Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Hopes of Spring Day 7: Bircher Muesli

If I was a flower growing wild and free...

I woke up this sunny morning with the most wonderfully Spring-ish, addictive song in my head.

It is now my duty to pass that on to you. In case you don't immediately recognize it, it's the song from the movie Juno. If that isn't enough reason for you to like it, then reading the actual lyrics and listening to the song just might be. It's pretty much guaranteed to make you want to grab a banjo and do a jig. The first line adequately sums up my Spring-induced happiness this London morning.

* * *

All I Want is You
Lyrics by Barry Louis Polisar

If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and green

All I'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves

All I want is you, will you be my bride

Take me by the hand and stand by my side

All I want is you, will you stay with me?

Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.

If you were the winter, I know I'd be the snow
Just as long as you were with me, when the cold winds blow.

All I want is you, will you be my bride

Take me by the hand and stand by my side

All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a wink, I'd be a nod
If you were a seed, well I'd be a pod.
If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug
And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug

All I want is you, will you be my bride

Take me by the hand and stand by my side

All I want is you, will you stay with me?

Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were the wood, I'd be the fire.
If you were the love, I'd be the desire.
If you were a castle, I'd be your moat,

And if you were an ocean, I'd learn to float.

All I want is you, will you be my bride

Take me
by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?

Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

* * *

So in the name of all fine Spring weather and banjo-jigs, today's topic is Bircher Muesli.

Muesli is a decidedly non-Mexican dish (apparently it is originally Swiss) which I was therefore not introduced to until a rather ripe age of 16 (yes, during that fabulous trip to Denmark).

Matt is a fiend for Muesli and since the entrance of good weather into our lives once again, has started making it in the morning. A couple of months ago he had Bircher Muesli on a morning flight and harassed me to buy the appropriate ingredients to recreate it for two weeks straight. I finally gave in and the end product was ok but not great. After a couple more attempts at it, I think we've finally co
me up with a decent combination of ingredients.

The two ingredients I would venture to say are the most important are:

1. The Yogurt
You reall
y need good quality plain "Greek," or technically "strained," yogurt for this recipe. What makes strained yogurt different from the other stuff you get in the supermarket is that traditionally it was actually strained using muslin to remove extra water and whey, giving it a thicker consistency (think sour cream). It usually has a higher fat content too and is therefore less likely to curdle than normal plain yogurt - so you can use it in hot, cold, savory or sweet dishes as well (mmmm, ever had grilled Greek yogurt-marinated lamb? Crazy delicious.). In Bircher Muesli it is the glue that holds the entire dish together. I highly recommend it over the runny stuff for pretty much any yogurt-involving-recipe you have. Photo credit.

2. The Oats
I've been an oatmeal consumer since the very, very early days. I love that the British call it
Porridge (and they insist it is different from American Oatmeal, but I've yet to notice any difference) - it really takes me back to that delightful "Please sir, can I have some more?" moment in the old movie version of Oliver Twist, which I watched in 2nd grade. The oats for this recipe don't have to be expensive, but they should be in good condition. In other words, they should not be powdered - get some nice medium to large size oats. It'll make a textural difference, I promise.

For Bircher Muesli you can also use flavored oatmeals, though we generally use plain. I would highly recommend the delightfully British Dorset Cereals brand, which I
believe has actually spread to the US by now. Not only is their packaging really pretty, their oatmeal and muesli are both absolutely DELICIOUS. My favorite so far is the cranberry raspberry flavor. Photo credit.

Bircher Muesli should be made ahead of time and served cold, so it's perfect for someone in a rush in the morning. But if you're really a professed dally-er and lover of beauty, this dish is enough
reason to get up half an hour earlier to watch the morning sunshine in your sunroom with the proverbial better-half, "All I Want is You" playing incessantly inside your head. :)

Happy Wednesday!

* * *

Matt's Apple Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

Bircher Muesli these days is a loose term which refers to a breakfast dish based on uncooked oatmeal (or porridge oats if you're British) with any combination of fresh or dried fruit and nuts. This is our favorite version because we love tart things and the Granny Smiths combined with the cranberries really give it that irresistible pucker, but feel free to substitute and change quantities where you deem necessary.
After all, Bircher Muesli, like Spring, is nothing if not serendipitous.


2 Granny Smith Apples, grated
1 1/2 cups uncooked plain rolled oats (you could also dabble with flavored ones)

1/4 cup raisins and dried cranberries mixed
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (the really thick stuff)
4-6 tbsps honey (to taste, really)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flaked almonds (or any nuts / seeds of your choice)


1. Stir all the prepared ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined.

2. Ideally, allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight; otherwise, can be eaten immediately

3. Serve with some fresh slices of Granny Smith Apple and perhaps some extra almonds sprinkled on top.
Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. The first time I had muesli was during our Ireland trip a couple of years ago but it was a box of Alpen, which I sprinkled on my fruit-flavored yogurt. The first time I had THIS kind of muesli was in the Philippines (of all places!) this past Christmas. I would've slathered myself with it, I loved it that much. Thank you for this recipe because up until now, I've simply purchased pre-mixed muesli but I find myself picking out weird dried fruits. Now, I can make this to my taste because really, it's all about me . . .

  2. I'm a granola girl myself, maybe because its sweeter, but I shall defiitely give this ceral a shop. I agree good yogurt is key, to about everything and it doesn't get much better than the Greek stuff.