Breakfast has always been my favorite meal. To me, 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.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy a doughnut or croissant from time to time, but too much processed sugar and heavy ingredients will likely leave you feeling starved, sluggish, and strung out as soon as you 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, they’re the perfect easy breakfast for busy weekday mornings and I can drink them while I get ready for the day, 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, and healthy.
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, play around with measurements and ingredients, or if you’re headed into the Australian winter try heating it up! Bircher muesli tastes incredible warmed on the stovetop with broiled or baked fruit on top for a nourishing cold-weather breakfast.
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.
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!
+ I’d love to know your favorite combinations, let me know if you try this recipe in the comments!