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.