Did you know that the original muesli is a light, fresh food?
A great way to receive the slow release of energy from oats, avoiding the heaviness of porridge, and the extra sugars added to most packet muesli. And it has a lovely clean taste!
In the early 1900s Maximillian Bircher-Benner developed muesli as part of a ‘healing diet’ high in fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts at his sanatorium in Switzerland. The idea was to combine equal quantities of oats and freshly grated apple, thus increasing the consumption of fresh foods.
The lemon juice helps take your body in a healthy alkaline direction.
This is a far cry from the dry muesli that abounds on on supermarket shelves, and it’s much cheaper to make!
Eating fresh muesli is quite a different experience to eating porridge, though both are based on oats! I like to think of it as ‘summer porridge’ – all the goodness of oats in a much lighter form. For me it’s a good start on a day when I know I won’t be eating again for several hours.
Muesli is very versatile; you can eat it for breakfast, or, as happened in my family for dessert, and I guess it would make a good supper dish too.
I learned to make muesli by watching my Mother, so I’ve never followed a recipe. However, I appreciate the frustration of being told ‘soak some oats and raisins in milk, add a grated apple, some nuts and lemon juice’, so here’s a ‘proper’ recipe to get started! Then I encourage you to experiment with your own ingredients.
The basic mix
3-4 Tbsp oat flakes (porridge oats)
4-5 Tbsp milk (or water or juice or plain yoghurt – to soak all the oats)
1 large finely grated apple ( or 2 small ones)
3-4 tsp chopped or milled nuts
7 Tbsp lemon juice
Raisins (I like to soak them with the oats)
Fresh fruit for topping
Whatever else you fancy!
Time – soaking time, plus a few more minutes
- Soak the oats, and any dried fruit, in the milk or other liquid. I like to soak them overnight for a creamy consisency, though this is not necessary.
- Grate the apple with a fine grater, it’s good if to comes out juicy.
- Add the apple, nuts and lemon juice to the oat mix, and stir well
- Add any toppings.
You can make larger quantities and keep in the fridge for a couple of days.