Even (or especially?) crazy-busy people need a decent meal to start their day. Bircher Muesli to the rescue!
This breakfast dish is inspired by a preparation pioneered in 1900 by the Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner for the patients of his Zurich sanatorium, where a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables was an essential part of the treatment. While I am not a promoter of raw-food diets (esp. in the winter, when most of our food should be cooked), I make an exception for this delicious and nutritious dish, which can be enjoyed throughout the year.
In contrast to most store-bought cereals, this dish largely consists of yogurt (a rich source of probiotics, protein, calcium and vitamin K2), seeds, nuts and fruit, with grains playing tasty but minor supporting role. Its wealth of healthy fats, protein, soluble fiber and healthy bacteria makes this a super-nourishing start to the day that will keep you going until lunchtime.
Bircher muesli is particularly suitable for people seeking to improve their blood lipids, for oats, healthy fats, probiotics, cinnamon and apples can help lower LDL cholesterol. Anyone suffering from constipation may also find this dish, with its high fiber content and wealth of probiotics, helpful.
For added convenience, you can prepare a large batch and store it in the fridge for four to five days, simply topping it with fresh fruit and nuts when you are ready to eat.
Bircher Muesli (Overnight oats)
- 1½ cups Greek yogurt whole, plain
- 1 serving protein powder I like using unsweetened, unflavored, grass-fed whey isolate (here's my favorite brand), but you can use any protein powder you love
- 1 medium apple coarsely grated; leave peel on if organic
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats gluten-free, if desired
- 3 tbsp mixed seeds e.g., chia, flax, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional; preferably alcohol-free
- 2 tbsp raw nuts or low-sugar/sugar-free granola
- ½ cup raspberries
- Combine yogurt, protein powder, grated apple, oats, seeds, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a container and stir to combine. If the mixture tastes too tart to you, sweeten with a smidgen of maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice. Cover tightly and chill overnight (or for at least three hours).
- Spoon into a bowl and scatter with berries and chopped nuts or low-sugar granola. Serve immediately.