The holidays are closing in on us fast, and my pants are already snug (mashed potatoes, I’m looking at you). I’ve been perfecting this Bircher muesli recipe since I finally figured out how to make overnight oats tasty.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your cravings and energy level in check this holiday season (who isn’t?), I hope this Bircher muesli recipe will be a big help. It’s basically overnight oats with fresh apple and applesauce, oats, raisins, nuts and nut butter.
Bircher muesli is a healthy make-ahead breakfast that tastes like a holiday treat. Bonus? It’s very easily made vegan and/or gluten free, if need be.
Bircher Muesli History
Bircher muesli was created in the early 1900s by a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He claimed to have cured his own jaundice by eating raw apples, and encouraged his patients to eat raw fruit and vegetables to cure their ailments.
Bircher-Benner’s original recipe was inspired by a “strange dish” that he and his wife were served while hiking in the Swiss alps. His recipe called for lots of fresh apple with a small amount of oats, lemon juice, nuts, cream and honey. He served it to his patients as a healthy appetizer before most meals.
His concept reminds me of my mom’s advice when I was little. When I complained that I was hungry before dinner, she always told me to go eat an apple!
The Best Bircher Muesli
My version is more similar to my overnight oats recipe than Bircher’s original. I use more oats, almond milk instead of cream, and add a spoonful of almond butter for a creamy texture.
I also added a couple tablespoons of homemade applesauce for extra apple flavor. Store-bought applesauce will work, too, but homemade takes this recipe to the next level. It’s a nice snack to have around, too.
My Bircher muesli is thick and satisfying. It’s a breakfast that I look forward to eating in the mornings, and it keeps me going until lunchtime.
Please let me know how you like it in the comments! And if you’re craving an equally wholesome but warm apple breakfast, don’t miss my apple steel-cut oatmeal.
Homemade Bircher Muesli
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Refrigerator
- Cuisine: Swiss
This bircher muesli recipe is so delicious! It’s a healthy way to start the day. Recipe yields 1 serving; I recommend making these oats in multiples of 2 in order to use up 1 apple while making and then 1 more apple for serving.
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon raisins or dried cranberries or cherries
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons homemade applesauce or store-bought applesauce
- ⅓ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk), plus extra for serving (optional)
- 1 medium Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple, preferably organic
- Chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
- Drizzle of honey or maple syrup, if desired
- In a jar or bowl (a 14-ounce working jar or 1-pint mason jar is perfect), combine the oats, raisins, cinnamon, nut butter and applesauce. Stir to combine. Then add the milk and stir to combine.
- Grate half of the apple, then stir the grated apple into the oatmeal (if you’re making multiple jars, just use 1 grated apple for 2 jars, and so on).
- Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 5 days. When you’re ready to serve, chop the remaining ½ apple into matchsticks. Top the oatmeal with the fresh apple, a splash of milk and/or a drizzle of honey (both optional). Enjoy chilled.
Why buy organic? Apples are #4 on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning that conventionally grown apples are generally high in pesticide residues.
Make it gluten free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
Make it vegan: Choose one of the dairy-free milk options listed above. If adding additional sweetener, use maple syrup instead of honey.
Make it nut free: Omit the nut butter or replace it with sunbutter. Omit the nuts on top, or use sunflower seeds or pepitas instead.
Warm it up: Overnight oats are typically served chilled. However, if you prefer warm oats, you can heat them in the microwave before topping with fresh apple. Just use a microwave-safe jar and stir frequently while you’re warming them up. Since the oats are so thick, I’m not sure this would work well on the stovetop, but you could give it a try.