The creator of Bircher muesli, Max Bircher-Benner, was laughed at when he published his recipe for a healthy diet in 1900. In those days, raw vegetables and fresh fruit were considered to be worthless side dishes to satisfy the hunger rather than nutritious foods.
However, Dr Bircher-Benner saved the life of a woman who had not responded to the purees that had been prescribed up to then by feeding her his new diet. The raw food helped the patient to get her greatly enlarged and almost paralyzed stomach back into swing.
Dr Bircher-Benner was thrilled with this success, and from then on devoted himself to developing the perfect diet – and thus Bircher muesli was born. Bircher-Benner opened a private clinic a little way down from the noble Dolder Grand Hotel, in which he treated Thomas Mann and other famous guests. At the end of his life, Dr Bircher-Benner was one of the most influential men of his day.
Original Recipe “Apfeldiätspeise” (apple diet dish), as Bircher-Benner called his original creation
- 1 level tbsp rolled oats
- 3 tbsp water
- 2–3 small apples
- 1 tbsp grated hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp condensed milk
Soak the rolled oats in water for 12 hours. Immediately before serving, mix the soaked rolled oats with the condensed milk and lemon juice. Add the nuts. Grate the apples complete with skin directly into the mixture, stirring occasionally to prevent the apple pulp from turning brown. Sweeten with sugar or honey to taste.