"Who has invented it? – The Swiss!" The German-speaking countries are familiar with this advertising slogan of the Swiss cough drop manufacturer. In addition, Swiss chocolate and cheese fondue are not just associated with the colloquial Swissness, but are also recognised as culinary export hits. However, did you know that your breakfast muesli is another culinary invention of Switzerland?
What was eaten by the herdsmen as a nutrient source to gain vital energy centuries back, made its way into the valleys only in the 20th century. This century’s old kept secret was unfolded by a doctor (also a nutritionist reformer) from Aargau, Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Brenner, when he discovered the recipe of preparing the Mus from oatmeal, apples, nuts and milk on a mountain hike. Thereafter, he served it as an easy to digest dinner to his patients in a sanatorium in Zurich. It was then served as a wholefood diet with fresh fruit. That is how muesli (Müesli in Switzerland) or even Birchermüesli was invented, and put on his triumphal procession. Read more about this on Wikipedia.
I have myself eaten it since my childhood days, here in the Rhine Valley. We ate it mostly during the summers – and especially when we were on a tight budget. Oatmeal, the main ingredient of muesli, was cheap at this time. Fruit, which we have had pilfered as rascals from our neighbours, was then added to the muesli to give it not only freshness but also valuable vitamins.
"As children we had pilfered the fruit for Birchermüesli from the gardens of our neighbours."
Meanwhile, the simple supper eaten by common people, is a widespread breakfast or z'Morge, as we call it in Switzerland. I appreciate the Birchermüesli not only because it reminds me of my childhood; it is Swiss and tastes great. Moreover, you will never find it missing in our Grand Hotels as a part of the breakfast buffet. We like it as it is a very healthy meal. For us, it is important to serve our guests with a balanced diet, so that adequate attention is given to their health and body – as they expect it to be. After all, our guests want to stay fit and healthy.
The muesli is now experiencing a renaissance. And this breakfast trend (which originated in Europe) has now spread across the world. If you are browsing the internet for healthy recipes, you will quickly find one fact: if you want to eat healthily, want to be hip and fit – or at least want to feed yourself so – then you cannot pass the numerous breakfast muesli recipes (breakfast bowls). The creativity (with muesli) has almost no limits, and there are many great tips on different websites. More the merrier; if it is colourful it is even better. Yes, everything is permitted with this one breakfast staple diet. That's the best thing about muesli – it is diverse, and can be modified according to your personal taste.
For me there is only one recipe – which I like to call the classic one. I have tried many recipes and still, I am on the first recipe that was given to me by my first boss. No other recipe stands in front of it. If it does, then let me know.
Birchermüesli à la Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Per 100g: 300 kcal (8 g fat / 9 g protein / 45 g carbohydrates / 5 g cellulose)
Ingredients for 5 people:
200g oat flakes
200g natural yoghurt
4dl pasteurized milk
20g ground hazelnuts
400g apples without the pit (ground with a grater)
250g mixed seasonal fruit, cut into small pieces: oranges, melon, peaches, grapes, nectarines etc.)
1/4 of a lemon (juice and zest)
Zest of 1/2 an orange
Juice of 1 1/2 oranges
Mix all the above ingredients and let rest (in a fridge if you want) for a minimum of 2 hours.
For a better success here are my 5 tips:
- Prepare muesli the night before: This saves time in the morning and gives muesli time to pull through and develop its own flavour.
- Eat it with your eyes: Decorate your Birchermüesli to taste with seasonal fruit!
- It does not always have to be a bowl. Fill wine glasses or a tumbler with the finished muesli and pureed strawberries. It tastes good and the look is stunning!
- Don’t serve the muesli too cold – take it out in time from the refrigerator.
- Sugar and whipped cream are not a taboo. For one, who does not count the calories at their fingertips all the time, can easily refine muesli with their attitude.
Try it and tell me how you liked my recipe. Or maybe you have your own recipes or tips you want to share with me and our readers? Feel free to let us know.