My Grain-free Nut-free Bircher Muesli
When my oldest son started pre-school, I was fortunate enough to meet a dozen or so mums who met on a regular basis for coffee, conversation & support. It was a time of ‘news’ and ‘firsts’. First babies, first milestones, first days of school,
first lice infections! Then… new babies, new delights, new milestones… We laughed and cried and worried and leaned on each other.
Fast forward sixteen years and we all still meet up! A few have come and gone; we have lived through third & fourth children, separation and divorce, moving house & death. More recently we have seen graduations, car licences, university, and even empty nests! Despite coming from all walks of life, with the common denominator bring our first-born (now in their twenties), we remain pals.
From the beginning, my lovely friends formed a monthly social roster and we meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with or without our partners and this has been going on for years. When I can make it, I always looked forward to getting together and catching up on news.
When it is my turn on the roster, I always choose to host breakfast. It’s my favourite meal of the day and having mates over for breakfast is a much more casual affair. A staple dish that would generate complaint by omission, was my Bircher muesli. Such an easy dish, always a hit and often requested by friends.
But my dietary habits have evolved over the years and I no longer soak oats in orange juice or use Greek yoghurt & dried cranberries liberally. In the last twenty years since my son was born I have discovered that I am gluten intolerant, dairy intolerant and a Paleo ‘convertee’!
But I still love a good (grain-free) muesli and have posted previous recipes here and here. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Interestingly, in Switzerland and Germany, muesli is also eaten as a light evening dish with buttered bread and milky coffee. (I can skip the bread & coffee!)
The original muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy.
If only they had that now! Fresh muesli is prepared using dry rolled oats that have been soaked in water or fruit juice overnight. It is mixed with grated or chopped fresh fruit, milk or yoghurt or cream, juice, nuts, seeds & spices.
The original Bircher-Benner muesli recipe was based much more on fruit, with the addition of a few soaked oats & nuts, and lemon juice. Bircher muesli’s you see nowadays are much more grain focused.
Many of my grain-free recipes are based nuts and coconut and sometimes I catch myself eating too many nuts. As healthy as they are, they are nutrient dense and easy to over eat. Since going Whole30 this month, I have been craving nuts to replace the naughty foods that had been sneaking into my diet. I was needing something else to snack on apart from nuts and carrot sticks! So I decided on a nut-free ‘muesli’ made up like a Bircher muesli and here it is!
Full of fibre and omega-3’s, this protein packed snack is extremely nutrient dense and filling; you only need a little to set you up for the day. And it curbs a 3pm carb craving too! Make up the dry mix and store it for when you want muesli the next day. You can also use it as a sprinkle on everything, including smoothies and salads, for an added nourishing boost as well.
I have used goji berries and dried sour cherries for a little sweetness, but not too much. Other dried fruits can be overpowering and I am trying to keep my sugar intake low this month!
Unlike dried cranberries, tart dried cherries have no added sugar and they are fabulous for inflammation and will help boost your melatonin levels for sleep. Substitute any dried fruit you have on hand, but remember, keep it minimal!
Mince 1 tablespoon each of:
dried goji berries
dried tart cherries
(I did this in my TM on SP 6 for 5 seconds. But you can just as easily do this by hand.)
Add 1 tablespoon each of:
+ 2 tabs shredded coconut
Mix well and store in a jar in the fridge. If you use your TM, just stir them on SP 1 for a few seconds, or you will end up with powder! Use as a sprinkle in smoothies or on salads.
To make up as a Bircher muesli:
3 tabs seed mix soaked in 2 tabs water overnight
2 tabs puffed quinoa
1 grated green apple (I actually use half apple, half zucchini!)
Coconut yoghurt (or dairy yoghurt)
Mix all of the ingredients with enough yoghurt to bind and serve. An added dash of lemon juice is nice also.
Next time I’m doing breakfast for my mums group – I’m serving this! I hope they like it!