Bircher Muesli, the Original Overnight Oats
I have oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. I really love oatmeal – it’s delicious, it’s healthy, it keeps you full for a long time, it’s super cheap to make, and the ingredients keep for a long time, making them something I always have around. However, if like me you’re eating the same thing every day, variation is key. That’s why I never eat the same oatmeal twice in a row!
The base of my oatmeal is always the same: 30 grams of oats, 15 grams of flax seeds. I like to eat flax seeds every day because they are one of the best vegan sources of omega 3 fatty acids – for more information on this you could look into Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. Flax seeds are quite filling, which is why I use less oats than most recipes do. You can of course adjust this to your needs.
I then prepare my oatmeal in one of two ways: warm or cold. For this recipe I use the cold method, which is better known as overnight oats. Rather than cooked, the oats are simply soaked overnight. While ‘overnight oats’ became a trend a few years ago, this method of preparation has been known for a much longer time to some, which brings me to this recipe: Bircher Muesli. Invented by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner around 1900, this famous breakfast recipe consists of soaked oats, apple, nuts, milk or cream and juice. While you might know it from European hotel breakfast buffets, it was originally meant as a cure for the sick.
Recipes for this muesli differ. Some swear by soaking the oats in apple juice, other recipes call for condensed milk or even cream to be added. I personally don’t like my breakfasts to be too sweet, so adding juice as well as an apple felt like too much for me. Yogurt or curd is quite a traditional ingredient, and because this gives the muesli a very nice consistency, I chose to add soy yogurt. The coconut is optional, but adds a lot of flavour. It’s even better if you toast the coconut in a dry pan first!
In this recipe I included almonds – feel free to use hazelnuts, walnuts or even pecans instead – all of these will work well. If you’re in a hurry or simply forgot to soak the oats, you can pour hot water on them and wait for an hour – this will give a very similar result to soaking overnight. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!
- 30 g oats
- 15 g flax seeds (ground)
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp almonds
- 1 tbsp shredded dried coconut unsweetened
- 100 g soy yogurt unsweetened
- The night before (or at least an hour in advance), soak the oats, flax seeds and raisins in enough water to cover it, stir and store in the fridge.
- In the morning, stir the oats and add more water or soy milk to create a porridge-like consistency. I like using warm water to make the oats less cold (as they just came from the fridge).
- Chop the almonds, they can be as rough or as fine as you like. Grate the apple. If you don't have a grater, simply chop it up finely, but this takes a bit more effort.
- Add the grated apple, chopped almonds, coconut and soy yogurt to the oats, and stir it all together.