December 4, 2015

Recently I needed a mid-morning snack while at work and found a pinkish looking thing in a pot called an ‘apple and blackcurrant bircher’ in a University of Edinburgh cafe. I hadn’t heard of one before and was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was. But what was it made of?  I couldn’t tell.  And is it healthy? I did some research and found that it is was invented by a Swiss doctor called Maximillian Bircher-Benner. Bircher is made by soaking oats in apple juice overnight into which fruits, nuts and seeds can be added the following day as preferred. That sounded not only tasty but healthy so I decided to make one at home. There are lots of different recipes on the internet – just type in ‘bircher’.

 I soaked oats in apple juice then next day added a grated desert apple, almonds, chopped apricots, a dollop of yoghurt (though it is already surprisingly creamy) and a bit of honey to sweeten slightly. It was indeed delicious though I must say the University’s one was even better. I’m not sure why. I’ll try with some different fruits next time. Dr Bircher-Benner (1867-1939) was ahead of his time as he invented the recipe to try and pack as much fruit into this patients’ diets as he could.  Please do share your favourite bircher recipes with us and provide any tips on how best to made, etc.  Full marks to the University catering for adding a healthy, tasty and sustainable snack to their café offerings.


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