Breaking the silence with bircher muesli

1 May

Bircher muesli for breakfast

When I started this blog months and months ago, I had a name, an uploaded photo and the dream of finally starting a food blog (with the occasional musings about design, music and other things we love) with my favorite person, my husband.

But a blog’s not a blog without stuff to blog about. The busyness of life took over, not to mention a TV show I was producing that kept me away from the things (and people!) that I love. So this sad little page remained blank for way too long. That’s why I was thrilled when Neil decided to finally post something here. And suddenly what was supposed to be ‘our’ blog became ‘his’ blog by default.

The time has come to break my silence. And I’ve decided to do that with breakfast. My favorite meal to eat and cook.

I absolutely love grains, seeds and nuts, and in general I like mixing textures, blending hot with cold, and trying anything different and interesting when it comes to cooking. Oatmeal is one of my favorite comfort foods and I like preparing it many different ways (that said it has to be slow cooking oats; my faves are Bob’s Red Mill Extra Thick Organic Rolled Oats and Steel Cut Oats). But there’s also an alternate cold version that I thought I’d share.

I discovered the joy of Bircher Muesli a few years ago on a shoot in Los Angeles. The Corner Bakery in L.A calls their version ‘Swiss Oatmeal’ . Call it whatever you want, it’s delicious, creamy, filling, and such a treat with a good cup of rich coffee in the morning. The best part is that there are endless ways of preparing it to suit your taste. I don’t think I’ve ever made it exactly the same way twice.

How do you make it? Well, you basically throw your ingredients into a big bowl, top with any kind of milk, yogurt or cream (or a combo of each!), cover and let it do its thing in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you wake up to deliciousness.

It might not look like the prettiest breakfast, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste.

Oh, and I never measure my ingredients; it’s all just fly by the seat of my pajama pants.

Keep reading for the recipe.

  1. Put a few handfuls of oats in a bowl: for this recipe I use mostly organic slow-cooking extra thick rolled oats, but I have been known to throw in some quick cooking oats as well. Why? I have no idea, it just feels right.
  2. Add toasted slivered almonds: toasting them is essential! They give such a great flavor and make your kitchen smell wonderful at the same time. I just heat them in a dry pan for a few minutes until they brown.
  3. Add chopped fruit: green apple, dried apricots, dried cranberries (it’s really good with chopped up banana too, but it doesn’t seem to keep as long) – chop into small pieces.
  4. Sprinkle in cinnamon: as much as you like! I like lots.
  5. Add agave nectar: My favorite sweetener, cuz it’s keeps your blood sugar levels steady – but you can use honey or any other liquid sweetener.
  6. Pour in your fave kind of milk: I always use a mix of skim or 1% milk, soy milk (for added protein) and usually some unsweetened almond milk. I have tasted a version made with cream and it’s ridiculously heavenly, but I could never allow myself that kind of indulgence with a whole batch.
  7. Add yogurt: I always use an unsweetened plain flavor.

Mix it all up, cover and leave in the fridge. I sometimes visit it every few hours and give it a mix, then add more milk if the consistency is too gluey or thick. Getting the right consistency is all a matter of taste.

You can add a ton of different ingredients: pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, any kind of fruit etc… It should make a big batch that should last you for a few days in the fridge.

Bircher Muesli isn’t very common for some reason, so when I find a place that makes it I always have to try their version. In Toronto, Whole Foods has a sinfully delicious one made with cream and berries, and The Upper Crust in my beloved Leslieville makes a fantastic one with soy milk, topped with fresh fruit and loads of mixed nuts.

So there you have it. Finally a word (or 700) from me. The editor in my husband will probably cringe at the length of this post, but I figured I’d make up for lost time. Enjoy!

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One Response to “Breaking the silence with bircher muesli”

  1. Jayme May 11, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    I’m trying this tomorrow AM!

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