Swiss Bircher Muesli

How to make Bircher Muesli, the traditional oatmeal breakfast from Switzerland. It's a healthy make-ahead breakfast for holiday mornings.

Swiss Bircher Muesli

In 2000, I was lucky enough to spend ten days hiking in Switzerland. We stayed in several small hotels, one in Zurich, others in the countryside. Each hotel served Bircher Muesli in their breakfast buffets. Each was slightly different, each one was so good that I skipped past the beautiful cheeses and breads for one more tasty bowlful of this oat-yogurt-fruit-spice-nut mixture! Once home, I learned how to make homemade Bircher Muesli, it's such a treat, a taste of the Alps and Heidi meadows, right at home.

From my collection of Christmas recipes, this recipe was first published in print in 2005 and is republished online in 2010.

On wintry holidays, mornings can start ever so slowly around here.

The first one up knows to start the coffee and fill the cats’ dishes. The dog does puppy cartwheels by the door when someone dons a coat and reaches for the leash.

The lazy ones gather in the sun-warmed family room, mugs in hand and legs tucked beneath still-PJ-clad bodies. My sister picks the morning’s music. My brother-in-law asks, “Are we ready for another pot?”

Slowly everyone emerges, sleepy and slow. “How was your sleep?” someone asks. “Good.”

It is good, these simple morning moments, these quiet exchanges, the stuff of family content far distant from the busy-ness and busi-ness the season somehow develops.

Swiss muesli (myoos-lee) is a do-it-yourself granola and the perfect breakfast accommodation for early- and late-risers and big- and light-eaters.

Just soak the oats and cider overnight. In the morning, stir in the apple, yogurt and honey. Then let everyone add whatever appeals, whatever appetite demands.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes the night before
Refrigerator time: Overnight
Then hands-on time: 10 minutes
Serves 1 – 10!
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal (or oat bran or wheat germ)
  • Apple cider to cover (apple cider is my favorite but milk, soymilk and orange juice work too)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (omit if using milk)
  • 1/4 an apple, grated (or banana or orange sections)
  • Greek yogurt (or plain or fruit yogurt)
  • Splash honey (or maple syrup or brown sugar)
  • Toasted nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts
  • Seeds: sesame, sunflower
  • Dried fruit: currants, dates, figs, cranberries, sour cherries, apricots
  • Spice: cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom

NIGHT BEFORE Soak the oats, apple cider and lemon juice overnight.

JUST BEFORE SERVING Stir in the apple, yogurt and honey, then add the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices as desired.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe from your travels that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

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© Copyright 2005 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/22/2007

    Great! I'll pack some CDs to bring along . . . .


  2. Hi,

    This sounds delicious! :)

    I have never tried the Bircher Muesli and I am planning to prepare it for this weekend breakfast.

    I would like to ask you one question: If using banana instead of apple, would you use it mashed or sliced/diced?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you!

  3. CarlaDuc ~ Why thank you! My instinct says to dice it, for texture contrast with the oats which get quite soft, so that you get distinct bits of 'banana' as you eat. But really, it's a matter of taste, your call. I hope you love the Muesli as much as I do!

  4. Thanks! I will try this weekend and let you know the results! :)

  5. I just had it for breakfast! It was great! Delicious! I will certainly do it again. I used sliced bananas and it worked perfectly! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Catherine12/20/2010

    I used to live in Switzerland. Love this stuff and make it a lot. There is no comparison to the stuff in a box. In summer I put blueberries or raspberries in mine. I also love to use hazelnuts which is very Swiss.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna