Before the brambles completely go, I thought I would slip this under the seasonal food wire. No sweet breakfast in autumn can be truly complete without something darkly juicy mixed in. And freshly foraged brambles (small wild blackberries) fit the bill nicely.
Right now I am in the Lake District of England, reviewing a cottage for cottages.com, and mostly we are driving and walking to places with great food and even better views.
On many of our walks, vines filled with tiny jewel-like brambles reach out with thorny paws begging to be picked. So I know they are still around. But if not, frozen berries of any hue will do. I have also added frozen sour cherries to amp the flavour and nutrition credentials, so feel free to do similarly.Classic Bircher muesli is the creation of Swiss doctor Maximillian Bircher-Benner, consisting of just a little soaked rolled oats, quite a lot of finely chopped homegrown apples, some lemon juice, and unctuous, thick, unpasteurised yellow cream. This late-19th century healing concoction fell out of favour when mass-produced cereals came along. But as anyone on Instagram knows, Bircher muesli is now the early morning choice of millions of healthy types – when they are not eating avocado toast.
Although this simple mix is absolutely fine as is, with homemade granola replacing at least some of the oats, this comforting and filling breakfast bowl may, to some, be even better. No need to add that sneaky blob of honey (you know you do it) as the sweetness is built right in. And it might be an easier way to convince children to try a healthier breakfast.
Although it tastes almost of dessert (Scottish cranachan to be precise), the ingredients are emphatically breakfast. The quickly made compote adds a sucker-punch of sour, while the yogurt adds a little of the creaminess perhaps missing from using granola. It is pretty balanced in taste and texture, I think.
After five days of eating for Britain around the Lake District, I really should clean up my act by mixing up a bowl of this Bircher Granola. However, tofu, soba noodles and the freshest sushi in the world beckon. Follow my food adventures in Tokyo and Kyoto on Instagram. As I am there for work I possibly won’t be posting about my trip. But you can bet I will be eating. Oh yes. And not an oat in sight.
Do you eat Bircher muesli? Are you a traditionalist with it, or do you- like me – play with your food?
Bircher-style Granola with Berry-Cherry Compote
Make your homemade granola into a stunning autumn Bircher-style breakfast, adding homemade berry compote for extra colour, nutrients and tangy flavour. You will have enough berry compote for several bowls of soaked granola, or to swirl into yogurt.
1 tbsp rolled oats
25-30g homemade granola or lower-sugar granola (preferably with no dried fruit)
70ml almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
Compote (makes one jar)
100g fresh or frozen (sour) cherries, pitted
200g fresh or frozen brambles, blackberries or blackcurrants
5-6 drops of pure organic stevia or about 1 tbsp maple syrup (sweeten to taste really)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp coconut, soy or other yogurt
1/2 dessert apple
1 tbsp hemp seeds or other seeds
1. Mix the oats, granola and milk; leave covered for half an hour, or up to 8 hours.
2. Pop the cherries, berries, sweetener and water into a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer very gently until everything breaks down and melds together. Mash lightly with a spoon or potato masher. Scrape into a clean, lidded jar. If you wish to keep this for longer than a week, be sure to sterilise the jar. But as it is low in sugar it will not last as long as something like jam.
3. When you wish to eat, finely chop the apple and mix into the soaked oats and granola, along with the yogurt. Top with a good dollop of the compote and sprinkle over the hemp seeds.
Like this? Please Pin Me!
Keep In Touch!
You can also find me on:
Instagram – behind the scenes with my recipe development (triumphs and tragedies!) and mini, Instagram-only recipes;
Twitter – tweeting on health, nutrition and global news, as well as sharing other bloggers’ content;
Facebook – posting on the latest nutrition and food stories, as well as sharing recipe links;
Pinterest – loads of boards on food, travel, food writing, blogging, health and novel ingredients;
Huffington Post – writing bespoke recipes and opinion pieces on my own Huff Post blog
22 thoughts on “Bircher-Style Granola with Berry-Cherry Compote”
What a simple update to the usual bircher muesli to keep us all inspired for breakfast. Your pictures make it look incredibly appealing. And mixing in granola might help with the texture issue some of my clients have with overnight oats. You never disappoint. Enjoy your trip Kellie!
Lovely, thanks, great for the recipies mmmmm.
Looks wonderful! Have a terrific trip!
Muesli never looked so delicious! This post reminded me of all the muesli I ate in Montreaux, Switzerland (where Mr. Spicy & I got engaged), and of my trip to the Lake District with a girlfriend, the first year I was out of college. I still remember the gingerbread 🙂 Can’t wait to see photos of your trip to Japan-what a wonderful adventure!
What a yummy & nourishing recipe! So many memories from this post-my time in Montreaux, Switzerland where they served muesli every morning ( and where Mr. Spicy and I got engaged) and my trip to the Lake District with a friend right after I graduated from college. I still remember the gingerbread 🙂 Your trip to Japan sounds fabulous-I can’t wait to see your photos!
L O V E bircher so Im loving this (and brambles of course, lovely) . I put my fav Straight Up yogurt from the Collective Dairy in mine but I see this is great being dairy free….btw did you say soy? …as in soy/tamari? Whoa thats blown my mind!
Soy yogurt! 😉 Where do you get your straight up yogurt? Is that Waitrose?
haha, oops 😆 , yes, I was a bit surprised! I get my Straight Up yogurt in Tesco normally…(Sainsbury don’t stock it altho I keep asking if they would!)
This looks really good!
That compote looks so yummy 🙂
I might skip the oatmeal and just eat your compote with my homemade granola and yogurt. Never thought of trying cherries with a berry compote. Your recipe sounds divine!
foraging for blackberries is one of my favourite things to do this time of year! What beautiful photos and a delicious recipe … I hope you enjoyed your time in the Lake District 🙂
I eat this almost every day of my life and did not know it actually has a name! It seems to me to be the nearly perfect breakfast – Kat
I’ve never been to the lake district can you believe? Your picture is stunning and makes me long to reach for my hiking boots. Must get back into the bircher habit.
Our blackberry season in California ended in August, but luckily I froze some of the harvest. I can’t wait to try your recipe!
Black berriies!!! I’ve been craving them since last week. Your post just made it more.
Sounds lovely! Beautiful photo of the Lake District, I have only been in that area once but it was stunning!
awesome. This looks so good.
This sounds amazing and your pictures are so good! We love having berries for breakfast this looks great!