Super Berry Bircher Muesli

Bircher muesli is a quick and nutritious breakfast that could possibly save you an extra 10 minutes in the morning! Yes, you read this correctly, that means one extra hit of the snooze button! You prepare it the night before, leave in the fridge, and then boom. Instant breakfast in the morning. No cooking, no clean-up.

It was originally created around 1900 by a Swiss doctor called Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner. This smart dude fed it to the patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and veggies was a core aspect of his therapy. The original recipe included oats, apples, nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. The oats were soaked overnight to make them more digestible, and then served in the morning with yoghurt.

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All grains, legumes and nuts naturally contain quite a lot of phytic acid. During digestion, the phytic acid binds to vitamins and minerals in our food, making them more difficult to absorb. By soaking our grains and legumes, we break down some of this phytic acid ahead of time, making the awesome goodness of grains and legumes more available to our bodies!

Of course, Bircher muesli has evolved over the years since 1900, and now there are dried store bought muesli varieties that often contain far more grains and sugar than the original light recipe, which was more focused on fresh fruit.

The good news is that health nuts are always finding creative ways to pimp up this awesome recipe.  The one I’ve made here replaces the apples with berries, and the condensed milk with homemade nut milk. I’ve also used a combo of nuts, seeds, and some fancy extras instead of just nuts.

This serves one small person, but feel free to one-and-a-half it or double it if you know you have a long day ahead of you!

*This recipe is vegan-friendly, refined sugar-free & gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats*

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SERVES: 1 | PREP TIME: 5 minutes | COOK TIME: 0 minutes!

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons oats (use gluten-free if you’re gluten intolerant)

3 tablespoons nutritious nuts, seeds and dried berries! I used:

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fancy extras (I used this superfood breakfast topper, but it’s not necessary! Use whatever you have lying around the house- chopped nuts? flax or chia seeds? cacao nibs? goji berries?)

Handful of fresh mixed berries (I used raspberry and some blueberries)

1/2 cup nut milk of you choice (I used homemade but store-bought is fine)

A squeeze of fresh lemon

METHOD

  1. Place all the ingredients into a breakfast bowl or kilner jar. Mix around and mash the berries into the other ingredients.
  2. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. That’s it! Instant nutritious breakfast awaits you the following morning. Eat it as is, or top it off with yoghurt and more berries, banana slices and drizzle of nut butter, or whatever you fancy yourself!
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Homemade Nut Milk

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of store bought nut milks as they tend to have a lot of preservatives and other nasties added into them to keep them shelf stable. That being said, I am guilty of buying the odd carton once every few weeks because they’re just so convenient and tasty.

This week, I tried making my own nut milks for the first time. And guess what? It actually is REALLY EASY! The things that were preventing me from doing it before were: a) having to soak nuts overnight before and b) needing a nut milk bag/piece of muslin cloth for straining the pieces of nuts out of the milk.

Once I bought myself some muslin cloth in a local fabric shop and got organized about buying and soaking whatever nuts I needed the night before, the rest was a doddle.

…so, here we go: cashew milk and hazelnut milk.

*These recipes are vegan-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free*

Cashew Milk

YIELDS: 3-4 cups milk | PREP TIME: soak nuts overnight | MAKE: 10 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup cashews (raw & unsalted)

3 cups filtered water

….that’s it!

optional flavours: 

2 medjool dates

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

…you’ll also need some muslin cloth, cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I used muslin cloth here.

METHOD

  1. Measure out 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews. Leave to soak in water in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, your nuts should be plump and soft to the touch. Drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly, then place them in your blender with 3 cups of fresh filtered water. Blitz for about 20-30 seconds until you get a milk-coloured liquid.
  3. Place a sieve on top of a bowl or measuring jug that holds about 1 Litre/4 cups liquid. Drape the muslin cloth over the sieve, and gradually pour the nut milk through the cloth and sieve, letting it drip into the container below. You’ll need to do this in stages as the bits of nut will gather in the cloth, slowing the process down. Towards the end, you can grab the four corners of the cloth, twist them together to form a sort of ‘bag’, and gently squeeze the milk down through the cloth until all the milk has passed through the cloth (make sure your hands are clean for this part!). Discard the pulp, or save to use for something else.
  4. If adding some optional flavours, rinse out your blender, pour the strained milk back in, and add the cinnamon/vanilla/dates until smooth. I used cinnamon and vanilla extract here, and it was yummy.
  5. You’re done! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Hazelnut Milk

YIELDS: 3-4 cups milk | PREP TIME: soak nuts overnight | MAKE: 10 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup hazelnuts (raw & unsalted)

1/4 cup almonds (raw & unsalted)

3 cups filtered water

….that’s it!

optional flavours: 

 

as above

…you’ll also need some muslin cloth, cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I used muslin cloth here.

