Overnight oats is one of the great classic breakfast hacks. Yyou probably already know this. you can mmake them with almond milk or real milk, with yogurt or without, with raisins and nuts or with pumpkin puree and chia seeds. But I have to ask you: have you ever thought about grating a whole apple in it?
you heard me right, schedule. I’m not talking about chopped, cooked apples (although those are great too). I mean a fresh apple shredded just before it is mixed with the milk and oats. It’s a fantastic way to get an extra serving of fruit into your day, and the texture melds perfectly with the smoothness and sweetness of cold oats.
I did not discover this myself; I got the idea from someone else, who got it from a long-dead Swiss doctor and raw food lover? Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He ran a sanatorium and published a recipe for the standard breakfast there: a fruit porridge that became known as ‘Bircher muesli’. (He also doesn’t claim to have invented the recipe, but says it was served to him during a walk in the Alps.)
The original recipe called that each serving contained two to three apples, grated whole (core and all), mixed with a few tablespoons of soaked oats, sweetened condensed milk, nuts of your choice, and lemon juice. It wasn’t oatmeal –more like apple flour.
These days if you google “Bircher muesli,” you’ll find all sorts of recipes that combine grated apple with things we traditionally think of as muesli or overnight oats. A pear works just as well as an apple, and the recipe is ideal for using up apples that are still edible but have become a bit too soft to eat out of hand.
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How to make Bircher muesli style overnight oats
This is how I make mine:
- Half an apple or pear, grated (I leave the skin on, but I stop grating when I hit the core.)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup milk or plant-based milk of your choice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup dried fruit of your choice (I use apricots and candied ginger if I like, raisins otherwise)
- a splash of honey
- a generous amount of nuts (slivered almonds or chopped walnuts are my favorites)
Combine all ingredients in a 16 ounce glass jar or plastic soup bowl, and let it sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or ideally overnight. Since the recipe uses half an apple, I usually make a double batch. Feel free to play around with the ingredients and proportions to taste.
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