Bircher Muesli


Bircher muesli was first created by the swiss physician Maximillian Bircher-Benner (1867-1939).  He was an early proponent of holistic medicine therapies that included  improving nutrition,  getting exercise, regular bathing, and  sun exposure.  He contradicted the opinion of the day which suggested that vegetables and fruit  were peasant food and should only be consumed in small quantities by the wealthier class.

This single serving recipe is based on the original proportions that Benner suggested.  It’s notable that it contains more fruit than grain.


  • Oats (1-4 tbsp per person is a good starting point)
  • Alternately use flakes of quinoa, amaranth, or spelt
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruits (dates, apricots, cranberries, raisins, cherries)
  • 1-3 tbsp ground or whole Nuts, raw or toasted (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
  • Unsweetened shaved coconut (optional)
  • Milk, cream, soy milk, rice milk, or fruit juice
  • Fresh fruit (peeled and grated apples, sliced bananas, peeled and chopped peaches or nectarines, berries, cherries, diced pears, kiwi, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • Plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste

Make it

For a simple and quick breakfast, mix all ingredients except honey and cover with your liquid of  choice.  Top with yogurt, and drizzle with honey.

Alternately for a more authentic, and arguably more digestible muesli try soaking it overnight in a medium bowl (it’s going to go in the fridge, so use one that will fit). Add the dried fruits, nuts, and coconut.  Pour in enough milk, cream, or fruit juice to cover and add the oats ensuring that they are totally submerged. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap or lid  and refrigerate overnight.

At breakfast remove the bowl with the oats from the fridge and add the fresh fruit and yogurt—you want to add enough yogurt to make the mixture creamy—the oats will have sucked up all the liquid the night before.  Serve drizzled with honey or maple syrup.