Whilst nothing beats a stack of pancakes at the weekend for a great brekkie, a bowl of cereal was my fail-safe option during the week. Well, until I arrived in Singapore it was anyway. Sadly upon arrival in my new host country I discovered that cereal is a luxury good. When you account for the portion sizes that I consume (adopting my godmother’s mantra of breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord and sup like a pauper), it was clearly not going to be a financially sustainable way to start the day for the next few years.
The upside of this issue is, however, that I’ve been forced to be a bit more creative in the morning. The result has been a lot more variety in my fast breaking routine with today’s Bircher Muesli being an example of this.
I remember making Jamie Oliver’s Pukkolla from his Return of the Naked Chef book years ago thinking it was a pretty revolutionary concept. It involved soaking oats in fruit juice, milk and yoghurt overnight ready to eat in the morning.
Since then I’ve realised it’s not so revolutionary after all. The idea has actually been around since the 1900’s when a Swiss physician called Maximilian Bircher-Benner introduced muesli to his patients to aid recovery. The original version of Bircher muesli comprised oats soaked in water overnight mixed with condensed milk, lemon juice and lots of grated apple.
The modern version is slightly different, using milk and yoghurt instead of water and condensed milk, however sticks to the same principle of including lots of fruit in ratio to the level of oats.
It’s a great way to start the day and the best thing it is almost as quick to make as a piece of toast which increases its appeal for me exponentially! You can also change the recipe very easily to use fruit that’s in season or to hand. The version below uses orange juice and almond milk to soak the oats (regular milk is just as good too but not quite as trendy) with grated pears, sultanas and raspberries mixed in the next day.
You can easily substitute the orange juice for apple juice or something more tropical like pineapple or mango. The grated pear can be swapped for apple. You could even add grated coconut and, if you’re feeling particularly on trend, use coconut water to soak the oats instead of milk. Blueberries with banana would be a good replacement for raspberries or how about a little ginger with plums for a more wintery option?
You see, the options are endless! Enjoy!
This time last year: Pistachio Petit Four Cake
Pear & Raspberry Bircher Muesli
200g rolled oats
200ml almond milk (or regular)
Juice of 1 small orange (about 80ml)
2 ripe pears, grated (or use 2 apples)
Juice of 1 lime
150g Greek yoghurt
175g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Honey to serve (optional)
1. Place the oats in a medium bowl and add the almond milk and orange juice. Mix together and leave to soak overnight.
2. The next morning, stir through the rest of the ingredients until well mixed. Drizzle with a little honey if you like things a little sweeter and tuck in! It’s also delicious with a few chopped almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.
The soaked oats will keep happily in the fridge for 5 days but once you’ve mixed the rest of the ingredients in it’s better to eat the Bircher muesli that day. That said, I’ve left it in the fridge for 3 days ready-made and it’s fine – it just gets a little thicker as the oats absorb some of the yoghurt and you’ll need to give it a bit of a stir, but the lime juice stops the pear going too brown.