Bircher muesli is a great breakfast food providing good wholesome grains, fibre and the addition of linseeds provides phyto-oestrogens and essential fatty acids. Warming spices of cinnamon and nutmeg not only enhance the taste but help the digestive process. The soaking of the grains and seeds helps make them easier to digest.
The following makes enough to serve 2.
1 cup wholegrain rolled oats (preferably organic)
3 tbsp chopped nuts (unsalted and unroasted) and seed mix or LSA (linseed, sunflower seed and almond meal)
1–2 tbsp preservative-free dried fruit (optional)
1 tbsp shredded fresh coconut or sulphur-free dried coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste
Juice of one lemon and a little rind if desired (extra nutrition)
3 tablespoons natural yogurt (some great brands include Paris Creek, Meredith Dairy Sheep, Barambah, Elgaar Farm, Marrook, Goats Alpine and Jalna)
Water and/or milk or milk substitute
Optional extras to serve:
½ grated granny smith apple (skin on)
½ banana, sliced or mashed
Fresh seasonal fruit or berries
Drizzle with linseed oil to enrich the fatty acids
Place all dry ingredients into a container/bowl and mix well.
Add the lemon, yoghurt and just enough water or half water/half milk so the liquid covers the mix by 1–2 cm, stir again and cover. Place in the refrigerator and leave overnight.
In the morning, the ingredients will have absorbed the liquid. Stir again and serve. (This quantity should make enough for 2 servings.)
Add freshly grated apple or seasonal fresh fruits and a little more yoghurt and milk if desired. A drizzle of maple syrup or honey is a tasty addition.
Mix together a larger quantity of the dry ingredients in advance and store in an air tight container. Then just dish out the amount needed for breakfast the next morning, adding the wet ingredients the night before.
Also if your yoghurt and milk has a long use by date, or you are making it on water alone, this breakfast is great to make on a Sunday as it will keep really well in the refrigerator and become a very quick, easy and nutritious breakfast for you to have at home or take to work.
You will notice many Bircher recipes call for orange juice for the liquid part. I find this makes the Bircher too sweet plus it adds unnecessary sugar calories.
In cooler weather poached or stewed fruit can be added on serving to warm the dish and if prepared on water, you can even warm the soaked mixture in a saucepan before adding yogurt and poached fruit to serve.
Rolled barley, rice or spelt can be substituted for rolled oats or blended with the oats for a greater variety of grains.
Other nuts such as pistachios, almonds*, brazils*, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts* and cashews can be used. Seeds such as chia, sunflower and pepitas all work well too
Other spices such as ground cardamom may also be used if desired.
Raw wheatgerm can also be added to boost nutritional levels
Dried fruit is another option to alter flavour. Be sensible with quantity though as it still contains natural sugars. There are heaps to try here too: figs, cranberries sultanas, currants, apricots and dates. Look for Sulphate-free varieties.
Always try to have linseed in the Bircher for extra fibre and omega 3’s.
Rosewater provides a lovely flavour if it is added last.
Sometimes the simpler the better: choose perhaps only 1–2 nut and seed varieties and leave the dried fruit out.
Add a scraping of real vanilla bean for those special breakfasts.
*Indicates the most nutritious.