Bircher is by no means a new thing but it seems to have seen somewhat of a revival over the last few years appearing in plenty of recent cookbooks and food magazines. I was introduced to it several years ago by my sister and dad who had in turn been given it by my brother and sister-in-law. Needless to say I was very thankful for the introduction as I absolutely love it and it is a great way to start the day.
It's kind of a cross between a yogurt muesli parfait and porridge, which perhaps doesn't sound too appetizing but trust me – it is! Not only is it delicious but it's a lovely healthy way to start your day and even better, you can make it in advance so if you are up early and don't have time to grab something you can make this the night before, add a few extra ingredients in the morning then take it with you. The other advantage to making it the night before is that it allows the oats to soften and plump up so that they aren't too crunchy.
Of course there are lots of versions of this around, so it's really just a case of making it as you like. This is my favourite version which includes dried cranberries and cherries as well as almonds but adapt it to your own tastes and if you find you would prefer it a little sweeter you can always add a drizzle of honey.
500g natural yogurt (you can use Greek yogurt if you like but go for a lower fat version!)
55g porridge oats
3-4 tbsp dried cranberries
3-4 tbsp dried cherries
30g whole almonds, roughly chopped (or your favourite nuts)
125ml orange juice, plus a little extra (or any other fruit juice you have or prefer)
Fresh blueberries or strawberries for serving
Put the yogurt, porridge oats, cranberries, cherries and chopped almonds in a bowl and stir everything together. Add the orange juice and stir well. It might seem a little runny but it will thicken overnight as the oats absorb the juice and swell. Pop in a container (or if you prefer 4 small containers) and keep in the fridge overnight.
Just before eating (or if taking it on the run, just before you leave home) add a little extra juice to loosen it up slightly then top with a small handful of fresh blueberries. Delicious and healthy – the perfect start to the day!
If you like you could also add 1 apple to the mixture – just grate it in before you are about to eat it. Or rather that using blueberries or strawberries top with your favourite seasonal fruit.