Switzerland

Dish

"Birchermüesli" was invented by Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner (1867-1939), a pioneer of the biological health medicine and whole foods diet. Dr. Bircher was active in Zürich and he had a great impact on our feeding habits. Around 1900, he suggested that cereals, fruits and vegetables are more valuable food than meat, but his colleagues did not agree with his points of view. But even if the public opinion did not follow his ideas, he had more faith in his own experiences than the current doctrine. While at that time meat was regarded as the best suited and most valuable food for humans, vegetables and fruits were considered food of the poor people. But Dr. Bircher continued to believe in what he called "food of the sunlight", meals based on biological, natural ingredients. He created a recipe which is known today worldwide as "Birchmüesli". He was also convinced that health care should be much more than just medical treatments. In 1897, Dr. Bircher founded a health clinc in Zürich, where he practiced a holistic therapy which included whole foods diet, a daily walk, bathing and sunbathing. He even set up exercise equipment, so we can see his health clinc as a kind of a fore runner of the gym and fitness centers as we know them today. His original muesli recipe has certainly spawned a whole muesli inspired breakfast cereal industry, but this is the original recipe just as it was presented over 100 years ago.  

Ingredients

Serves 2 adults or 4 kids
  • 200g oats (whole rolled oats have a great texture)
  • 400g apple juice (pear or rhubarb work just as well)
  • 1 large or 2 small apples
  • 100g plain yoghurt
Birchermuesli

Method

  1. In a big bowl or container, soak the oats in the apple juice and store sealed in the fridge (a couple of hours will do, but best is overnight).
  2. When you are ready to eat the Bircher, grate the apple and add this to the soaked oats together with the yoghurt.
  3. The grated apple will oxidise (turn brown) if not eaten immediately – this doesn't really matter, but if you do want to use the Bircher over a few days, add the grated apple and yoghurt in proportion to the oats you want to eat that day.
  4. Give a good mix and spoon into bowls ready to eat.