Bircher Muesli (With Apples!)

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Bircher Muesli is one of my favorite hearty and nutritious breakfast recipes! Loaded with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and plenty of apples — it’s delicious!

Or try our original Muesli recipe here!

What Is The Difference Between Muesli and Bircher Muesli?

Muesli is a combination of dry ingredients (typical ingredients in granola) that are mixed together and sometimes toasted in the oven. It’s usually served with milk (like cereal) or sprinkled in yogurt right before eating. Bircher Muesli on the other hand, soaks in milk or yogurt overnight until tender and creamy (similar to overnight oats). Some people call Bircher Muesli the original Overnight Oats, yet there are a few subtle differences, mainly in the ratio of oats to add-ins. 

Overhead image of the Bircher Muesli in a bowl

What Is Bircher Muesli?

It’s most similar to overnight oats — creamy oats with a nutty chew, toothsome feel, and loads of texture. It’s a cold cereal served in the morning after soaking in the liquid overnight. Soaking the mixture breaks down the oats and plumps up the dried fruits. When soaked overnight, Muesli has a consistency similar to a chewy porridge.

Admittedly, this breakfast is not for everyone! If you aren’t a fan of overnight oats, you probably won’t enjoy this recipe. But if you do enjoy the texture of soaked cold oats, you’ll love this!

I am fully obsessed with this Bircher Muesli — not only does it taste amazing, it also keeps me fueled for hours. And it delivers a well-balanced blend of proteins, beneficial fats, and complex carbs to start the day strong.

Process shots-- image of most of the ingredients in a bowl ready to be prepared

What Is Bircher Made Of?

The below ingredients make up our ideal Bircher Muesli:

  • Oats. Use old-fashioned oats for the best chew!
  • Dried fruit. We love dried tart cherries best; dried cranberries or dried blueberries are also amazing.
  • Nuts. Any coarsely chopped nut works great — pecans and shelled pistachios are our two favorites.
  • Nut butter. We like almond or peanut butter best. Peanut butter has a stronger flavor while almond butter is more muted — use whichever you prefer. See “quick tip” below.
  • Flavor enhancers. Salt enhances all the other flavors nicely and we love a touch of cinnamon and vanilla for an extra boost of flavor complementary to the apples.
  • Apple. A grated apple adds texture and sweetness to the Bircher Muesli — use Granny Smith (more tart) or Honeycrisp/Fuji (more sweet).
  • Applesauce. Nothing compares to adding a scoop of homemade applesauce (swoon!)
  • Coconut. The optional coconut adds great flavor and textural add (especially if it’s toasted!).
  • Milk. Any milk works, we use a plant-based (coconut or almond) milk in this recipe. Originally, Bircher Muesli was soaked in water, with milk added at serving time.

QUICK TIP

Nut butter adds flavor and nutrition to the Bircher Muesli. It also ensures the breakfast is filling and satiating. As far as almond butter goes, I recommend a slow-roasted and lightly salted almond butter you enjoy eating straight from the jar.

Process shots of Bircher Muesli- image of the apple and milk being added to the bowl

Bircher Muesli Variations

  • Swap out the nuts. Try coarsely chopped walnuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, or macadamia nuts.
  • Add wheat germ, flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds. Sprinkle a few teaspoons into the mixture before soaking. (Note that chia seeds will gel a lot overnight, so you may want to add in the morning instead.)
  • Swap out the spices. We love ground cinnamon in day-to-day Bircher Muesli, but we’ll occasionally use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice for a fun seasonal twist.
  • Swap out the pepitas. Sunflower seeds or pine nuts make good substitutes.
  • Use a different dried fruit. Try dried apricots, raisins, golden raisins, or dried blueberries instead.

Image of a bowl of Bircher Muesli all mixed together

How Do You Eat Bircher Muesli?

I like this breakfast best straight out of the fridge (as cold as possible!) with a few toppings:

  • A splash of milk
  • A sprinkle of chia seeds (or hemp seeds!)
  • And a drizzle of honey (or pure maple syrup for a Vegan Bircher Muesli)

An extra scoop of nut butter, a scoop of yogurt, a handful of fresh berries or diced apple are great toppings to add!

Up-close overhead image of the Bircher Muesli in a bowl

Bircher Muesli FAQs

1Why is it called Bircher Muesli?

Muesli is basically uncooked granola, which is usually sprinkled over yogurt/served with milk.

Bircher muesli, also called overnight oats, soaks the muesli with milk, yogurt, and/or juice overnight until tender and creamy – but with a slight chewy, nutty texture.

Bircher Muesli Origin Story: This breakfast is named after Maximilian Bircher-Benner. This physician developed the recipe around 1900.

2What does Bircher Muesli mean?

Bircher Museli is a type of museli (mix of grains, dried fruits and nuts, and milk or yogurt) eaten for breakfast. The oats have been soaked in milk for some time before eating.

3Is Bircher Muesli good for you?

Bircher Muesli was created by Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a physician. He believed in food as medicine, and so he created a mixture of oats and fruit to help his patients eat more whole foods. He’d then prescribe this mixture to his patients as a natural medicine. Muesli offers plenty of health benefits, and his patients soon started seeing improvements. Before long, muesli became popular around the country as a new health food and Bircher Muesli is one variation on the original recipe.

4How long does Bircher Muesli last in fridge?

It will last 3-4 days in the fridge. It continues to absorb liquid, getting thicker and thicker, so you may want to thin it with more milk when enjoying in the morning.

QUICK TIP

I love whipping together a few batches of Bircher Muesli at a time and separating into mason jars for easy breakfast meal prep to eat throughout the week!

More Filling Breakfast Ideas:

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Bircher Muesli

5 from 1 vote
Bircher Muesli is one of my favorite hearty and nutritious breakfast recipes! Loaded with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and plenty of apples -- it's delicious!
Print Recipe

Bircher Muesli

5 from 1 vote
Bircher Muesli is one of my favorite hearty and nutritious breakfast recipes! Loaded with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and plenty of apples -- it's delicious!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Bircher Muesli
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 449kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $3.41

Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Granny Smith (Note 1)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries (or raisins/dried cranberries/dried blueberries)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped nuts or seeds (we love pepitas or pecans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or roasted almond butter (Note 2)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup milk (we love coconut or almond milk)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • For serving (optional): scoop of coconut yogurt, drizzle of maple syrup/honey, scoop of nut butter, fresh berries

Instructions

  • APPLE: Grate the unpeeled apple on the large holes of a box grater. Set aside.
  • MUESLI: In a medium-sized bowl, add the remaining ingredients except for the optional serving suggestions. Add in the grated apple. Mix well, until ingredients are completely combined.
  • CHILL: Transfer mixture to 2 mason jars and cover. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, up to 5 days.
  • ENJOY: Enjoy straight out of the fridge (chilled) with any optional toppings such as an extra splash of milk, drizzle of sweetener, scoop of nut butter or yogurt, and/or fresh berries. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Apple: A grated apple adds texture and sweetness -- use Granny Smith (more tart) or Honeycrisp/Fuji (more sweet).
Note 2: Nut butter: We like almond or peanut butter best. Peanut butter has a stronger flavor while almond butter is more muted -- use whichever you prefer. As far as almond butter goes, I recommend a slow-roasted and lightly salted almond butter you enjoy eating straight from the jar.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 2serving | Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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