Bircher Muesli Recipe
This easy bircher muesli recipe is packed with superfoods like hemp, pumpkin seeds, nuts, oats, and chia seeds. It makes a lovely DIY edible gift and a healthy make-ahead or on-the-go breakfast.
I’ve been making granola for years, and love it, but there’s one thing I don’t love, and that’s the sugar needed to make a great granola. I’ve been meaning to make my own muesli for awhile now and finally did it! I don’t know what took me so long, homemade muesli takes under 10 minutes to throw together. Muesli is much simpler to make than granola and has much less sugar.
This nutritious breakfast cereal first caught my eye in Europe. I noticed it on many hotel breakfast buffets served with yogurt or milk, and on many grocery store shelves during our stay in Italy. I’ve been noticing muesli more and more here in the US and it got me wondering…
What is Muesli?
I’ve heard this referred to as Bircher Muesli and just Muesli. I did a bit of investigation over on the BBC travel site, and learned that this delightful mixture was invented by a Swiss doctor by the name of Dr Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner around the year 1900.
Dr. Bircher-Benner’s muesli was a combination of oats, nuts, and raw apple mixed with water, lemon juice, and condensed milk. He recommended this concoction be eaten before meals and found that it did improve his health and the health of his patients. At the time it was called Apfeldiätspeise, which translates to Apple Diet Meal. It’s kind of fun to know the backstory to this 100-year old breakfast idea, don’t you think?
While this recipe and many store bought versions aren’t exactly the traditional Dr. Bircher-Benner muesli, I think they are just as nutritious. We have access to great superfoods like hemp, pumpkin, and chia seeds, so why not toss them in? Do you think Dr. Bircher would approve? If you’d like a more traditional Bircher muesli, use dried apples for the dried fruit, or add shredded fresh apple while soaking.
How to Make Muesli
The base of this cereal is rolled oats. From there you can add your favorite seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. As I personally prefer fresh fruit, this recipe just has a small amount of cranberries. I’ve also added quite a lot of seeds here, because they are a great source of plant based protein and minerals. If you’re not sure if you enjoy chia seeds, which do become a bit gelatinous, you may want to leave them out of your first muesli. Store your dry mix in an airtight container and give it as a gift, or pour it into an individual bowl with milk for a nutritious breakfast the next day.
How to Eat Muesli
There are a few different ways to enjoy this European style breakfast.
Traditional Swiss Bircher Muesli
Swiss bircher muesli is traditionally soaked overnight in the refrigerator so the oats get very soft and porridge-like. It’s a lot like overnight oats or chia pudding. Traditionally, grated apple is added before soaking. The cold porridge can be topped with yogurt and fruit in the morning.
Quick Cold Muesli
If you prefer a less mushy breakfast, or don’t think of it until the morning, I find a 10 minute soak in your favorite milk or yogurt to be sufficient. Soaked are more easily digestible, so soaking is better than eating this as a dry snack.
While muesli is traditionally eaten as a cold cereal, some prefer it warm. If you’re on team hot oatmeal vs cold overnight oats, this may be the way to go. Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of muesli and simmer for about 7 minutes.
If you struggle to find the time to eat a healthy breakfast before heading out for the day, try muesli in a jar. It’s a great grab-and-go option. I like it best topped with yogurt, berries, and coconut chips.
- 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten free)
- 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- 1/8 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup coconut chips (I used Dang brand)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or other favorite dried fruit
- dairy free milk of choice
- fresh berries
- 1 grated apple
- sliced banana
- To make the dry muesli mix, pour all the ingredients into a medium bowl or canning jar. If making this muesli as a gift, it's fun to layer the ingredients in a jar, otherwise, mix them all together. Store in an airtight container. Muesli will last longer in the refrigerator as nuts and seeds do go rancid.
- For one serving of traditional Swiss Bircher muesli, add 1/4 cup of the dry muesli mix to a jar and top with 1/2 cup milk or yogurt. Refrigerate overnight and top with fruit in the morning.
- For one serving of quick cold muesli, add 1/4 cup of the dry muesli mix to a bowl and top with 1/2 cup milk or yogurt. Let sit for 10 minutes and top with fruit.
- For two servings of hot muesli, add 1/2 cup dry muesli to a saucepan of 1 cup of simmering water. Simmer for about 7 minutes and serve like oatmeal.
Feel free to use this recipe as a guide and swap the seeds, nuts, and dried fruit for what you love or have on hand. Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and dried apricots are some of my other favorite ingredients. Nutrition information is approximate and calculated by a third party site. I am not a nutritionist and can't guarantee accuracy. If you health depends on nutrition data, please calculate again using your favorite calculator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 234 Serving Size: 1/4 cup dry
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144 Cholesterol: 0mg