Bircher muesli is named after Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner (1867–1939). He was a Swiss doctor who contracted jaundice and claimed to heal himself by eating raw apples.
An apple a day kept the doctor away—from jaundice and other diseases. But not from apples. He kept on eating those. Awesome and so meta!
If you can’t say Bircher muesli—with a proper German accent, no less—you can call it “overnight oats”.
It’s the same thing, except Bircher muesli always has apples in it.
Dr. Bircher—raw foodist, vegetarian, nutritionist— came up with his muesli concept at his sanatorium as a way to shove more fresh fruit down his sick patients’ throats.
It’s unclear how many went home healed and how many left feet first, but the name stuck.
And Bircher Muesli is such a good, nutritious breakfast dish.
You’ll find many variations of Bircher muesli, but the method is always the same: Soak oats, dried fruit, and nuts in liquid (milk and/or fruit juice) overnight. Mix in raw, diced apples. (Some add pears, too, but I think that’s overkill).
Six easy steps to make Bircher Muesli (overnight oats):
- Combine oats, dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
- Mix in the liquid ingredients (milk, juice, yogurt, and maple syrup).
- Cover and let soak overnight.
- Soaked muesli mixture.
- Add finely diced fresh apple to the bowl.
- Stir the apple into the mixture.
Eat as-is or top with more fruit and yogurt.
My version is gluten-free and vegan, because I like to keep it clean and light. I also like to use only one kind of dried fruit and one kind of nut, but be my guest and go wild with what you mix in.
Bircher muesli keeps for about a week in the fridge, so double the recipe to save time making breakfast. It also travels really well—put it in a jar, and take it on the road with you.
PS: You know the difference between muesli and granola, right? Granola uses rolled oats, too, but it’s baked. I have a great recipe here if you’re not into soaking.
What else can you make for breakfast?
This amazing chocolate granola: Chocolate Granola With Pistachios, Almonds, And Dried Currants
GF & Paleo Bread that everyone falls for: Paleo Almond Butter Bread
My Czech grandma’s pancakes: Fluffy Bohemian Pancakes
What’s your favorite breakfast dish? Are you more into muesli or granola?
Tell me in the comments.Print
GF & Vegan Bircher Muesli (Overnight Oats)
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 1x
- Cuisine: American
Light, nutritious breakfast made by soaking gluten-free rolled oats, dried fruit and nuts in a dairy-free milk and orange juice. Top with fresh fruit and vegan yogurt.
- 2 cups (225 g) gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup (75 g) dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins, blueberries, apricots, etc.)
- ½ cup (50 g) almonds or other nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts), chopped
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup (50 ml) dairy-free yogurt, plus extra to serve
- ¼ cup (50 ml) orange juice
- ¼ cup (50 ml) maple syrup
- 1½ cups finely diced, peeled, cored, tart apple (about 1 large apple, such as Granny Smith)
- To serve:
- Dairy-free yogurt (optional)
- Mixture of seasonal fresh fruit (optional), cut into bite-size pieces
- Combine the oats, dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Mix the milk, yogurt, orange juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
- Add the liquid mixture to the bow with the oat mixture, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Leave the mixture in the bowl or transfer to a smaller container, and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Let soak for minimum 5 hours or overnight in the refrigerator (at this point, you can store the muesli, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 6 days).
- In a medium bowl, stir the apple into the mixture.
- Serve the muesli in individual bowls, and top with yogurt and fresh fruit if you like.
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