Bircher Museli (with thawed fruit)

I have never thought twice about eating frozen peas or spinach, and have long known that frozen corn is better than canned, I don’t think twice about frozen cranberries and recently I have used dozens and dozens of industrial-sized bags of various frozen fruits for smoothies and nice-cream.  But.. I have not, until this morning ever eaten defrosted frozen fruit.  Defrosted and eaten – not defrosted and then cooked up into a pie, preserve or something else – just from the freezer, into the fridge overnight and then served with my breakfast.  It was a revelation!

Reasons why I’m excited about eating defrosted fruit;

Maximum freshness – Fruits destined for our freezers are picked at peak-ripeness, frozen immediately and then transported to our supermarkets.  This means that they are often fresher than the ‘fresh’ fruit sold there which was likely picked days before we buy it and bring it home

Convenience – just a little preparation (putting the required amount in a container to thaw overnight) is all it takes to have the fruit ready in the morning.  No washing, no drying, no hulling.  It’s a busy mum’s dream!

Cost effective – I’m sure / I hope that i’m not the only one who often throws out  a good few berries for every punnet I buy – usually the ones jammed in the middle which get squishy fast and then mold first.  Because fresh fruit travels so far in it’s fragile state, there is inevitably some wastage.  Also, sometimes I buy fruit not having thought about my plan for the week and then before i know it, it’s spoiled.  This never happens with frozen fruit because it just sits patiently in your freezer waiting for the right time to be brought out in to the light and wow you with it’s well preserved vitamins and antioxidants.  There are also frozen fruit mixes which are great when you don’t want just one flavor.

Pure – because it is the temperature that preserves the fruit, not a chemical or process, you know exactly what you are getting – it’s a perfect WFPB kitchen item!

Maximium antioxidants – the antioxidant availability in blueberries is actually improved by the freezing process.   Marin Plumb of the South Dakota State University examined the anthocyanin (antioxidant) content of fresh blueberries, and those frozen for 1, 3 and 5 months, finding no decrease in antioxidant content.  She states that “The ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available.”  The antioxidant quantities found in blueberries are on a par with those of pomegranates, and just one of the reasons that these delicious berries have been called a superfood.

In the interests of honesty, there are a couple of ‘downsides’ I should tell you about; the appearance of defrosted fruit is not quite as delightful as fresh,  nor is the texture quite the same after the thawing process.  It is not dissimilar to the texture of stewed fruit, but without the added sugar/sweetener that is often added.  That said, as they defrost they release a yummy tart juice which you can strain off if you want, or keep it as a sauce, as I did this morning.

I have to say that stacked up against the benefits listed above, these ‘negatives’ pale in significance, especially if you use them appropriately – for a homey family breakfast where nutrition is your primary consideration (rather than a fancy dinner dessert which you want to look perfect)!  I personally liked the texture in my breakfast today and think that it would work equally well in other ‘soft fruit’ applications like over chia pudding, or yoghurt, or warmed a little and spooned over pancakes.

Last night, after far too many hectic mornings recently and a still-broken dishwasher, I decided to let the ever reliable bircher museli come to my rescue which I paired with a defrosted berry mix and some toasted almonds – yum!

Print Recipe
Bircher Museli Yum
This satisfying and easy to digest breakfast is quick and easy to prepare in the evening, leaving you with more time the following morning. Named after the physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, and inspired by a dish he and his wife were served while hiking the Swiss alps at the turn of the century, the original Bircher muesli was soaked overnight with water and lemon juice, and then served with yoghurt to the patients in his hospital to aid their recovery. There are endless variations these days but the key components remain - soaked oats, fresh apple, and nuts.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sealed container and leave in the fridge overnight
  2. In the morning you can add in your toppings of choice - thawed or fresh fruit, berries work really well here, toasted almond slices, raisins, banana, chopped prunes, peach slices, apricots, pecans, coconut etc.... There are literally limitless things to try and endless combinations!
Recipe Notes

Since the basic recipe for this is 1:1 oats:milk, you can increase or decrease the quantites in this ratio to accommodate as many servings as you need.

You can chop your apples if you want more texture in your final museli.  I personally like them grated, because it releases more juice in to the oats.

You can make enough to last a couple of days even, it keeps well in the fridge up to 3 days.  If you are doing this, I recommend that you add the berries each day to prevent discoloration.

I used an organic antioxidant blend (all unsweetened strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and cranberries, thank you CostCo!) for variety - I loved the tartness of these fruits, especially the cranberries balancing the natural sweetness of the oats and milk.

Fun fact: the word Museli is an Alemannic diminutive of Mues which means "puree" or "mash-up."  Thank you Wikipedia!

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