When I’m at home in the midweek, this bircher muesli is, without doubt, my favourite breakfast. It only requires a little bit of preparation the night before, and the result the next morning is a beautiful bowl of soft creamy oats, juicy plump fruit, and wonderfully digestible seeds.
Bircher muesli was the brainchild of Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He developed it in the early 1900’s for his hospital patients, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy.
This breakfast will leave you full and energized, never bloated, and keep you powering through the morning. It’s the perfect combination of plant-powered protein, slow-release wholegrain carbohydrates, and essential fats, that will make your tummy and brain cells sing. A great alternative to store-bought cereals, most of which are full of refined sugars, over-processed grains, and have little to no nutrients left. Plus this version is easier on the wallet, more sustainable without all the packaging of store-bought mueslis, and tastes way better too!
The secret ingredient to this bircher is the addition of chia seeds. Chia seeds are super high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, great for the hair, skin, eyes, and general organ function. When added to liquid, chia seeds absorb more than double their volume to become a lovely gel which is great for cleansing the digestive system. They also add a wonderful texture to this muesli. The mesquite and lucuma powders (two ancient superfood fruits from South America) are optional, but add a delicious hint of creamy caramel to the mix.
You can easily switch up the ingredients I’ve used below depending on what you have available and what’s in season. For example:
- Almond milk – swap with any other plant-based milk (cashew, rice, oat, soy, or you could use freshly squeezed apple juice or coconut water)
- White mulberries – substitute with dried banana, goji berries, chopped dried apricots, dried figs, dates or incan berries
- Sultanas – switch to raisins or currants
- Brazil Nuts – exchange for almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews
- Pumpkin & sunflower seeds – swap either or both for sesame seeds
- Mesquite & Lucuma – replace with vanilla pea protein or brown rice protein, or sacha inchi protein powder
- Pear – swap with grated apple or stewed fruit in winter
I generally keep the base recipe the same, and just change the main dried fruit and nut options. Some of my favourite combos are white mulberries & brazil nuts, goji berries & hazelnut, incan berries & almond, apricot & almond, date & cashew, and fig & walnut.
I’m also a big fan of making things even quicker in the morning by tripling or quadrupling the recipe for a few days’ worth of breakfasts in advance. Just add your grated fruit and toppings fresh each morning (so they don’t go brown). You can also put each morning’s portion in a sealed jar if you need breakfast on the run.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1/3 c oats
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut chips
- 1 tbsp goji berries
- 1 tbsp sultanas
- 1 tbsp brazil nuts chopped
- 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c almond milk
- 1 small pear grated, with the skin on
- 1 tsp mesquite powder
- 1 tsp lucuma powder
- 1 tsp coconut nectar
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Add all ingredients except pear and toppings to a bowl, leave to soak in fridge overnight.
- In the morning, add freshly grated pear and extra water if you want a thinner consistency.
- Top with your favourite combo of fresh or dry fruit, coconut chips, bee pollen and chopped nuts, and devour!
- Make this nut free simply by replacing the brazil nuts with your favourite seeds.
- Make this gluten free and paleo by swapping the oats for quinoa flakes.