Strawberry & Walnut Bircher Muesli

When I moved to Switzerland this year, I discovered the traditional Swiss breakfast of bircher muesli and it changed my life! Bircher muesli is a sort of variation on overnight oats, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for something nutritious that you can eat on-the-go, or if you’re looking for something cool and refreshing to munch on in the morning.

Bircher muesli was invented by Maximilian Bircher-Benner in the 1900’s. He was a physician and nutritionist who believed in the ‘raw food diet’. He thought that raw fruits and vegetables held the most nutritional value, and to an extent he was right! By cooking fruits and vegetables, they can sometimes lose their nutrients, so this a perfect vitamin and minerals packed breakfast to help you start the day on the right foot.

A typical basic bircher muesli consists of oats, milk and grated apple, and they are then left overnight so that the liquids are absorbed. I wanted to put a personal twist on this by substituting regular milk with almond milk, and by adding other ingredients to the mix. One idea of mine was to add nuts, as I quite like to have a bit of a crunch in my oatmeal to contrast with its soft texture, but I also thought it would be a good idea to add a bit of protein to the meal. Another idea I had was to add some other fruits, because I found that the traditional recipe was quite bland. In the end, I chose strawberries as they were not only a vibrant and nutritious addition, but I also found them to be very refreshing. However, as strawberries don’t have a very strong flavour, I additionally added a splash of lime juice to give the bircher muesli a little zesty kick.

Although I think you’ll love my recipe, feel free to add or substitute your own ingredients and make it your own. Pretty much any fruits or nuts can go well with bircher muesli and that’s what makes it so special, so go crazy!

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Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 30g of oats
  • 1 tbsp of flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tbsp of soy yogurt (or another dairy-free yogurt of your choice, coconut yogurt makes a great alternative)
  • 150ml of almond milk (or another dairy-free milk of your choice)
  • 1 tsp of lime juice (optional) (lemon juice works well too)
  • 5 strawberries
  • 5 walnuts

Method

  1. Place the oats in a serving bowl and mix in the flaxseed if you are using it.
  2. Grate the apple without removing the peel straight into the bowl.
  3. Add the 2 tbsp of soy yogurt (or another dairy-free yogurt) and pour in the almond milk. Add the lime juice, then combine the mixture together with a spoon.
  4. Place the bowl in the fridge and leave it overnight, so that the oats soften and the mixture absorbs the liquid.
  5. Prior to serving, take the bowl out of the fridge. Slice the strawberries in half and then roughly chop the walnuts. Top your bircher muesli with the strawberries and walnuts, then serve and enjoy!

Vegan buddha bowl

If you’re looking for a nutritious lunch packed with fibre, protein, wholegrains and healthy fats, then look no further! This vegan buddha bowl has 3 of your 5 a day, is an extremely light yet filling meal, and is perfect if you are looking for a vitamins boost.

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Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 small courgettes
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 handful of pea shoots (baby spinach and lettuce can also be substituted instead)
  • 1 handful of mixed nuts (I used walnuts, cashews and almonds, but any nuts will do)
  • 50g of tinned lentils
  • 50g of wheat berries
  • 1 sprig of mint
  • 2tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Rinse the wheat berries under cold water and then drain them. Place them in a sauce pan with 300ml of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave the wheat berries to cook for 30 minutes, then check to see if they are soft. You may need to add a little more water if it has all evaporated. If they are not soft yet, continue to check on them every 5 minutes until they are. Once they are soft, take them off the heat and drain them. Leave them to the side while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on a griddle pan. Cut the courgettes into halves lengthways. If you have the blossoms attached, don’t discard them as they taste great and are a great source of vitamin C. Grill the courgettes on the pan until softened and slightly charred.
  3. Rinse the lentils under cold water for about 30 seconds to reduce the salt content, and then drain them. Leave them to the side while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Roughly chop your sprig of mint and mixed nuts. If you would like the nuts to have a stronger flavour, you can toast them prior to chopping them by heating them in the oven at 180C/350F for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Slice the avocado into strips or chop them into chunks.
  6. Combine the lentils and the wheat berries in a serving bowl, then mix in the mint and nuts. Add the courgettes, avocado and pea shoots. Finish off with a drizzle of the remaining tbsp of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Weetabix with summer berries

