We went to Europe for two and a half weeks in June. What a magical time! We saw mountains, ate incredible food including the famous Swiss chocolate and exceptional dairy products, and had a fantastic time laughing while traveling with family. A sense of humor is the best thing to bring on a trip!
One of my favorite breakfasts in Switzerland was Birchermuesli, invented by Dr. Bircher-Benner around 1900 as a way to increase fresh fruit and raw foods in the diet.
I tried Birchermuesli at five different towns in Switzerland. They were all a little different. My favorite Birchermuesli was in Hotel Kreuz Bern. I loved this hotel because of the rooftop terrace and the 24-hour tea room. What? Tea for free 24 hours a day! How could I not love it!
Since I have returned, I have been making Birchermuesli for breakfast. Here’s my recipe.
Birchermuesli, Gen-style (not authentic Swiss)
Soak 1 cup of oats with as much apple juice as necessary and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar is optional. I use it because it *might* have miraculous qualities. I have heard apple cider vinegar does everything from making your hair shiny to repairing bridges (not quite) so I figure it can’t hurt.
Let the oats soak for at least 10 minutes. You can cut up your apple and feed your dogs while you are waiting. Don’t have dogs? Some little Chihuahua needs a home. Adopt a dog and you will never be lonely again. You might be annoyed because you are constantly walking, feeding, cleaning up after and entertaining a small, energetic creature, but hey, at least you’re not bored.
I like to cut up my apples into tiny bites, about a quarter-inch square. I recommend an apple with some crisp character: Granny Smith, Honey Crisp or Gala.
Then I stir in the apple, coconut, nuts, dried fruit and yogurt.
What kind of yogurt? Your choice! I use what I have. Might be Fage Greek, might be Yoplait mixed berry (a classic from my childhood when I don’t want the heavy intensity of Greek yogurt), might be Aldi regular vanilla (which tastes a lot like Brown Cow to me).
If you use an unsweetened yogurt and you want your Birchermuesli sweet, now is the time to add some honey or brown sugar.
Don’t like coconut or nuts? You could leave them out. I won’t judge. I personally like a lot of nuts: chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts. Brain food!
Last I put the blueberries on top. Fresh peaches would also be an excellent choice. In Switzerland, I saw people put canned pears on top as well.
I don’t have a lot of vices (save for tea, but is that a vice, really?) so sometimes I like to go a little wild and add a dash of half and half. It makes it richer.
I love Birchermuesli as a light, energizing breakfast. It brings a little of Europe back to me every morning.
If you try it, let me know how you like it!
God bless you this week!