Breakfast out on the town isn't always all that it's cracked up to be, as a recent experience of ours showed. 'How are your scrambled eggs?,' I asked. 'Honestly? I thought they'd be fantastic, but they're disappointing,' Peter replied. 'How's the bircher muesli?,' he asked. 'Well, it's fresh enough and the apple on top is crisp, but it's completely lacking taste and is more like pulped cardboard than good bircher muesli,' I responded. 'Disappointing too, considering the $12.50 price tag!.'
Peter still enjoys eating breakfast in cafés from time to time, especially if we're on holiday or travelling interstate, per our recent two-day stay in Sydney. It was there that we took the opportunity to visit a well-known eatery that had long been on our must-try list. While the venue ticked boxes in terms of having great vibe and style, and genuinely friendly staff—the food was a let-down in terms of both value for money and flavour.
Of course, the first thing I did when we arrived home was raid the pantry and pull out all the ingredients so that I could make bircher muesli a la Lizzy. I'm sure you're familiar with the history of Birchmüesli, which was developed by Doctor Maximillian Bircher-Benner (1867-1939), a Swiss physician who served it to his patients as part of his holistic therapy. Research indicates that the original recipe comprised more fruit than grain, and was mixed with honey and sweetened condensed milk.
Modern recipes call for the oats to be soaked in milk, water or yoghurt—I prefer to use pure apple juice mixed with low fat vanilla yoghurt, and then I add a hint of flavour with cassia, toasted coconut and fresh apple. Sometimes I grate apple through the mixture and also like to serve it with my stewed prunes.
2/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup pure apple juice
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon cassia powder+
1 heaped tablespoon toasted coconut flakes
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks*
Combine the rolled oats, apple juice, yoghurt and cassia in a small bowl and stir well. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Spoon into serving dishes, top with coconut flakes and apple slices. Serves 2.
*Sprinkle the apple pieces with lemon juice to keep them crisp and white. +Use cinnamon if you prefer. Cassia should be used sparingly, otherwise it can taste bitter.