Bircher muesli, or overnight oats, is a quick and easy way to make porridge for breakfast. The oats soak up the milk and juice, making them soft and easy to digest.
I’ve been a huge fan over Bircher muesli (aka overnight oats) for a few years now. My four year old daughter asks for it most mornings, so we usually have a jar of it in the fridge. What is it? Well, instead of cooking the porridge oats to soften them, you simply combine the oats with milk and/or juice and leave it in the fridge to soak. It’s so easy and it means that you can have breakfast on the table in seconds. You eat the porridge cold, so it’s perfect for the spring and summer.
This recipe for Bircher muesli is completely adaptable, so you can use dairy or non-dairy milk (I like almond in it). You could also grate in some carrot or add other seeds, nuts or dried fruit.
To celebrate the Rio Olympics, I’ve teamed up with the National Lottery and English Institute of Sport (EIS) to help promote their campaign, Food Champions. The EIS works with many of Great Britain’s leading Olympic and Paralympic athletes, so for this campaign they’re sharing the athletes’ favourite recipes in order to inspire us all to get fit and eat healthy.
As part of the campaign, Elinor Barker, a Welsh racing cyclist who competes both on the track and on the road, has shared this recipe for Bircher Muesli. Elinor started cycling at the age of 10 for her local club and went on to win countless national titles before being recruited into British Cycling’s Olympic Development Academy. Following her A-levels in 2013, she began training full time thanks to Lottery funding at the National Cycle Centre. Elinor is a two-time world champion in women’s team pursuit cycling, having won the three-rider version of the event in 2013 for Great Britain with Laura Trott and Dani King, and the extended four-rider version in 2014, again with Trott, as well as Katie Archibald and Joanna Rowsell. Keep up to date with Elinor Barker in Rio on Twitter.
- 200ml (3/4 cup) Greek yoghurt (or non-dairy yogurt)
- 150g (1¾ cups) porridge oats
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 small pinch grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon manuka honey (or maple syrup)
- 200ml (1 cup) milk (or non-dairy milk), or orange juice
- Toppings (optional):
- handful of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon almonds
- Orange zest
- Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir.
- Leave to soak in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Serve cold, straight from the fridge, with blueberries, almonds and orange zest.
- The Bircher muesli will last for at 3 days in the fridge.
- Serves 3-4.
Bircher muesli is a great alternative to porridge and it provides you with both slow release carbohydrates and protein. Oats have a low glycaemic index (GI) and provide energy, while the milk and Greek yoghurt add protein. This breakfast is also a quick and easy option for athletes on the go as you can make this the night before and have it ready in the morning.
Take a look at other dishes that fuel your favourite Olympic athletes by following the hashtag #foodchamps across social media. More healthy recipes are at TheFoodChampions.
The National Lottery Good Causes are giving you the chance to win a £125 whole foods voucher by answering these questions about sports.
Disclosure: This post was commissioned to promote Food Champions. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts – Healthy Food & Lifestyle.