Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Overnight Bircher Muesli

 photo Bircher-Low-Rez-4_zpsvm9tldym.jpg
Breakfast is by far my favorite meal. It sets the tone for the hours ahead and has the power to make or break the way you feel throughout the remainder of the day, plus I love that hour or so in the early morning that is just mine. Just me and Zephyr, and something tasty to start the day with. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a doughnut or croissant from time to time, usually at work, but too much processed sugar and heavy ingredients tend to leave me feeling starved, sluggish, and strung out as soon as I get to work; to me, the best breakfasts are the ones packed with healthy, from-the-earth ingredients, with plenty of protein and fiber to charge up your body for what lies ahead. 

For the past few months I’ve been on a solid smoothie kick, but all that may change now that Bircher bowls have entered my life. What’s a Bircher bowl you might be asking? A close cousin to overnight oats, the name Bircher comes from 19th century physician, Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner, who invented muesli cereal and played a major role in changing 19th century eating habits. An early advocate for a mostly raw and plant-based diet, he encouraged healthy eating in his patients as a means for healing and held a strong belief that harmony must be struck between people and the natural world around them. While today’s muesli differs greatly from the original, the idea is the same: the Bircher bowl combines homemade muesli with fruit, milk or juice, and other toppings for an easy breakfast that tastes amazing and packs a nutritional wallop. Think of the Bircher bowl as the Swiss version of the Acai bowl: Beautiful, easy, healthy, and so versatile.

If you’re looking for something new to add to your breakfast rotation, check out my version below… and then go wild. This is merely a template for you to discover the tastes and textures that you like best...
 photo Bircher-Low-Rez-6_zpsqjudz1a3.jpg photo Bircher-Low-Rez-1_zpsjgymlwqx.jpg
Muesli Mix 

2 cups rolled oats 

1 cup dried fruit of choice (chopped apricots, chopped dates, dried cherries, raisins, etc.) 

1/2 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened dried coconut 

1/4-1/2 cup ground flax seeds 

Handful of chopped or slivered almonds, or cashews, or hazelnuts… or some combination of the three

Orange or lemon zest Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.) 

Spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc.)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks. 

Muesli is amazing because you can basically throw any dry ingredients that catch your eye together and the result will likely taste great. Experiment with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and zest combinations to find out what flavor you prefer. 
 photo Bircher-Low-Rez-2_zpsu7vn9zoa.jpg photo Bircher-Low-Rez-3_zpsk3bxbk1s.jpg
Overnight Bircher Muesli 
Makes 2 servings

1.5 cups dry muesli mix

1 cup apple juice (traditional) or almond milk


1/2 cup fresh fruit (try mango or berries)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt


1 peach, halved, pit removed, broiled until bubbling and hot

Dollop of chia pudding

Sprinkle of sunflower seeds

Shredded apple (traditional)

For the overnight Bircher, add all ingredients to a jar, seal, and shake well. Store in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready for breakfast, give it a stir and divide into two bowls. Stick the peach halves under your broiler for a few minutes until they’re hot and bubbling.

Top the Bircher with the chopped peaches, shredded apple, a spoonful of chia pudding and a sprinkle of seeds. Enjoy!
 photo Bircher-Low-Rez-5_zps517egmei.jpg
This post was originally published here as part of my full time work with Free People