“Busy” is one of my least favorite words. It’s exaggerated and overused, an excuse for flakiness or laziness, and a way to make us seem more prestigeous. I try not to get swept up in the whole “I’m so busy” thing, firmly believing that I will make time for the things that are most important to me.
That said, with classes and work and the rest of life, I certainly have to be smarter about how I use my time lately. I do a lot of mental calculations to determine if it’s better to go out with friends or go home and do the pile of laundry that is oozing out of my closet like some horror movie villain. I allow myself a few meals out a week, because cooking is just not always happening. I have, on occasion, prioritized sleep over running and socializing over sleep. But so far, things aren’t too bad. I’m surviving, and I’m mostly happy.
One of my favorite time-saving techniques is batch cooking. I’ll hit my kitchen on a Sunday or a Monday and make a big pot of something to eat all week. This saves time, and helps ensure I’m eating right most, if not all of the time. Lately, in addition to lunches I’ve also been making breakfasts. At first, it was just plain old overnight oats, but then I remembered the muesli I had at Swiss Bakers a few months ago. The muesli there is insanely good… like so good that there is no way it’s good for me (hint, it contains whipped cream!). I started to wonder if I could make a muesli at home that would taste almost as good, but also be better for me. A bit of experimenting led to a basic recipe that tastes like it’s a lot worse for you than it actually is.
My favorite part about muesli is that it can be altered to your tastes, or whatever’s handy in the kitchen. It takes about 15 minutes to make a batch, which makes about five, one-cup servings. Essentially, breakfasts/ snacks for a week.
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk, but use any milk you like)
1 cup non-fat yogurt
2 cups rolled oats
3 apples, grated or shredded (peel if you want; I don’t)
1/4 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (or another nut/seed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons honey (or agave or other sweetener)
Other optional adds: wheat bran, ground flax, chia seeds, spices, seeds, nut butters
Comine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit overnight in refrigerator. Store in closed jars. Serves five to six.