Microbiome-friendly Bircher Muesli
To me Bircher muesli is a great time saving option for breakfast for my clients that handle oats. It can be made in advance and serves as a quick portable option for those that like to take their breakfast with them to work. Okay so it's inexpensive, convenient, quick and easy to make. Sounds good so far yes?
So what is it that makes it so good for your gut?
Oats contain beta glucan, a soluble dietary fibre that acts as a prebiotic in your gut. Put simply research has shown oats act as a fuel source for the good bacteria in your gut. Consuming your oats raw also has a lower GI as opposed to cooked oats, meaning a slower glucose response to raw oats and more stable blood sugars.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds contain soluble fibre, apple is rich in pectin and the fresh fruit (especially if you choose berries) are great fro additional fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols to support microbiome health as well. Coupled with a little fermented product (yoghurt) it's a lovely start to your day. A good make ahead option for those who can tolerate a little oats.
Many Bircher recipes will soak in juice overnight- there is really no need for this and just ups the sugar content of your breakfast significantly and reduces the beneficial effects.
Here is my base recipe. Feel free to adjust the nuts, seeds and extras based on your preference and personalised food tolerance.
Ingredients (4-6 serves)
2 cups rolled oats (I used certified wheat-free)
1 green apple, grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup filtered water
1 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
Yoghurt (I used coconut)
Chopped fresh fruit of choice (berries are rich in microbiome-feeding polyphenols)
A drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)
Making your Bircher
Mix the dry ingredients in glass dish with a lid. Add the lemon juice, grated apple, water and milk and give it a good stir. Pop on the lid and place in the fridge to soak overnight. Alternatively you can portion out into clean glass jars now to prep ahead.
To serve, drizzle with a little honey (if using) and top with yoghurt and fresh fruit of choice.
The bircher will keep for several days in the fridge to make for quick, even portable breakfasts.
You can also premix a bulk quantity of the dry ingredients in a glass jar to save time. Simply portion out a cup or two of your dry mix into another container and add the wet ingredients to make a few serves at a time.
When to exercise caution
While oats don't officially contain gluten, they are often contaminated by neighboring crops or through processing on the same equipment as other grains. Certified clean oats can therefore usually be handled by those with gluten intolerance. Some people also react to another protein unique to oats called avenin, so listen to your body to see if oats are tolerated for you.