In all these years I've been sharing my food thoughts and recipes it appears I am yet to write about bircher muesli. I've made a bircher muesli pancake, for sure, but not the original soaked oats. And with the warmer weather cooling my need for porridge, I took inspiration from instagram and blog lovelies like Anna and made some chilled oats. Here is my usual bircher preparation. While bircher muesli is not something I eat terribly regularly, I enjoy it immensely and appreciate the swift morning meal assembly. Perhaps I should make it more often...
A quick google tells me that bircher muesli was invented by a Swiss physician, who favoured eating fruits and vegetables and nuts, and saw benefit in a muesli preparation for your morning meal. Right on. I believe the addition of grated apple takes it from regular "overnight oats" to bircher status, however I could be wrong. Apple juice is a common ingredient but I favour milk and yoghurt over juice for a more nutritionally satisfying breakfast. Lately I've been buying only natural or Greek yoghurt, ones that are tart and smooth and thick. However I have to say, I believe bircher muesli benefits from a flavoured yoghurt, like a vanilla bean style. You could simply flavour the natural yoghurt with vanilla and honey, but... I don't know, whenever I make a bircher batch using 5:AM or Jalna's vanilla varieties, it is always that little bit more wonderful. So that is what I use when birchering.
Whatever yoghurt you select, you can always alter the flavour upon serving, adding sweetener if you wish. I even like to make a chai-style version with various spices. This is an adaptable recipe that relies upon a good ratio of wet:dry ingredients and ample soaking time. Freshly toasting nuts or seeds and scattering them over your bircher should always happen. Adding fresh berries or sliced stone fruit in summer is a great idea also. I mean, look at that bowl... Mr Bircher-Benner would be proud.
To serve: toasted almond flakes and fresh berries
1. Grate the apple into a large container. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Allow to sit in the fridge, covered, overnight (or at least four hours).
2. In the morning, serve your bircher muesli with toasted nuts and fresh berries.