METHOD

  1. Measure out 3/4 cup of raw unsalted hazelnuts and 1/4 cup raw unsalted almonds. Leave to soak in water in the fridge overnight.
  2. The rest is the same as the cashew nut milk recipe above.

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‘Shamrock Shake’ Smoothie

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! For the day that’s in it, I thought I’d procrastinate the rest of the ‘Healthy Eating On The Road’ posts until next Friday, and instead share with you this festive green smoothie!

As a kid, getting a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s on Grafton Street around St. Patrick’s Day was such a treat. As my tastes have changed just a tad since I was ten years old, I don’t think I’d dig those shakes as much as an adult. My stomach definitely wouldn’t anyway. Instead, behold the Shamrock Shake’s alter ego: a delicious, fresh, green smoothie with some lemon and mint for some extra zing!

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This smoothie gets its pale green colour from the handful of spinach mixed in with the almond milk. It gets its delicous smooth texture from the half of an avocado and the banana. The almondbutter and flaxseeds add some awesome plant-based protein and good fats, and the mint and lemon add a bit of pizazz! The result: a smooth, cooling, refreshing glass of green energy. If you need a little more sweetness in your life, feel free to add a teaspoon or two of your favourite natural sweetener!

Green smoothies make a great breakfast, on-the-go lunch, or post-workout booster. The squeeze of lemon juice will help kick-start your liver if you plan to part-take in the Paddy’s day festivities, and the cooling mint is great for an upset stomach. Maybe keep this one in mind for tomorrow morning.

‘Shamrock Shake’ Smoothie

SERVES: 1  |  PREP TIME: 5 mins

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1 handful spinach

1/2 avocado

2 teaspoons ground flaxseeds

1 teaspoon almondbutter (or peanutbutter if you prefer)

juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon (or to taste)

8 mint leaves (or to taste)

optional: 1-2 teaspoons of your preferred sweetener!

METHOD

  1. Chop all ingredients into small chunks.
  2. Put in your blender and whizz until smooth!
  3. Serve with mint leaves on top in the shape of a shamrock.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Teeny x

 

 

 

 

Raw Cacao-Almond Truffles

 

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These truffles are my FAVOURITE little treat to have stocked in the fridge. They are amazing because: (a) they can be made without a blender, (b) they only take about 20 minutes, and (c) they knock the SOCKS off of you with their intense chocolaty hit! They only require 5 dry ingredients (+ a little water), all of which store really well in the cupboard and can be broken out to make a fresh batch in case of Chocolate Emergency. They’re great if you need something quick to bring to a party, or simply to keep in the fridge for whenever you need a pick-me-up!

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Unlike most healthy treat recipes, they don’t rely on dates for their sweetness or texture, so are good for anyone who doesn’t tolerate dates too well. I used maple syrup here, but you could also sub this for another sweetener such as honey or coconut sugar dissolved in a little warm water (this changes the texture a little).

They usually need to be rolled in something, otherwise they are a little sticky to pick up. My go-to is coconut flakes, so you could simply do this and save yourself buying extra ingredients for rolling. Or else you can get creative with whatever nuts and seeds you have around the kitchen! Here, I’ve used finely-chopped roasted hazelnuts and extra cacao powder as well as the coconut flakes.

These have saved me from reaching for sugar-and-gluten-laden sweet treats on numerous occasions! Although they still contain some natural sweetener and caffeine (because of the cacao), they are much healthier than your average store-bought chocolatey treat, so you can enjoy that burst of energy and chocolate fix from natural, unprocessed ingredients! Yes! Winning.

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*This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free & grain-free*

Raw Cacao-Almond Truffles

MAKES: approx. 15 small truffles | PREP TIME: 20 mins

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice to taste!)

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

3-4 tablespoons water

a pinch of sea salt (optional)

1/3 cup of dessicated coconut (for rolling)

*optional extras for rolling*

3 tablespoons of finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts

3 tablespoons of cacao

METHOD

  1. Spread some desiccated coconut evenly over a large plate. (Best to do this while your hands are still clean!)
  2. Add the ground almonds, cacao powder, sweetener and coconut oil to a mixing bowl.
  3. Gradually add in the water, and mix ingredients around until they form a thick paste.
  4. Now the fun part: pinch about a dessertspoon of mixture into your hands and roll into a ball shape (If the mixture feels too thick to roll into balls with your hand, at a little extra water. If you’ve added too much water, just add a little extra ground almonds to even it out).
  5. Roll the ball around the coconut-covered plate until it is evenly covered in desiccated coconut. Set finished ball aside on a different plate.
  6. Repeat until you run out of mixture. Pop the plate full of chocolaty awesomeness in the fridge for about an hour to firm up (if you can resist).

*Tip: once you have the basic recipe down, you can get creative by rolling the balls in other delicious things, like ground almonds, chopped roasted hazelnuts, cacao powder, or just leave them plain with a pinch of sea salt!