With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (sorry, not sorry – I love the fall!), it is almost automatic that I find myself frequently taking mental note of the things in my life that I am grateful for. Of course, the big things come to mind easily – love, relationships, career, nature – but then as I continue to make my mental list, I am reminded of lazy Sunday mornings, sipping coffee, reading books, cozy breakfasts and long walks with the puppy.
This time of year calls for slowing down, being mindful, and taking a step back – and I find that this mood is mirrored in the foods we enjoy in the fall. Slow-cooked stews and soups simmering for hours, warming teas meant to be sipped, and hearty breakfasts to be consumed in the dark hours before we see the sun. One of my favourite breakfasts at this time of year is a classic bircher muesli. It’s not a warm oatmeal in premise – though you could heat it before serving on the stovetop (which is also delicious!) – but it does take mindfulness and a little forethought to put together. The prep is minimal, though; the time involved is to let the oats soak in nut milk and orange juice overnight. You’re rewarded in the morning with a delicious, hearty, bright breakfast that is both easy and slow at the same time.
Here’s a classic bircher muesli recipe you should definitely try to enjoy this fall.
Overnight Bircher Muesli
Prep time: about 5 minutes
Sit time: at least 2 hours, ideally overnight
2 oz dried apricots (about a handful)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups nut milk (I used home made cashew milk)
2.5 cups rolled oats (gluten free if you’re sensitive)
for serving: yogurt (dairy, almond, or coconut based), shredded apple or pear, and nuts/seeds (pumpkin seeds and walnuts are great for sperm health and female hormone balance)
1. Throw the dried apricots into your blender, along with the peeled banana, the vanilla extract and all of the nut milk.
2. Finely grate the zest of the orange into the blender, and then squeeze in the juice from both halves of the orange.
3. Blitz the mixture for a couple of minutes, until you get a super smooth texture.
4. Measure out your rolled oats into a medium bowl, pour blender contents over the oats, and mix to combine. Refridgerate and leave to sit for at lest 2 hours, ideally overnight – the oats will absorb the milk and orange juice and soften up quite a bit.
5. In the morning, cover a scoop of the oats with dairy or non-dairy yogurt, shredded apple or pear, and a mix of nuts and seeds that you like.
Dr Kali MacIsaac HBSc, ND