and now, in the raw

I wrote recently about granola, or toasted muesli as we generally call it here in Australia. Much as I love it - for a while I was grabbing handfuls of it every time I passed the fridge - it can be little harsh on the digestive system at times.

A healthier option is bircher muesli, which is simple to prepare, nutritious and delicious. The name derives from the Swiss physician and pioneer in nutritional research, Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner, who advocated the health benefits of raw vegetables, fruit and nuts, which was contrary to common beliefs about food held at the end of the 19th century. His theory of life was based on harmony between people and nature, apparently after observing the simple and healthy life of shepherds in the Swiss Alps. Around 1900, he introduced muesli for patients in his hospital.

The original recipe for bircher muesli included a small amount of rolled oats, soaked in water and lemon juice overnight, with added cream, grated apple and ground hazelnuts or almonds. This is the essence of bircher muesli but you can play around with what you include in it, according to your preference and what's in season.

I like to prepare mine with good quality apple juice, fresh if possible - I'm even contemplating buying a juicer for this reason alone - dried cranberries, fresh blueberries and topped with grated apple, plain yoghurt and some nuts, usually almonds.

Bircher muesli
Makes about 4 serves

1.5 cups oats
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries, or sultanas

To serve
1 apple, grated
plain, low-fat yoghurt
almonds or walnuts, or whatever nuts you prefer

Combine the oats with the apple juice and cranberries, cover and keep in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, top your muesli with some plain yoghurt, grated apple, fresh blueberries and nuts.
Grab a spoon and dive right in.  


Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I just posted a granola recipe on my blog but now I want to try this.

Emm said...

I love bircher muesli :-) I first started making it when I lived in Sydney many moons ago...

Maria said...

I never say no to oats, raw or cooked! ;-)