Bircher muesli – also called overnight oats. A delicious and healthy breakfast of oats, fruit and yogurt topped with nuts and honey or syrup.
We are creatures of habit when it comes to breakfast. DH has porridge. I have tea and toast. Not every day, you understand. But most days.
A healthy start
I think his breakfast is probably healthier than mine. I like my toast slathered with an indecent amount of butter and marmalade, so it’s basically wheat, fat and refined sugar. His porridge, by contrast, is oats and milk. A sensible, wholesome start to the day.
I was looking for an occasional healthier breakfast for myself, when my thoughts turned to bircher muesli. Developed in the early 20th century by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, this essentially raw combination of oats, fruit and dairy products feels like a delicious bowl of healthfulness.
Bircher muesli is a million miles from the dry dusty muesli you get in packets, too, thank heavens. Also known as ‘overnight oats’, bircher muesli is sometimes found on posh hotel breakfast buffets, so it even has a vaguely indulgent quality about it. Lovely.
Updated and improved
The good Dr Bircher-Benner apparently used condensed milk and fresh lemon juice in his original version, since pre-pasteurisation, there were concerns about giving raw milk to hospital patients. I, meanwhile, used organic natural yogurt, which gave a thick, creamy texture and a sharp, pleasantly acid taste.
For the fruit, I used a combination of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, but you can use just about anything you like. Grated apple seems to be a popular addition, if that’s your sort of thing.
I topped my bircher muesli with agave syrup, a natural sweetener with a low GI. You can skip this altogether, or use a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
I also sprinkled on some toasted chopped hazelnuts, which added a pleasant crunch. Make sure to add these last so that they don’t have a chance to go soggy.
Overnight oats – or not
As the name suggests, overnight oats (aka Bircher muesli) are traditionally prepared the night before so the oats have time to absorb the liquid. However modern rolled oats don’t need so much soaking, and depending on the brand/type you use, you might get away with as little as 10 minutes. So you can enjoy this healthy breakfast even if you forget to make it the night before!
This recipe make a single serving of this delicious healthy breakfast.
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Overnight oats (Bircher muesli) with berries and nuts
- 30 g rolled oats
- 160 ml natural yogurt
- 50 g mixed berries - I used blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
- 1-2 tbsp agave syrup or honey
- 1-2 tsp roasted chopped hazelnuts
- Combine the oats, yogurts and fruit. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Drizzle over the agave syrup, sprinkle with nuts, and serve!
Other delicious morning treats for you to enjoy include this Paleo porridge – free from grains, gluten, dairy and refined sugar, these naturally sweet fruit and veg packed breakfast muffins, or these easy, yummy 5-ingredient waffles.
Incidentally, if you’d like DH’s perfect porridge recipe, finely honed over years of practice, here it is. Weigh out 52g porridge oats, then top up with milk till the scale reads 310g. Cover with a plate, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, microwave on high for 2 minutes, remove the plate and stir, and then microwave for a further minute. Enjoy!