Bircher Muesli was introduced around 1900, and was named for the Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner. Inspired by a dish that he and his wife discovered while hiking the Swiss Alps, and Dr. Bircher-Benner made it part of the dietary regimen for patients in his hospital. Dr. Bircher-Benner’s believed in the restorative power of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He believed what we now know to be true – good nutrition creates good health!
Bircher Muesli provides amazing nutritional density, and it’s surprisingly simple to make. Sometimes called “overnight oats,” you can mix up all the delicious healthy ingredients the night before, and the next morning — breakfast is ready with zero prep!
The basic ingredients consist of dry rolled oats; grated or chopped fresh fruits, such as bananas, apples, berries, grapes, mango, etc.; dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, prunes, dried apricots, etc.; chopped nuts and seeds; yogurt, milk or cream (or non-dairy milk substitutes), spices and honey. These ingredients are mixed together in a bowl, adding enough liquid to create a soupy mixture. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, stir and eat – so simple, and amazingly delicious.
This dish is really kid-friendly. Let the kids have fun picking out the ingredients, helping to put it all together, then seeing the mixture transform from soupy to creamy overnight. Try adding chia seeds, hemp seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, or wheat germ to amp up the nutrition and texture.
Here’s my favorite recipe for Bircher Muesli, aka Overnight Oats: