Andreas' Birchermuesli

111 years ago the Swiss physician Maximilan Oskar Bircher Benner (1867-1939) opened his sanatorium Lebendige Kraft - Living Strength (later called Bircher-Benner clinic) not too far from the prestigious Hotel Dolder in the sunny Zürichberg (up the Zurich Hills).

He was a pioneer nutritionist - and quite a criticized one - in the raw fruits and vegetables diet being firmly convinced that raw fruits and vegetables were much more nourishing than cooked ones, and by far healthier than meat. Bircher in fact based his patients' strict diet on uncooked and unprocessed food banning can food and processed aliments, like white flour and crystal sugar, from his patients' menus.

                                       Maximilian O. Bircher-Benner (1867-1939)

                                      Maximilian O. Bircher-Benner (1867-1939)

Not only did Bircher prescribed his patiens a diet strongly based on raw food, but also encouraged them - almost ordered them - to outdoor movement, sport and air baths. Only today we can recognize that Bircher's theories were years ahead of his time and we can simply admit that he was right.

Bicher's most famous dish is the one that was named after him - the Bircher Müesli, a bowl of oats and fresh fruits. This dish was meant to be eaten for breakfast, evening snack and never as a full meal. This was the original recipe:

  • 2-3 apples (peel and seeds included)
  • 1 Tsp of oats (soaked for 12 hours in 3 Tsp of water)
  • 1 Tsp of grated walnuts, grated hazelnuts, grated almonds
  • 1 Tsp of sweetened condensed milk
  • honey
  • 1 squeezed lemon

I learnt an adapted version of this recipe years ago from my dearest Andreas, who thaught me well. That pinch of salt, the grated ginger, all those seeds, berries and that bit of curd cheese he added in his recipe, give his muesli a splash of flavor making it by far the best one I have ever tasted. And it tastes even better if eaten at the lake on a sunny Saturday morning after having attempted my first swim, just few hundreds meters from where the original recipe was once created back in 1897.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As mentioned in other posts your brain does not have a storage place for fuel and it is particularly affected by lack of food. If your brain's fuel source - glucose isn't refilled after a night's sleep, your brain won't function at its best level. Every student willing to learn, every business man craving for the perfect presentation, everyone wanting to perform simply needs to eat breakfast.


to the recipe