The first recipe of choice was her, raw bircher muesli. Truth be told, I was bamboozled by her comment: “This raw breakfast cereal goes together in minutes before bed and is ready to eat when you rise in the morning!” Bingo! I was familiar with this traditional Swiss breakfast and I could get it over with in “minutes!”
But, there was a hitch. One, that as I headed off to the local organic market, I hadn’t yet decided how to address. Was I going to go the regular Kendall in the kitchen, “speed and convenience is of the essence”, route, or “Mystee mode”? My first stop at the Big Carrot, here in Toronto, was at the bulk bins for oats and pumpkin seeds. It was when I turned the corner; heading straight for the cartons of Almond Breeze, when a truly organic wave of guilt rushed over me.
In Mystee’s recipe, in parenthesis next to 1 ½ cups of Almond milk it read: “(from previous recipe)”. I had my reasons for this challenge, to up my culinary game; to face the lingo of milk bags and soy lecithin granules and push ahead. That “previous recipe” was telling me the almonds I needed to buy, should I decide to actually press my own almond milk, had to soak for 12 hours. This meant I’d be throwing this “quick and easy” recipe together in the wee hours of the morning if we were going to have it for Sunday brunch.
Text to Mystee: “ Do almonds really have to soak so long for the milk?”
Mystee: “at least 8 hours”.
I’d be home with my groceries by four. Mixing muesli at midnight was something I could manage, even if it did sound like a really bad Swiss folk song.
The nut soak was only one of my challenges. My daughter’s drool over the mere thought
of bircher muesli from Confiserie Sprüngli in Zurich. Sliding this under their noses for a Sunday brunch wasn’t going to be an easy feat. There was also the realization at 11pm (well after supermarket closing hours) that I had not one banana left in the house. Thanks to the ubiquitous Starbucks and their banana basket at the till, I was (queue alphorn) blenders a blazing by 11:30. (what’s a half hour anyway?)
Aware of my nighttime shenanigans, my daughters awoke this morning eager to taste.
“It’s so good! A lot like Sprungli” says my youngest, Jemima. (keep in mind they haven’t been back to Switzerland in a year and a half) “…but the fresh berries make it different.”
Just as I’m thinking I’ll stir in slivered almonds next time (if there is a next time) instead of pumpkin seeds, my eldest, Sadie, calls up to me as I tap away at my computer:
“Mom, can I have this for breakfast tomorrow before school?”
Now that’s what I’m talking about…
Thanks big sis!
Recipe for Raw Bircher Muesli
This raw breakfast cereal goes together in minutes before bed and is ready to eat when you rise in the morning! The combinations of fruit and nuts are limitless.
1 cup gluten free rolled oats ( oats only contain gluten because they are tossed in flour to prevent them from sticking. Gluten free oats are readily available at most natural food stores)
11/2 cups almond milk (from previous recipe)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 large ripe banana mashed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raw sunflower, pumpkin seeds, or almonds
fresh berries if in season or grated organic apple or chopped organic pear
a splash of maple syrup if you like it a little sweeter
Before bed combine oats, almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, and raw seeds or nuts in a tupperware container. Stir to combine and then place in the fridge.
Upon rising, stir in desired berries or fruit and sweeten if desired!
Recipe fresh squeezed nut milk
My (read Mystee’s) favourite nuts for making nut milk are raw almonds and hazelnuts. You will need a good blender and a nut milk bag which you can purchase for around $5 at your natural foods store.
Soy lecithin comes in granules and a liquid form. The granules are much easier to work with and more cost effective!
This basic recipe can be enjoyed by the glass, in a smoothie recipe that follows, or in the muesli recipe that comes a little later!
1 cup raw almonds or hazelnuts
4 cups water
1 pitted soft date
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. soy lecithin ( to emulsify)
Soak the nuts in 2 cups of water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse well with fresh water.
In a blender combine the soaked nuts with 2 of the 4 cups of water to start and the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high for up to 2 minutes until the mixture is homogenous. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and blend again for 30 seconds.
Place your nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour the nut milk mixture into the bag. Gather the bag around the opening with your hands and squeeze gently until all of the liquid has been extracted into the bowl beneath. There is very little nutrition left in the pulp but you can save it to mix into oatmeal or even to feed to the dogs! If you have a dehydrator there are lots of options once the pulp is dehydrated and ground into flour.
Pour the milk into a pitcher and store in the fridge for about 4 days.