“What is Bircher” a term drawn from the name of Maximilian Bircher-Benner
The physician responsible for the invention of muesli. Any form of muesli can be referred to as Bircher muesli, but generally the term is used to identify, specifically, muesli made using Bircher-Benner’s original recipe, or at least a similar one.
Bircher muesli differs substantially from more typical modern muesli in that it’s heavier on the fruit and require more preparation time, but it’s still a delicious and healthy meal.
Bircher muesli remains an incredibly popular dish in Germany and its native Switzerland to this day, with good reason. It’s simple, tasty, healthy, and cheap; you couldn’t ask for a better breakfast.
Making Bircher Muesli
The key difference in preparing Bircher muesli is that the oats and other grains – the dry part of the muesli – is soaked in a liquid, typically fruit juice mixed with milk, cream, or yogurt, then mixed with nuts, seasonings, and chopped fruit before being left in the fridge.
It’s left there overnight, soaking up flavor and nutrients from the liquid; the result is that Bircher muesli is more like a porridge than the dry cereal of modern muesli. In the morning, just remove the dish from the refrigerator and top with fresh fruit alongside any other garnishes you might like.
Typically, Bircher muesli will be far heavier on fruit than modern muesli recipes, so keep that in mind; whereas typical contemporary muesli is a grain – primarily oat – dish with fruit as a component, Bircher muesli should really be thought of as a fruit dish that uses oats for body and texture.
The Advantages of Bircher Muesli
While Bircher muesli isn’t nearly as convenient and easy to ready on a moment’s notice as a modern muesli, it’s incredibly nutritious.
It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals by the fruits and nuts, while the overnight soak helps to break down the grain, making it more digestible and increasing your body’s ability to utilize its nutritional properties.
It’s a great source of healthy energy, for breakfast or as a snack later in the day – and it’s both delicious and incredibly easy to prepare, as long as you think to do it the night before.
Even a child could make Bircher muesli, since there’s no cooking involved; just mix the ingredients and let them rest.
If you don’t have an ingredient, improvise; you’re sure to find something that will work. If you don’t have time to wait overnight, use instant oats and give them just an hour for a passable version.