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Recipe of the Week – Bircher Muesli
The original ‘Dr Bircher’ muesli
A good friend, Greg Fraser, passed this recipe on to me many years ago, and now Sam and I have it almost every day. It is very simple and good for lowering cholesterol levels. You can have any fruit you like with it; we tend to have fresh berries in summer, and either poached quinces or pears during the rest of the year. A really good yoghurt, such as a sheep’s milk yoghurt, will make the muesli taste even better, though taste as you go and adjust the lemon juice a little to balance the yoghurt’s sharpness.
HOW TO ROAST NUTS — Hazelnuts can be roasted by simply cooking in a preheated 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) oven until golden brown. To remove their skins, allow the nuts to cool, then put them in a clean tea towel, fold it in half and rub the nuts inside the towel on the bench. Tip the nuts into a strainer and allow the skins to fall to the bottom. To roast nuts such as almonds and walnuts, you must first blanch them in boiling water for 2–3 minutes to loosen their skins. Strain, then peel away the skin. Put the nuts on a tray and roast in the centre of a preheated 150°C (300°F/Gas 2) oven. Shake the tray often to ensure an even roast. The nuts will continue to cook on removing from the oven so take them out when they are a light brown colour. Desiccated or shredded coconut may be roasted in the same way.
200 g (7 oz/2 cups) rolled oats
juice of 2 lemons
2 sour green apples, such as Granny Smith
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) plain yoghurt
150 g (51/2 oz/scant 1/2 cup) honey
poached fruit, such as poached pears (page 432), or fresh fruit, to serve
40 g (11/2 oz/1/3 cup) roasted hazelnuts, skinned and crushed, to serve
The night before, mix the oats, lemon juice and 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) water together in a bowl. Cover and soak overnight.
In the morning, grate the apples, with their skin on, and add to the bowl of soaked oats. Add the yoghurt and honey and mix together well. Divide the muesli among four bowls, top with your fruit selection and sprinkle with the hazelnuts.