One of my daughters swims. Five mornings a week. I am very fortunate that my husband is an early riser and invariably will drop her off at the pool at 5.30 or 6 am! My end of the bargain is to collect her, feed her and drop her at school by 8.15 am. It’s a very tight morning schedule at our house and I don’t want to be fussing around too much. In winter I take her a steaming wide necked Thermos of oats with honey and fruit; compote, fresh or frozen. Basically whatever is on hand. Luckily she adores oats and they are very easy to prepare. With summer fast approaching it is time to vary the menu and switch from warming oats to a cooling Bircher Muesli.
I have always adored Bircher Muesli. Its one of those breakfast options that is always available at the breakfast buffet when we travel. Healthy and delicious its fresh, light, tasty and very, very good for you. A most virtuous start to your day, especially if you have overindulged the night or dare I say weekend before.
Many moons ago, before children, my husband and I spent a week at a health retreat and came home brimming with energy and a terrific Bircher Muesli recipe. For months I diligently prepared our muesli for breakfast until slowly over time our bad, slovenly habits returned. Well that Bircher Muesli recipe, or at least an approximation of the original, is back on the menu at our house. Let me tell you I had to dig deep into the recesses of my overtaxed memory for this one.
My home-made version consists of rolled oats, lemon juice, yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit and nuts, and is surprisingly easy to prepare. Simply soak your oats with any dried fruit and nuts you are using in apple or orange juice overnight. In the morning add yoghurt, coarsely grated apple and seasonal fruit. You can use any combination of fruit and nuts. Use just enough lemon to balance the sharpness of the yoghurt. Double the recipe to make enough for several days’ breakfasts – it tastes even better after a little time in the fridge.
Bircher Muesli with Seasonal Fruit
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup apple juice (or freshly squeezed orange juice)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
a sprinkling of ground nutmeg
a sprinkling of ground cinnamon
1 granny Smith apple, coarsely grated (skin on)
½ cup yoghurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
seasonal berries to serve.
COMBINE rolled oats, apple juice, currants, almonds, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir together.
CHILL overnight (or for at least two hours).
NEXT MORNING stir in yoghurt, grated apple and lemon juice.
SERVE with seasonal berries.