NOTE - I first wrote this Fruity Bircher Muesli post in 2015 and have revised it to improve the photos and to make the content more helpful. I have tweaked the recipe slightly, by correcting the consistency with some milk and being more precise about the amount of orange juice but otherwise, it remains unchanged (and it is my breakfast obsession at the moment! ♡ )
I am a lifelong fan of Bircher Muesli not least because I associate it with the buzz and excitement of holiday hotel buffet breakfasts, served with a myriad of topping choices. I do also have a fondness for anything served in individual dishes, mostly because the less proactive amongst us are much more likely to eat something when it's a 'grab and go' set up.
So what is Bircher Muesli?
It is essentially the original overnight oats and was the creation of Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, who developed it for patients at his Zurich sanatorium around 1900 as a strategy to get them to eat more raw fruit. Unlike overnight oats, this satisfying breakfast dish also contains grated apple and here I have made Bircher-Benner's recipe more contemporary by replacing cream with Greek yoghurt + milk and adding some orange juice to up the fruitiness. This is a very simple breakfast dish where the hardest part is having the patience to leave it overnight to soak!
But some people require a harder sell ... I'm a fan of Everyday Healthy Cereal and, to be honest, pretty much all types of muesli, but the rest of the family need more convincing - #2 teenage son has been known to describe muesli as 'tasting like mortgages and responsibility' so I do have my work cut out! Let's think of Bircher Muesli as a way of pimping up muesli and transforming it into a breakfast that is easy, satisfying, healthy and delicious.
How do I make this Fruity Bircher Muesli?
Making this Bircher Muesli is more about combining than cooking. Find yourself a large bowl for mixing and add all of the following ingredients to it -
- 150g (5oz) muesli - the priority here is to use a muesli that doesn't contain added sugar or sweetner. You could use something homemade like this Everyday Healthy Cereal or you could use a good quality ready-made muesli - you know the kind that isn't all dust and has a generous amount of nuts and dried fruits in the mix. I like the range from Dorset Cereals. To be honest, on my most recent trial of this recipe, I had run out of muesli, so I used some porridge oats, a few flaked almonds and a sprinkling of dried fruits from the remnants of a bag in the cupboard (making sure that the final weight after adding all the elements was 150g (5oz))
- 250ml (1 cup) orange juice - I used a bottled juice but you could also squeeze fresh oranges if you prefer
- 1 apple, cored and grated - I like to leave the skin on for extra fibre
- 150g (5oz) Greek yoghurt (plain) - use a non-dairy variety if you prefer
- 100-150ml (approx ½ cup) milk of your choice - I used semi-skimmed dairy milk adjusting the amount of milk depending on how runny you like it (150ml was perfect for me)
Mix well. Cover with a lid and store in the fridge overnight. I like to divide it into individual portions the following day but this isn't essential.
What's so great about Bircher Muesli?
- This is a fantastic breakfast to prepare in advance - it can sit in the fridge for 3 or 4 days until it's needed - great for when you're busy or on the run.
- It keeps the hunger pangs away for ages - that will be the fibre from the oats and apple + the protein from the yoghurt and milk.
- There are endless options for toppings if you want to jazz it up - I've talked through some suggestions in this overnight oats post but this week, I've been particularly enjoying adding some berry compote from the freezer.
- It's a great way to use up an apple that is wrinkly and past its best.
- This is very simple to adapt if you prefer non-dairy milk and yoghurt.
- It's a perfect option for our early morning swimmers who are breakfasting at silly o'clock. At that time in the morning, the brain hasn't fully engaged so a breakfast that only requires taking a dish out of the fridge must be good.
That'll be thumbs up all around for this Fruity Bircher Muesli, and not even a sniff of mortgages and responsibility... ♡