Healthy bircher muesli is a great way to begin the day. It's an easy breakfast recipe that you make the night before with just 10 minutes prep time. In the morning you'll wake up to a delicious ready made bowl of apple bircher muesli - a satisfying start for busy mornings!
This easy apple bircher muesli recipe is free from added sugar and is easily made gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
The original bircher muesli was first introduced by a Swiss physician called Bircher-Benner, who gave the dish to patients at his health clinic to encourage them to eat more raw fruit.
Bircher muesli is also known as overnight oats, and there are lots of variations of the recipe. Whilst soaked oats may sound a little strange, the oats take on a delicious creamy texture. Adding in apples, seeds and yogurt takes the mix to another level.
Why make healthy bircher muesli?
This healthy bircher muesli recipe is a wholesome, nutritious to start the day. It's a good balance of healthy low GI carbs, fibre, protein and healthy fats which will keep you feeling full and energised.
Oats are a super healthy ingredient, packed with nutrients including magnesium and potassium, as well as protein. Oats are a wholegrain, which means that they are high in with fibre, which is great for your digestive system. If you want a gluten free bircher muesli, be sure to use certified gluten free oats.
Chia seeds are also high in nutritional benefits, and are sometimes classified as a superfood. They are a good plant source of omega 3, which is an important anti-inflammatory. Chia seeds are also a really good source of fibre, and relatively high in protein. (See here to read more about the health benefits of chia seed.) Sunflower seeds are a good source of a number of B vitamins, which are important for energy.
You might also like these healthy chia seed flapjacks, which are also ideal for a healthy breakfast on the go.
Health benefits of soaked overnight oats
Overnight soaked oats have a softer texture without the need for heat. They are therefore easier to digest than raw oats, and some of the starches break down which means that your body can absorb more of the nutrients. Soaked oats also have a higher level of a valuable fibre called resistant starch. Soaked chia seeds and sunflower seeds also have a higher nutrient value.
- Oats - you'll need rolled or porridge oats for this overnight oats recipe. Instant oats are not suitable, as they'll just turn into a stodgy mass. Use gluten-free oats if necessary
- Apple - any variety of dessert apples can be used to make apple bircher muesli. In this recipe, I've allowed half an apple per portion, but if you want to make just one portion you can use a whole apple if you prefer. Grate the apple with the peel on, as it contains fibre and nutrients
- You can make apple bircher muesli with dairy or dairy-free yogurt. I've used whole cow's milk yogurt, but you could switch to fat free. Either Greek or regular natural yogurt is fine. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics.
(If you like yogurt for breakfast, you might also enjoy this almond and yogurt parfait which can be prepared ahead or eaten immediately)
- Milk - use dairy-free milk if you prefer. I've used whole milk, but as the oats are naturally creamy, you'll still get a great result if you'd prefer to use skimmed milk
- Sunflower seeds add a lovely texture to this healthy bircher muesli, but they are optional
- Chia seeds thicken the bircher and add loads of nutrition. If you'd like to omit the chia seeds, add a little less milk as the mixture will be looser
- Cinnamon - optional, although there is evidence that cinnamon is good at keeping blood sugar levels even
- Sultanas - these just add a little extra sweetness. You could either omit them, or add a teaspoon of honey
How to make healthy bircher muesli
This recipe is incredibly simple, as all you need to do is mix the ingredients, no cooking required! Make sure it is mixed well, as otherwise you may end up with dry bits at the bottom. The mixture will look quite loose at first, but it will thicken up a lot overnight as the chia seed and oats swell and absorb the liquid. I find making bircher in a jar is useful as it looks pretty, and is ideal for a healthy breakfast on-the-go.
Serving and storage
To serve, you can either eat it as it is or add extra toppings of fruit, nuts and yogurt. For extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Healthy bircher muesli will store really well in the fridge for up to 3 days, so you can scale up the recipe and make up a batch in advance.
This easy, healthy recipe is also ideal as an energy-giving pre or post-workout snack.
Frequently asked questions
A serving of this healthy bircher muesli has 225 calories. As it's packed with healthy fibre, it will help to keep you full and less inclined to snack throughout the morning. It's a good, nutritious start to the day. For a lower calorie bircher recipe, use skimmed milk and yogurt.
There isn't one, overnight oats and bircher muesli are the same thing. They are both oat based cereals which are soaked overnight.
Other healthy breakfast recipes:
And at the weekend, you could try these healthy oat flour pancakes.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Healthy Bircher Muesli
- 4 tablespoon whole rolled oats certified GF if required
- 1 apple, grated
- 4 teaspoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoon sultanas
- 4 tablespoon yogurt dairy or non dairy
- 8 tablespoon milk dairy or non dairy
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Divide all of the ingredients equally between 2 single serve jars or bowls. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Store overnight in the fridge, and enjoy in the morning. Add more fruit and yogurt if desired.
- Sunflower seeds, cinnamon and sultanas are optional.
- If you decide to omit the chia seeds, use 6 tablespoons of milk instead of 8 in the recipe.
- For a vegan bircher muesli, use dairy free milk and yogurt.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.
Calories have been calculated using full fat milk and yogurt.