed.
Muesli is not something I had seen featured on very many American breakfast menus. All I knew when I ordered it was that it was *somewhat* similar to granola. After becoming obsessed with Muesli, I educated myself on the distinctions: Muesli is an uncooked cereal that mixes in grains, nuts, seeds and fruits. Granola, on the other hand, is a baked cereal that generally combines grains with sweeteners to bind ingredients together. So, same same, but different.
Anyway, I'm a Muesli convert. IMO, it's far superior to granola, and is worth checking out if you haven't done so. Since I returned home from NZ, I have been making my own Muesli (the obsession lives on!). Here's my process:
- Add desired amount of muesli to a bowl
- Add your preferred milk to the bowl. (I usually do almond or coconut milk, but you do whatever makes you feel good)
- NOTE: Add JUST ENOUGH to cover the muesli! Don't drown your grains.
- Allow the Muesli to soak in the milk for a few minutes
- Top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, your favorite sliced fruits, nuts, fruit compotes, coconut flakes, honey, cinnamon, etc. (Go nuts! There's no wrong way to make a bowl of Muesli!!)
- My go-to: sliced bananas, sliced almonds, mashed blackberries, honey, and cinnamon. Gahhh be still my beating heart!
- Mix it all together, enjoy every bite, and wonder why it took you so damn long to learn about muesli.