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Because in food I trust. In all forms and shapes. 

2 variations on Bircher muesli

2 variations on Bircher muesli

Breakfast in our family, and especially for me, is an important event in the day. It’s not just a meal, but a process – sitting at the table, being together, tasting, and enjoying the food and each other.

Yet, the daily breakfast ritual sometimes calls for something different, and on these occasions, you can offer a variation on Bircher muesli. It’s great to experience something different, and you can also prepare it the night before so that you have no worries the next morning. And, if you have prepared the night before and you have to fly away, leaving your family at home, you can be sure in the knowledge that your family will be well fed and happy.

It turns out that Bircher muesli has been around since 1900 when the Swiss physiotherapist Maximilian Bircher-Benner created a mix of oat flakes and fruit and presented it to his patients as a healthy and good breakfast alternative. It’s true that unlike today’s version, the classic Bircher muesli consisted of very little oats, but a lot of dried fruit and grated apple supplemented with condensed milk (in those days, pasteurization of fresh milk was not yet widely available). The oat flakes were soaked for one reason – they were too tough to eat raw. The next day, the rest of the ingredients were added. Today, we can dispense with the soaking and use quick-cooking oat flakes, but I stick to the old method because I believe (and, as it seems, so do many others) that the overnight soaking makes the muesli reach another taste dimension by rejuvenating the flakes, rehydrating the fruit and nuts, and letting all the flavours mix together.

Ingredients

hazelnut milk:
200 g juicy, fresh hazelnuts
1 l water

hazelnut muesli:
70 g oat flakes
100 ml hazelnut milk
20 g flax seeds
20 g walnuts
10 ml maple syrup or honey
30 g dried fruit
120 g grated apple

vanilla muesli:
150 g whole oat flakes
250 ml cow’s milks
120 g vanilla yogurt
1/4 orange rind, finely grated
110 g grated apple, skin on
20 g chia seeds
20 g coconut flakes
50 g sultanas
1 medium pear, coarsely grated

Prepare

Prepare the nut milk. Pour the hazelnuts in a bowl, cover with water. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the fridge for 12 hours (you can reduce the time to 6 hours). Place the soaked nuts in a blender and process well. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve (if your sieve is not fine, line it with some cheesecloth). Place in a bottle with a lid, and store in the fridge up to five days.

Prepare the Bircher muesli in the evening to serve the next morning.

Prepare the hazelnut muesli. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover with cling film, and store in the fridge for 12 hours. In the morning, stir and serve. If the muesli feels too dry, add some milk.

Prepare the vanilla muesli. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, leaving out the pears. Cover with cling film, and store in the fridge for 12 hours. Remove from the fridge, mix in the pears, and serve with some yogurt, if desired.

Recipe: Signe Meirane
Photo: Armands Meirans

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