It is now 10:53 and I can’t sleep. My final thoughts before bed usually consist of the pages of the book I’ve just been reading, the lyrics of the songs I’ve just been listening to, people I care about and overnight oats. What combo can I come up with to make tomorrow’s morning brighter?

Tonight I’m thinking about Bircher Muesli but I don’t think it would be fair to contemplate on Mr Bircher-Benner (is his name)’s recipe without knowing the full story so as I tumble out these words on the keyboard, I’m going to load up some info on the history of Bircher Muesli.

Story time. Apparently, Mr Bircher-Benner was a nutritionist who is now credited with the discovery of the nutritional value of fruit and veg after curing his illness, with the consumption of raw apples. This then prompted him to create, and then popularise muesli, a combination of raw fruit, nuts and oats, which he used to improve the health of his patients  – good man, Mr Bircher!

So, to make the perfect bowl of the original Bircher Muesli recipe, often called “little mush” by his patients (adorable), you must include:

  • Oats
  • Nuts
  • Yoghurt, cream or (condensed) milk
  • Apples and apple juice (apparently “non-negotiable” ingredients)
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey/Liquid Sweetener to sweeten (if not using condensed milk)

So let’s run through that list.

  • Oats ✔ (going well)
  • Nuts ✔
  • Yoghurt, cream or (condensed) milk  (…I can do almond milk??)
  • Apple ✗ (Uh oh.. Watch this recipe go downhill..)
  • Lemon juice ✔
  • Honey/Liquid Sweetener ✔ (Agave!)

Ok, so, let’s face it. It isn’t entirely ideal for me to make this recipe right now, with the ingredients in my fridge as I’m only missing the most essential ingredient. Mr Non-Negotiable Apple. So we could either give up here… Or… We could call in the unripe nectarine. This could go one of two ways. Blasphemy and potential disaster… or innovation and potential (dare I say it) genius? Worst case scenario, if the former: it’s disgusting and I have to live with the consequences tomorrow morning. But nobody will ever know! It’s 11:30 now and shockingly no one in the house seems to be that preoccupied by my overnight oat deliberations.

I can stir up this wanna-be Bircher Muesli concoction and, come tomorrow morning, I could love it and be celebrated as Mr Bircher’s successor/chosen one/modern-day muesli genius or I could hate it and paint on a mmmm-delicious face tomorrow morning so as not to taint my kitchen-cred. I’ve got a rep to protect.

Update: the nectarine is grated and kind of resembles apple. I feel success coming on.

Update: I’ve added in half a cup of oats and 3/4 cups of almond milk. I’m strutting around the kitchen like I own the place. I’m feeling confident. (setting myself up for a fall, here?)

Update: I’m contemplating flavour combinations. I’m thinking cardamom.

Update: We don’t have cardamom but we have mastic. (info here). I’m running with the mastic idea. What could go wrong? I love it in Grandma’s puddings.

Update: Mum has entered and is looking from the pouch of mastic, back to my milky, oats, grated/pulverized nectarine creation. She looks concerned as she tries to follow my train of thought. (train of thought seems to be heading for a dead-end)

Update: I’ve heard you grind mastic with sugar so it doesn’t stick to the pestle and mortar so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve added one droplet but don’t taste much mastic, so I add another. Mum warns me not to over-mastic as my oats will turn bitter. Over mastic shmover-mastic. A little mastic can’t hurt nobody. I’m nervously shuffling the extra ground mastic into my bowl and stirring.

Update: Taste test………Damn it. We have over-mastic-ed. Quick! Emergency save-overnight-oats procedure! Over-sweeten with agave! Dump in some/too-much cinnamon to destroy all offensive flavour (now looks unappetising brown colour)! Throw in some almonds and chia seeds – nice texture and healthy kick to compensate for foul, bitter+sickly sweet taste?! Cling film bowl! Swiftly close fridge door! Sigh..

The oats are tomorrow morning’s problem. For now, all I can do is shove a chunk of dark chocolate in a dried date, call that enough creativity for one night and head on back to bed.

Update (1:11am): Just remembered I forgot to add the lemon juice too but I don’t think adding that will bring us any closer to poor Mr Bircher’s recipe.


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