I’ve already shown you guys two techniques I use for my daily breakfast: a hot cereal of grains, and a cold bircher variation – I’ve eaten either of these two nearly everyday for the last few years, and it truly makes my morning. I may enjoy going out for breakfasts and brunch, but it’s these comforting bowls of oats that I wake hungry for – also why I sometimes pay exorbitantly for a bowl of muesli outside.
this is an update on the cold bircher recipe – and really, a result of indulging myself to a spot of photography in the brilliant night-light on the back porch. I almost prefer this to sunlight – it gives me brilliant white balance and great colour. on to the recipe!
this isn’t a glamorous photoshoot by any shot – I’m doing this directly in my trusty tupperware that I lug daily to the office – but it does underscore how easy this is. I don’t want to preach (which is always the prelude to what is nagging) but in light of the slew of articles we read these days about the additives in prepared food and how bad all of it is for us, it’s rather a balm to my health-loving soul to know that I’m taking care of myself in this small way. we ought to take some responsibility for the general trend of unhealthiness we’re seeing across the world, isn’t it?
fresh and dried fruit, a sprinkle of grains, some nut butter and a slew of milk – nothing else to it, really.
I’ve done this with a myriad combination of ingredients, and some have worked better than others – here are my notes:
- I like my muesli with rolled oats – steel cut oats don’t seem to do it for me despite overnight soaking – they provide great texture and convenience. there are some over grains which are fussier – they require separate soaking and rinsing before being integrated, and that’s just too much work for me before bedtime – such as raw buckwheat groats, which left an incredibly unappetising sliminess to my cereal.
- I prefer fruits grated into my cereal that retain structure, and that usually means apples and pears. these photos are the result of an unsuccessful experiment with kiwis (the muesli turned out bitter – any idea why?), so I think there might be some fruits that just don’t work – but my favourite are fragrant and firm pears like the packham or roselle.
- nut butters are a great way to add fat and protein to your cereal – which means you stay fuller for longer. I use natural butters – usually the no-sugar varieties that require stirring, drain off the oil on the top (which is great for cooking) – and I haven’t found one that doesn’t work. peanut, almond, hazelnut – you name it.
- dried fruit work for a little surprise-treat in the morning – always a good thing in my book – I scissor-dice larger specimens like prunes, and particularly like currants for their small size and great dispersal properties. I love how they plump up.
- both dairy and non-dairy milks work here, and even water in a pinch. I often use a mix of low-fat dairy and water, but if you can get hold of a fragrant sugarless soy bean milk – that works great too. water on its own is pretty okay – but even with a low-fat milk, there’s a richness that really makes a difference to the quality of your breakfast.
you can make a variation (as in my older recipe) by soaking with water partially and topping it up with yogurt – I love this too.
1 medium fruit
2 tbsp dried fruit
5 tbsp rolled oats
milk (see note above)
1 tbsp of nut butter
sprinkle of nuts
- grate your fruit into the container – core and all if you don’t mind, and I don’t.
- throw everything else in, and top up with milk to cover and a bit more – it all soaks in overnight.
- leave this overnight in the fridge, covered; top it up with more milk in the morning if you prefer it a little runnier. easy-peasy!