Monday, 28 March 2011

Breakfast of champions – Bircher Muesli

This is the perfect weekend jump-start when the clock-change is imminent and there is a sweeter smell of summer in the air (I haven’t asked a science person about this but I am sure there is…Does anyone else sniff the air and get excited - or is that just me?) We shared it with our friend Caz, who is a champion in every way. Oh, and then we moved a shed, built a wall and overhauled the garden. Testimony to its powers.

Porridge in its many manifestations has by now done its job, an inner pilot-light through dark mornings that by now sits a bit heavy on the imagination. Crunchy nut cornflakes, clusters, whatevers are dreamy but for addicts like the BSG and me a daily dose could be a fast-track to overkill and the exit of the crunchy nut asylum – a place I do not plan to leave; they are there only for special occasions and late night snacks. No, what we need now is restraint, plus something virtuous to break the fast before summer brings along its fruit salads.

The best thing about this recipe is that you will feel so incredibly pleased with yourself all round. It is delicious, healthy and you can put pretty much any combination of fruit, nuts, seeds and yoghurt in, so it doesn’t get boring. You can keep the soaked porridge oats in the fridge for a few days and mix things in each morning as the mood takes you. Thank you, Switzerland.

I am not sure it even merits a recipe – really, an idiot could do it, but here’s one from Gordon Ramsay that I’ve tweaked, as for some reason it seems harder to write one the easier the method is. Or perhaps that is just me.

Serves 4

200g rolled oats (about 2 cups)
350ml apple juice or water (about 11/2 cups)
1 crunchy apple, Braeburns work well
125g natural or low-fat yoghurt
Seasonal fresh fruit (such as berries, bananas, peaches and apricots)
Runny honey, to drizzle (or maple syrup)
A sprinkling of nuts or seeds, to serve

Place the oats in a bowl and cover with enough apple juice or water to
moisten them. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill for an hour, or preferably overnight, in the fridge.
Peel the apple if you prefer, then coarsely grate (discarding the pips) and stir into the oats. Stir in enough yoghurt to reach a desired consistency. You could also add more milk, yoghurt or apple juice to loosen the mixture if it is too thick.Serve the muesli in individual bowls topped with seasonal fruit of your choice then drizzle with a little honey. Sprinkle with your favourite nuts or seeds – whatever you have to hand.

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