Let's face it, breakfast is very important! It gives us a boost of energy in the morning and as much as we wish to have personal chefs, most of us are our own personal chef.

With limited time in the mornings, it's tempting to just skip breakfast altogether or pour yourself a bowl of cereal, but there are healthier options that also don't take up a lot of time, just a bit of planning and preparation.  One of my favorite things to eat in the morning, especially during warmer weather, is called bircher muesli because it's very refreshing and wholesome.

  The colors of this remind me of the film Moonrise Kingdom

The colors of this remind me of the film Moonrise Kingdom

It's been a relatively recent discovery and of course, I had to look up the recipe and give it a try when I was in Australia.  After trying my hand at it a few times, I got the hang of it and now just mix it up and alter it based on my mood and the season.  Needless to say, I would see it pop up on the menus everywhere there but no longer had a need to order it since it was being whipped up at home in just a few minutes and dare I say, it was better! Again, probably because I altered it to my liking.

Upon my return back, I've told a few friends about it, who have all asked, "what's bircher muesli?!"  I thought to myself, it must be an Oceania thing.

After a bit of reading, I discovered it was around 1900 that Swiss doctor Maximillian Bircher-Benner had made this as part of a healing therapy treatment for his patients as it's good for digestion (and also gets you some fiber!).  Apart from Switzerland, it can also be found on the tables of neighboring European countries such as Germany, Austria, England, and Sweden.  Can anyone else chime in on any other countries that eat this? It'd also be interesting to find out how it found its way to Australia and New Zealand (I'm thinking England could be responsible for this).

Basically, to keep it simple, bircher muesli is soaked oaks (now, please go laugh at the title of this post, thanks!).  For a few of my fortunate friends, including fellow healthy foodie Ksenia at Breakfast Criminals, they've been able to try my bircher muesli and because of the positive feedback and minimal exposure, I decided to do a post dedicated to it.  The good thing about cooking (versus baking, which is very scientific and measurements need to be kept) is that it allows room for flexibility so GET CREATIVE and GET COOKING (or in this case, preparing!).

  Breakfast Criminal's first bircher muesli

Breakfast Criminal's first bircher muesli

BIRCHER MUESLI RECIPE

Yields ~ 4 servings

Here are some of the things you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1 cup apple juice (preferably unsweetened and organic)
  • 4 handfuls of mixed berries*
  • 1/2 grated granny smith apple
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 spoon of honey or agave nectar

Optional and recommended add-ins:

  • 3 spoons of chia seeds
  • 3 handfuls of slivered or sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds
  • a few dashes of cinnamon

*may be substituted for other fruits such as peaches, nectarines, pears, figs, passionfruit,

Combine all ingredients together, I usually go down the list.  Be sure not to over mix it and go with your gut (hopefully your gut knows too)! Get creative in your experiments, add things, take things out and have some fun! Prep time is literally a few minutes and you'll need to soak for a few hours/overnight.  When serving, top it off with some fresh fruit and granola for that extra crunch factor.

Enjoy! Here's to good health and delicious brekkies!