There are regularly articles in the media that seem to present an ever changing picture of research as to whether or not having breakfast is good or bad for us. I don’t know about you but my thought process around this debate goes like this…am I hungry? Yes, have some breakfast. Or, no, wait until I am hungry then!
I would say 95% of the time; I have breakfast within an hour of waking up. I love breakfast! Typically I was fond of a carb heavy breakfast; cereal, toast, or pastries. Ultimately I know these are things that are not filling for long enough, but we all have our vices don’t we? At the weekend I call it brunch, because we tend to eat a bit later and it is usually a larger meal (eggs of some sort, full English, etc).
Recently I have become a bit calorie conscious (perpetual on-off dieter that I am). With a holiday coming up in ten weeks and getting the usual bikini body fear, I have been exploring breakfast foods that are tasty, nutritious but also filling without breaking the calorie bank before the day has even begun.
A few months ago I tried Starbucks’ Bircher Muesli. I had not heard of it before, but it looked delicious. My instincts were correct; it was yummy and surprisingly filling for what looked like a small pot.
The guys at mixmyown.com say that the traditional recipe for bircher muesli is pretty simple and consists of key ingredients of rolled oats, milk, apple and lemon juice. Once this combination has soaked overnight you can add any additional ingredients you fancy.
Now this tasty dish might be a revelation to me but has actually been around since the 1900’s. It was developed by a Swiss physician (Maximilian Bircher- Benner) as a healthy breakfast for his patients.
As delicious as the Starbucks pot was, it is not exactly cost effective to be having one every day, so I decided to make my own. I quickly realised there is no hard and fast recipe, but the principle of soaking the oats overnight was the main requirement.
After much experimenting I have found my Bircher Muesli mojo. It ticks all the boxes for me for being simple to make, not time consuming, cheap but still nutritious and filling. Here is my recipe;
Natasha’s Bircher Muesli (base ingredients make 2 portions, toppings are based on one portion)
Roughly 200 calories per portion
50g porridge oats
150ml water (you can use milk, almond milk, coconut water if you prefer, I stick to water)
1 apple grated
Sprinkle of cinnamon to taste
Drizzle of honey
1tbsp Greek yogurt
Handful of berries (I use frozen ones, just remember to defrost the night before)
- Mix base ingredients in a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight
- In the morning mix half the base ingredients with the yogurt and honey (leave other half of the oats in the fridge for the next day)
- Sprinkle with fruit and devour!
Do not be fooled into thinking this is similar to instant flavoured porridge that might seem more convenient. Unlike the recipe above, these instant porridges contain a lot of sugar, and although the stated calorie count might be lower (or similar), they are empty calories that won’t keep you as full for as long. Plus, they actually end up being quite expensive. They are usually on some sort of offer, do not let that fool you, they tend to average costing about £1.50 per pot. Arguably this is cheaper than the Starbucks muesli pot (£2.35), but my muesli recipe above works out at just under 70p per portion and takes a maximum of 10 minutes preparation time (5 minutes at night and 5 minutes each morning). Winner!
I constantly modify the recipe, you can add more or less water depending on how thick you prefer the texture. You can also experiment with different fruits on top, or perhaps dried fruit, nuts or if you want something more indulgent maybe chocolate chips or crumbled biscuit.
Give it a go, you won’t be sorry!
Pop back and check out more food related posts under the Hearty Recipes and Food Adventures tag.