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Brilliant Bircher Muesli

This nourishing Bircher Muesli contains lots of fresh fruits, sweet sticky honey and zingy lemon juice

Posted: 3 September 2010
by Junior

Serves 4–6

My assistant, Hattie, has Swiss roots and often reminds me that muesli is originally from Switzerland. The Swiss boast many different muesli recipes, but the most nourishing one is Bircher. Originally a traditional Swiss-German dish, it’s like a summery version of porridge – with oats, fruit and yoghurt – that was created at the end of the 19th century by the Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner as a nutritious meal for patients in his Zurich clinic. In the days before vitamin supplements, he considered it the perfect thing to feed his patients as it contains everything the body needs: a dose of vitamins, potassium, and calcium from the yoghurt, oats and fruit. This is Hattie’s mother’s recipe, but feel free to add more or less of the ingredients to your liking, or even some of your own favourite ingredients, such as desiccated coconut or flaked toasted almonds.


175g (6oz) oats
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp milk 
150ml (5fl oz) natural yoghurt
Half a lemon, juiced
2 tbsp ground hazelnuts (optional)
2 apples, grated
Chopped fresh fruit – bananas and berries are best
Honey, to taste


Place the oats in a large mixing bowl with the water, milk, yoghurt, lemon juice and ground nuts. The mixture can last a couple of breakfasts, so keep it in the fridge overnight. When serving, add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to soften the mixture as it tends to solidify in the fridge. The oats also tend to soak up a lot of fluid, so add more yoghurt or milk to taste. Peel and grate the apple and add it instantly before it turns brown. Add the fruit and the honey to taste.

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