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Bircher Muesli – a classic celebrates its revival

December 13, 2019
  • Breakfast
  • Nutrition
Bircher Muesli – a classic celebrates its revival

At the moment the Bircher muesli is very trendy and can be found on the menu of every good breakfast restaurant. However, muesli actually has a really long tradition.

What used to be seen as a boring dish one would only eat when being on a diet is now available in many different variations and reinterpreted on our breakfast tables. This is not surprising at all, because the power breakfast does not only taste good, but also gives you a lot of energy for your day.

During this blogpost you can find out everything about the muesli classic. We will explain to you why Bircher Muesli is so healthy, how it was created, how you can prepare it yourself at home and much more.


What is Bircher Muesli?

Did you already know that Bircher muesli is made from only four ingredients and that it was originally eaten for dinner? – The original Bircher muesli consists of oat flakes, nuts and apples soaked in a little milk.

This simple mixture was discovered more than 120 years ago by a Swiss doctor named Maximilian Bircher-Benner. It is said that the oat dish was served to him by an Alpine dairymaid.

Due to its healthy effect, Bircher-Benner then recommended it to his patients as diet food. He himself called the muesli creation simply apple diet food, or simply “d Spys”, which is Swiss and means as much as “the food”.

Bircher muesli past and present

However, in the past the Bircher muesli was not eaten as breakfast like today. It was enjoyed in the evening. Bircher-Benner wanted to give his patients an understanding of a balanced diet with fresh fruit.

Today, the Bircher muesli is available in many different variations and flavours. Always reinterpreted, the food is becoming increasingly popular again and is often seen at the breakfast table as a muesli classic.

Why is it called Bircher Muesli?

Bircher Muesli owes its name to its discoverer Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner. At that time, the Swiss doctor was a pioneer in the field of wholefood nutrition. The focus of this nutrition type is on fresh and untreated foods as well as foods made from whole grains.

For him, as a representative of vegetarian raw food nutrition, the most important ingredient in muesli was not oat flakes, but the grated apples with peel and core.

Making Bircher muesli yourself

You can easily prepare the original Bircher muesli and the today’s trendy version yourself at home. Here you can find the traditional Bircher muesli recipe:

For the Bircher muesli (4 portions) you need:

  • 16 tbsp oat flakes
  • 600 ml of milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 apples
  • 4 tbsp grated hazelnuts

How to prepare the Bircher muesli

If you want to make Bircher muesli, you actually have to start preparing the Bircher muesli one day ahead. It is important that you soak the flakes overnight in a bowl of water. It is best to put them into the fridge in order to keep them fresh. In the morning you can take the oatmeal out of the fridge and stir in milk.

For the original Bircher muesli you have to grate a whole apple with the seeds and the core. You can also leave out the seeds if you like.

Now all you have to do is to mix the grated apples and hazelnuts with the pulp. Finally, add a dash of lemon juice and you can enjoy your self-made original Bircher muesli.


Toppings and variations

Of course, you can also alter the recipe and add different kinds of nuts or fruits. Dried fruit, shredded coconut or various seeds such as linseeds or chia seeds are particularly suitable as toppings. Just try different varieties and decide what you like best. You can also try having it with yoghurt or fruit juice instead of milk.

For a vegan version of the Bircher muesli, simply exchange the milk with a plant-based alternative. You can easily make various plant drinks yourself, such as oat milk, almond milk or cashew milk. This also brings variation to your breakfast.

If you are in a hurry or just have little time to prepare, you can also use ready-made blends such as our Verival Bircher Muesli with Heritage Grains. You can prepare it either cold or hot.

For a cold version, it’s best to mix it with some milk, yoghurt or curd cheese and fresh fruit. For a warm breakfast, simply boil the milk or water and let the muesli soak up the liquid for 10 minutes. You’re done! At Verival, the original Bircher muesli is also available as a porridge version.


Is Bircher Muesli healthy?

Already the Swiss inventor Maximilian Bircher-Benner was convinced of the fact that Bircher muesli is healthy. But is the breakfast dish really as healthy as you think? – Of course, that always depends on the ingredients you use for the muesli.

Let’s take a closer look at the basic ingredients such as oat flakes, apples and hazelnuts:

Oat flakes keep you full for a long time

Oats are not only healthy, but are also celebrated as a real superfood nowadays. The oat flakes give the Bircher Muesli its base. Due to its high dietary fibre content, oats keep you satiated for a long time. This is why oat flakes are also recommended for losing weight. As the hunger is satisfied for a particularly long time, food cravings thus can be prevented.

Oat flakes also help with digestive problems and lower our blood pressure and cholesterol level. This effect derives from the beta-glucans contained in oats (a certain type of fibre).

In addition, the consumption of oat flakes is said to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, fat metabolism disorders and heart disease. Oats are a cereal with a low gluten content and are therefore usually well tolerated by people with gluten intolerances.

Apples provide vitamins and energy

For a good reason, there is the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. In fact, the apple contains a number of healthy ingredients such as fibre, important vitamins and minerals. Among others, apples contain the vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E and C. Most of them (around 70%) can be found in the skin, so you should not peel them.

Moreover, the apple is also considered as a source of trace elements and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Like oatmeal, apples help our digestion and can lead to lower cholesterol levels. The fructose that is comprised in apples also quickly provides you with energy in the morning.

Hazelnuts increase your concentration

At first glance, hazelnuts are true calorie bombs. But if you take a closer look, the fats contained in the hazelnut turn out to be very healthy. These are unsaturated fatty acids and they have a positive effect on our cardiovascular system.

In addition, nuts are particularly rich in proteins. They are the perfect source of protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans. The contained lecithin also increases our memory power and concentration. Therefore, the hazelnut can be described as the perfect nourishment for our nerves and helps our brain to perform at its best in the morning.

How many calories does Bircher Muesli have?

It is not easy to exactly state the amount of total calories of a Bircher muesli. Depending on the ingredients that you use, the nutritional values contained in your muesli will also change.

For example, our Verival Bircher muesli with Heritage Grains contains per 100g:

Calorific value in kilojoules 1570 kJ
Calorific value in kilocalories 373 kcal
Fat7.6 g
of which saturated fatty acids 0.9 g
Carbohydrates 62 g
of which sugar19 g
Dietary fibre8.9 g
Protein9.6 g
Salt0.10 g

Bircher Muesli with Heritage Grains

Originally developed as a diet dish by Swiss physician M. Bircher-Benner...

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