A healthy breakfast in minutes? Yes, please! This adaptable Bircher muesli recipe is my morning go-to. It’s very easy to make ahead — often I mix the muesli with milk and yogurt before going to bed and stash it in the fridge so it’s ready when I wake up. It makes mornings a breeze!

A bowl of Bircher muesli.

I learned how to make Bircher muesli many years ago from a tired, talented French man named Chef Pasche, who was working a second job as an instructor at the culinary program I was attending in South Philly. Named after a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Brenner, Bircher muesli essentially is a mix of raw oats, nuts, seeds, and dried or fresh fruit soaked in milk.

It’s one of the healthiest, easiest breakfast recipes you could make, especially if you load it with fruit. Chef Pasche always added a grated apple and whatever fresh fruit was in season — oranges in the winter, berries in the summer — as well as grapes (which he peeled!) and a handful of sugar. He always soaked the muesli mix for at least 15 minutes in milk. Sometimes he stirred in yogurt, too.

For a while I would make the Bircher muesli in small batches, throwing handfuls of oats, almonds and coconut into a bowl, dicing up dates and grating apples, letting it all soak with milk and yogurt until the oats softened. But with mornings getting busier and busier — lunches to pack! coffee to brew! — gathering ingredients, cutting and grating became such a chore.

How to Make Homemade Muesli

To make things easier, I make a big mix of muesli; then I simply use a 1/2 cup of this mix for my morning Bircher muesli. As noted above, often I mix the muesli mix with milk, yogurt, and grated apple, and stash it in the fridge overnight.

To make the muesli mix, combine:

  • rolled oats
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • sliced almonds
  • golden raisins
  • date pellets (an amazing discovery — so much easier than cutting dates; plus they don’t clump).

Transfer to an airtight storage vessel; then store at room temperature.

Use the recipe below as a guide. Add more oats, use other nuts, omit the chia, etc. It’s so nice having an enormous vat of muesli sitting on my counter — truly, I feel lost in the morning when we are out.

The Joys of Bulk Food Shopping

Thanks to an amazing co-op in Albany, I’ve discovered the joys of bulk food shopping. A quarter (wild guess) of the 31,000 square feet that is the Honest Weight Food Co-op is lined with tubes, bins, and barrels holding every nut, seed, grain, flour, pasta, oil, butter, extract, paste you could imagine.

It’s an astonishing site — really, I’ve never seen anything like it: whole aisles dedicated to unpackaged food, which you can cart home in your own vessels or in an array of glass jugs and jars sold at the store.

I’m stating the obvious here, but bulk shopping is way more economical for these sorts of ingredients, and while I am by no means suggesting that shopping at HW will save you money, shopping their bulk section (or your store’s) will.

One Tip for Bulk Shopping

I love bulk shopping, but bulk shopping with children is not ideal/maddening/impossible. What is so nice about the HW co-op is that you can bring in your own vessels. When you arrive, someone will weigh/tare your containers so you’re not charged for the weight of the vessels. And then off you go.

I now arrive with a 4-qt Cambro, which I fill with oats, a dozen or so quart containers (the same ones I use for soup and stock), and a glass jug or two, all of which I have marked with the correct PLU numbers/names, which makes shopping the bulk section a breeze. I know all stores don’t allow you to bring in your own vessels, but it might be worth asking/requesting because it is a serious time/headache saver.

Bulk storage containers:

Containers for bulk food shopping.

Date pellet thief:

A table filled with bulk food shopping items.

To make the muesli mix, gather your ingredients: oats, almonds, chia, flax, coconut, date pellets, and golden raisins.

Ingredients to make homemade muesli.

Combine in a large bowl:

A large bowl with the ingredients to make homemade muesli.

Toss to combine:

A large bowl of homemade muesli.

Transfer to a large storage container, and store at room temperature.

A jar of homemade muesli.

This recipe yields at least 3 quarts of muesli mix:

A large vat of homemade muesli.

To make a bowl of Bircher muesli, stir together 1/2 cup of the muesli mix, 1/2 cup milk of choice, 1/4 cup yogurt (optional), and 1/2 grated apple.

Ingredients to make Bircher muesli.
A bowl of muesli soaked with milk and yogurt.
A bowl of Bircher muesli topped with grated apple.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving:

A bowl of Bircher muesli.

Or: combine the muesli mix with the milk, yogurt, and apple, and stash in the fridge overnight. It’s such a treat to rise to these overnight oats:

A jar of overnight Bircher muesli.
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Busy Morning Bircher Muesli


  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 quarts
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

As I mentioned above, adapt the recipe to your liking. Any number of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. will work. Also, wheat flakes, oat flakes, etc. can be added.

If you haven’t made the muesli mix, just use 1/2 cup oats and a pinch of any nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. you have on hand. Before I discovered date pellets, I would just chop up a date — one date per serving/person.

To simplify: Sometimes I just soak the muesli in milk for about 15 minutes — no apple, no yogurt. For me, I’ll soak 1/2 cup of muesli with 1/2 cup of milk for at least 15 minutes. Sometimes I add more milk if it has gotten too thick. It is delicious on its own just like that, though the apple provides a nice sweetness and the yogurt, a nice creaminess.


Ingredients

For the muesli mix:

  • 5 cups (556 g) rolled oats
  • 2 cups (180 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups (200 g) sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup (86 g) flax seed
  • 1 cup (176 g) date pellets
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) chia seeds
  • 1 cup (126 g) golden or brown raisins

For 1 serving of Bircher muesli:

  • 1/2 cup muesli mix, see notes above
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice — I love using almond or cashew milk
  • 1/2 grated apple
  • any other fresh fruit you feel like adding
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. To make the muesli mix: Mix oats, coconut, almonds, flax seed, date pellets, chia, and raisins in a large bowl; then transfer to a storage container.
  2. To make an individual serving of Bircher muesli: Mix together the 1/2 cup muesli mix with the 1/2 cup milk, grated apple, fruit (if using), and yogurt. Let sit for 15 minutes at least before serving.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American, French

Keywords: Bircher, muesli, oats, overnight, breakfast