Most days, I like to have oatmeal for breakfast, but if I’ve forgotten to make overnight oats and I don’t have time to make oatmeal from scratch, then cereal is a great alternative. It’s also a lighter option if you aren’t keen on eating something as filling as oatmeal. One of my favourite cereals is weetabix because it’s not only very healthy for you because of its wholegrains, fibre and low fat content, but it can also serve as a blank slate for all your creative cooking ideas. For example, you can top your weetabix with fruits, nuts, yogurt, nut milks, or even eat them like toast by spreading jam or nut butters on them. It can also be a great option if you’re looking for breakfast ideas on a budget. In order to save money, I bought a bag of frozen summer berries and thought that it would make a healthy and tasty topping for my weetabix. However, as berries can be quite tart, I felt that a sweetener needed to be added. I decided to use maple syrup because it’s a great natural alternative to refined sugar, and it compliments the berries very well. I also used coconut milk rather than other nut milks, such as almond milk, as I find it to be thicker and creamier, which helped to enhance, rather than diminish, the flavour of the weetabix.

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Ingredients

  • 2 weetabix (or oatibix) (You can also use another cereal of your choice if you prefer)
  • 150ml of coconut milk
  • 1 handful of summer berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1tbsp of maple syrup (or another sweetener of your choice)

Method

All you need to do, is put the weetabix in a bowl, add the coconut milk, then the summer berries, and finish by topping your cereal with maple syrup (or another sweetener of your choice). If you are using frozen summer berries, make sure to defrost them before adding them to your cereal.

Raspberry, coconut & cashew oatmeal

Personally, I think that one of the most satisfying breakfasts a person can make is a nutritious bowl of homemade oatmeal. There’s just something so comforting about a warm bowl of creamy oats in the morning and I love how versatile they can be. You can top your bowl of oatmeal with whatever you fancy, whether it be something savoury like chopped chives, avocado and a poached egg, or something sweet like fresh fruit, maple syrup and nut butters.

As I am a huge fan of summer berries, I decided to come up with a recipe that incorporated them. One of my favourite berries are raspberries, but as I am not a huge fan of adding refined sugars to my breakfasts, I found that just plain oatmeal with raspberries was too tart and that it lacked a depth in flavour. As a result, I decided to make my oatmeal with coconut milk rather than soy milk as I find that coconut milk is creamier, sweeter and can compliment the taste of the raspberries better. I chose to add a coconut sugar and raspberry compote to the oatmeal so that I could add some additional sweetness without using refined sugars. However, when I tasted the oatmeal, I felt that something was still missing. All the textures were similar, which I found to be quite boring as I quite like some diversity in my meals. By adding the crushed toasted cashews, the taste and texture of the oatmeal became much more interesting and complex. If you’re a fan of eating something sweet for breakfast, yet crave for something healthy and nutritious, then I would definitely recommend this oatmeal recipe!

raspoatmeal

Ingredients

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of coconut milk (+ extra for serving if desired)
  • 100g of raspberries
  • 10 cashews
  • 1 tsp of coconut sugar (Or sweetener of your choice)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place the oats and coconut milk into a pan and simmer over a medium heat. The mix should be regularly stirred so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture is thickened to your preferred consistency (which can take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on your preferences), take the mixture off the heat.
  3. Put half of the raspberries and the coconut sugar (or another sweetener of your choice) into another pan and place over a low heat. Mix together until the mixture has softened into a compote.
  4. Spread out the cashews onto a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Toast for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Then, take the cashews out and once they have cooled down enough to touch, roughly chop them up into pieces. (By toasting the cashews, it enhances their naturally bland flavour, so I would recommend not to skip this step)
  5. Add the oatmeal to a bowl, then top with the raspberry compote, toasted cashews and remaining raspberries. I prefer to add extra coconut milk as well, but this is an optional addition.