Bircher Muesli

One of my favourite holidays as a little girl was a trip to Ireland. We stayed at Ballymaloe House, then a little-known manor house in the surrounds of a big farm and kitchen garden. Since, it’s owner has become a celebrity chef and put the place on the map, but back then the hotel bedrooms had no locks; the other resident kids and I roamed free for hours on end...

And there was the  most delicious start to the day I’d ever had. Muesli, to my mind, was dry and nutty and dusty and bitty. The ugly sister at the breakfast table, when you could be having a hotel's pancake drowned in maple syrup. But Ballymaloe served up a soft muesli, full of fresh fruit, sweet and with crunch; it was, they told me after I'd eaten three bowls' worth, called Bircher Muesli. 

The internet wasn’t such a big thing in those days. So afterwards, whenever my mum or I found ourselves in a posh food shop or abroad, we’d scour the shelves for this Bircher brand. Until one day someone told us it was the name of the guy who invented muesli.


Anyway, nowadays Bircher has come to mean the softer, wetter kind of muesli that requires overnight soaking. It’s easy and delicious, great for a healthier weekend breakfast. 

Here it is, Ballymaloe-style:

Makes  4 portions


75g porridge oats
250ml juice – mango, apple, orange juice all work well
150g Greek yogurt
50g favourite dried fruit: apricot, mango, apple are best
25g raisons or sultanas
1 apple, chopped or grated
Optional extras: chopped banana and/or grapes, toasted walnuts or hazelnuts, honey


Mix the oats and juice together in a bowl
Stir in the yogurt, dried fruit, raisons/sultanas, and apple
Chill in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight for the muesli to thicken (will keep in fridge for 2-3 days).

Before serving, add the fresh fruit and/or nuts, top with a swirl of honey if desired.

Ballymaloe House


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