Bircher Muesli to the Rescue

Maximilian Bircher-Benner

Maximilian Bircher-Benner

You may have never heard of Bircher Muesli, you may never have even heard of muesli, but it's one of the oldest health foods favored in the mountain spas of Switzerland and Germany.  Created around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, it provided the vitamins, minerals and raw nutrients that he required as an essential part of therapy for every symptom and every illness.

Bircher is traditionally made from rolled oats that have been soaked overnight or for at least 12 hours.  This is then combined with raw fruit, nuts, yogurt and spices and eaten before any other food in the day and can be eaten throughout the day as part of a cleansing protocol.

In my frequent travels around Switzerland, everyone makes this at home and it is one of the most traditional early morning rituals, especially when hiking through the mountains.  During cleansing I recommend this as the first and mid-day meals for 3-10 days, followed by a healthy dinner.

Here is my favorite recipe for Bircher Muesli:

2 cups plain or vanilla organic yogurt
2 cups rolled or steel-cut oats, soaked if you are planning to eat this right away
1 cup milk
1/2 lemon, squeezed
drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl and then add any of the following ingredients you would like:

2 grated apples
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
1 orange, peeled and chopped
grapes, halved
strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
kiwi, pears or pineapple
almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped
golden raisins
seeds, chia or flax
cinnamon to taste

If you have not soaked the rolled oats, then put the blend into the refrigerator overnight.  It will be fabulous in the morning.