FIG, CINNAMON & CHIA BIRCHER MUESLI

November 2nd, 2022

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After a few false starts, it feels like spring has well and truly arrived. The tomatoes are all planted – some in the glasshouse a few weeks ago and this weekend I planted more into grow bags against a sunny wall. It is always interesting to see how they compare, indoors vs outdoors. There are benefits to growing indoors for the warmth, but also outdoors with the airflow is less likely to encounter diseases and pests. Of course, the indoor tomatoes are more productive and have a longer growing season, so I do tend to focus on cherry toms and smaller varieties for my outdoor bags. Also, since they are closer to the kitchen they are easy to harvest for a quick summer salad.

It is always such an exciting and anticipatory time in the garden, but also still a rather lean one (whether from the garden or shops), particularly for fresh fruit. Frozen fruit is a godsend as well along with dried fruit to use in cooking for sweetness and flavour. The recipe I share today is a simple bircher muesli. A dish that I like to pull out in the warmer months for quick and easy breakfast fare. Being prepared the night before means it is a simple setting of the table and we are ready to eat – my kind of breakfast! (fact: I am not a morning person). I hope you find joy in this recipe this spring, and into summer when different fruits can be used for topping the muesli. Enjoy!

More recipes I have shared using Dried Figs:

Fig, Cinnamon & Chia Bircher Muesli

This soaked muesli can be prepared ahead of time - up to 3 days - and makes for a super quick and nutritious morning meal. I like to add dried fruit to bircher that will soften while soaking and lightly sweeten the oats. The bircher is gently spiced with cinnamon with the addition of fibre-rich chia seeds or ground flaxseeds (linseed). If you don’t have these particular seeds on hand other seeds can be used such as sunflower, pumpkin, or even some desiccated coconut. Keep in mind, chia seeds and flaxseeds absorb a lot of moisture so if not using these then reduce the milk or water in the recipe by ¼ cup. 
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseeds - see headnote
  • 4 dried figs (about 40g), chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk - can use dairy or plant-based
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 2 tbsp natural unsweetened yoghurt - can use coconut yoghurt

To serve:

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Grated apple or other fruit

Instructions

  • Place the rolled oats into a dish. Add the chia seeds or ground flaxseeds, cinnamon and salt.
  • Warm the milk and water in a saucepan then pour this over the oats. Stir to combine, then add the yoghurt and stir again. Cover and leave overnight to soak. The soaking bircher can be left on the kitchen bench, or placed in the fridge during the warmer months. If storing in the fridge overnight, leave to soak for a few hours at room temperature if possible or at least until the mixture is cool. The natural bacteria (lactobacilli) in the yoghurt will gently culture (ferment) the oats and milk overnight for improved digestion.
  • In the morning, scoop the bircher muesli into bowls. Serve with extra yogurt and grated apple, or other fresh fruit.
  • Any leftover bircher can be chilled, eating it within 3 days of preparation.

*Recipe first published 22nd October 2022 on Stuff.co.nz

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My new cookbook The Homemade Table is now available at bookstores around Aotearoa NZ, plus order signed copies HERE

(Note: I am not sending to Australia or overseas at this time – you can order copies for reasonable postage HERE).

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