Bircher muesli: rabbit food or a superlative piece of Swiss precision engineering?
Bircher muesli is a healthy make-ahead breakfast that tastes like a holiday treat. Bonus? It’s very easily made vegan and/or gluten free, if need be.
Bircher muesli is a super breakfast idea. Bircher muesli can be prepared in the evening and served in the morning for breakfast. To Bircher muesli can be added various nuts, dried fruits, berries, chia or flax seeds.
Bircher muesli was created in the early 1900s by a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He claimed to have cured his own jaundice by eating raw apples, and encouraged his patients to eat raw fruit and vegetables to cure their ailments.
Bircher-Benner’s original recipe was inspired by a “strange dish” that he and his wife were served while hiking in the Swiss alps. His recipe called for lots of fresh apple with a small amount of oats, lemon juice, nuts, cream and honey. He served it to his patients as a healthy appetizer before most meals.
His concept reminds me of my mom’s advice when I was little. When I complained that I was hungry before dinner, she always told me to go eat an apple!
The original recipe is flavoured with lemon juice, presumably to balance the overwhelming sweetness of the condensed milk, but without one, we don’t need the other. Nor am I taken with Ottolenghi and Williams’s vanilla essence, which rides roughshod over the more delicate flavour of the apple, and I can’t really see the point of using agave nectar when honey tastes so much better (and is considerably cheaper). Ballymaloe’s soft brown sugar topping falls, like their cream, into the very special treat category.