Muesli is a breakfast and brunch dish of raw rolled oats and other ingredients including grains, fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts, and may be mixed with cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, other forms of plant milk, yogurt and/or fruit juice. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
Bircher Muesli was developed around 1900 by Maximilian Bircher-Brenner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, for his patients at his Zurich sanatorium as a way of getting more raw fruit into their diets. It is still a very popular breakfast in Switzerland and Germany, as well as many other parts of the world. The original recipe called for a higher ratio of fresh fruit to grain, and soaked the raw oats overnight since they took some time to soften. Each day the patients began their day with this mushy fruity mixture. Perhaps it was not an inspirational dish at the time, but in the past 12 decades, the dish has been refined and is an attractive start to the day.
Bircher Muesli traditionally contains a lot of apples, by way of juice and grated fruit. Bircher-Benner believed apples cured him of jaundice in his youth, and he strongly advocated the healing powers of diets high in fruit and vegetables. Thus originally it had few oats (about 1 Tblspn per person) and lots of fruit.
I guess Bircher Muesli was the original Overnight Oats! Here in Australia it is a perfect Summer breakfast. Fruit is plentiful in Summer – beautiful, perfect peaches, apricots, peacharines, nectarines, berries, plums, …. all and more freely available. This breakfast dish – the Australian version – celebrates our sunshine and Summer.
Originally the oats were soaked in water. Current recipes use apple juice, milk, or a mixture of milk and juice. Yoghurt and cream also feature in some recipes. Dairy is also added after soaking – Bircher-Benner used condensed milk! Dried fruit are common (with the grated apple) in modern recipes, nuts too.
Bondi Bircher Muesli
ingredients per 2 people
1 cup oats
0.5 cups apple juice
0.5 cups grated apple
0.25 cups natural yoghurt
1 Tblspn lemon juice
0.5 cup or more of slices of summer fruits such as peaches, nectarines and berries
1 Tblspn honey
1 – 2 Tblspn chopped nuts and seeds – unsalted cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, toasted coconut, walnuts and/or hazelnuts or your favourite seeds and nuts
Soak the oats in the apple juice for at least 15 mins or overnight. The longer the oats soak, the softer they will be. Overnight is often convenient.
Add the grated apple, yoghurt, and lemon juice to the soaked oats and mix well until combined. Spoon into serving dishes and top with the fruits and nuts. Drizzle honey over the top and serve.