Traditional recipes

Bircher with kefir recipe

Bircher with kefir recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Breakfast
  • Overnight oats

This is a bircher recipe made with kefir and it is an excellent breakfast item. There is no better way to start your day than with a healthy bowl of kefir bircher.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 1

  • 100ml kefir
  • 8 tablespoons oats
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1/2 apple, sliced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey (to taste)

MethodPrep:5min ›Extra time:8hr resting › Ready in:8hr5min

  1. Get your favourite mixing bowl and stir in the oats with the kefir. Cover the bowl with cling film and put in the fridge overnight. During this time, the oats will soak up the kefir and in the morning, there should be a nice thick consistency.
  2. Add the apple or cut up your favourite fruits and add to your now thick kefir/oat amalgamation. Berries or raisins also work. To finish it off, remove the slightly sour edge of the kefir by adding some honey and you are ready to go. Enjoy!


Play with the ratio of oats to kefir until you find your preferred ratio, but I have found 1 to 1 a little bit too runny. This will also depend on the thickness of your kefir.

See it on my blog

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6 Gut-Healthy Breakfasts Ready in Less Than 10 Minutes

Morning routines help set the day, and what better time to start feeding your gut in a healthy way?

Whipping up a gut-friendly breakfast doesn't have to be labor-intensive. You can pull something together in 10 minutes or less by incorporating simple gut-healthy foods into your meal, such as:

  • Probiotics:​ live, "good" bacteria typically found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.
  • Prebiotics:​ a type of fiber that helps feed probiotics it's found in garlic, onions, asparagus, oats, bananas and apples.
  • Digestive enzymes:​ compounds that help break down the food we eat so that it can be absorbed and used by the body they're found in pineapple, mango, avocados, papaya and kefir.
  • Polyphenols:​ plant compounds that contain antioxidants and act like prebiotics in the body, per a September 2019 ​_Nutrients_​ study.

All the high-fiber breakfast recipes below contain at least 7 grams of fiber — that's about a third of women's daily value and nearly 20 percent of men's — and other gut-nourishing ingredients for a healthy a.m. meal you'll look forward to eating.

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

Track your daily nutrients by logging your meals on the MyPlate app. Download now to fine-tune your diet today!

Bircher Müesli

Bircher Müesli is a classic breakfast food in Switzerland, always present at hotel breakfast buffets. But it is also often served in Swiss homes as a simple dinner.

Make this recipe your own by selecting your favorite mix of fruit and nuts. I suggest not adding nuts or fresh fruit until right before serving as they become mushy during the long soak.

What Other Vegetables Could I Add to Bircher Muesli?

Lots of vegetables would make a great addition to this Bircher Muesli – as well as the carrot try adding grated parsnips, butternut squash, other squashes or pumpkin or even courgette or zucchini.

We normally soak our overnight oats in orange juice or kefir – a type of fermented milk. (Incidentally, I’ve become an overnight fan of thick, tangy goats’ milk kefir – read about kefir here). As well as adding extra veg to my diet I am a great believer in eating a wide variety of foods so we’ve swapped our regular yogurt for St Helen’s Farm Goats’ Natural Yogurt, which has a delightful tang and flavour that pairs well with the soaked grains and the sweetness of the apple and carrot.

Goats’ milk products make a great alternative to cows’ as they have easy to digest smaller fat particles, different proteins from cows’ milk, and are a rich source of calcium, phosphorous (both essential for healthy bones), protein, biotin and vitamin B5.

For something really different you could try my tomato savoury overnight oats, made with passata.

(Fermented) Bircher Muesli: It's What's for Breakfast

Over the last few years, I've really started to embrace routine and the liberation that comes from having fewer options. For example, having fewer breakfast options, especially when a child is involved, is really liberating. At our house, if we have to make decisions about what to have for breakfast on a weekday, or discuss how many blueberries or raisins a certain four-year old may have on his yogurt, things will fall apart. As a result, we take a streamlined breakfast approach. And because it's just too much to ask of us, we don't usually cook or reheat food for weekday breakfasts.

So what do we eat? We always have homemade kefir blended with fruit, and I also make yogurt. We eat the yogurt with fresh or dried fruit and a drizzle of honey. A certain four-year old always gets the same amount of fruit, in the same cup, that he may put on top of his yogurt. As I said, we're into streamlining.

But when it's apple season, it's time for Bircher muesli. And serving Bircher muesli is even easier than assembling a cup of fruit and bowl of yogurt every morning. I make a big batch of it on Sunday, and we eat it for most of the week.

There seem to be infinite variations on muesli. Bircher muesli is named after Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician, who created a recipe to help his patients consume more fresh fruit. If you search for Bircher muesli recipes online, you will find slight variations, but all seem to include oats, apples, milk and an overnight soak.

The recipe I settled on was:

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 or 2 grated unpeeled organic apples
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup

Combine all of these ingredients into a bowl with a tight fitting lid, and put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, the muesli is ready to eat. Simple and delicious.

But we have Bircher muesli really often. We have it so often that I've started to wonder how wrong it is to eat exactly the same thing for breakfast for weeks on end. Part of this concern stems from my being a first-class worrier, and part of it stems from my understanding from Nourishing Traditions that to maximize nutrition, oats should be soaked at least overnight at room temperature before eating. Traditional Bircher muesli doesn't allow for this step.

Fortunately, Amanda at Phickle came to my rescue this past week with her post on how fermented oatmeal is better than regular oatmeal. I asked her how she would incorporate fermented oats in a Bircher muesli preparation. She had a fantastic suggestion: soak the oats in kefir. This weekend, I made an extra batch of kefir, soaked the oats in it overnight, and then added the rest of the ingredients. The resulting Bircher muesli has a better flavor--more complex and slightly tangy--with all the benefits of the oats having been soaked.

And now that the nutrition issue has been resolved, I am suddenly less concerned about breakfast monotony. Bring on the fermented Bircher muesli!

Bondi Harvest’s Coconut Kefir Bircher + Blueberry Ginger Syrup

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Dietary: GF, DF, V, VG
Image: Bondi Harvest
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
½ cup coconut kefir
½ cup almond milk or milk of choice
½ apple, grated (optional)
Blueberry Ginger Syrup:
2 cup blueberries, frozen
1 tablespoon ginger, fresh, roughly sliced
To Serve:
Fruit of your choice
A dollop of nut butter
1. Prepare the bircher by combining all ingredients in a bowl or jar and place in the fridge to set overnight.
2. To prepare the blueberry syrup, place the blueberries and a tiny splash of water in a small pot over a medium heat. Place the lid on and leave to cook. After a few of minutes throw in the ginger and cinnamon and leave to cook, uncovered for a further 15 minutes until sticky and fragrant. Leave to cool then place in a jar and store in the fridge.
3. To serve, top the bircher with a good dollop of the blueberry ginger syrup and sprinkle of your favourite nuts, seeds, fruit and a little coconut.

Healthy Ways to Add Kefir to Your Recipes

What Is Kefir?

Most kefir sold in the U.S. is made from cow’s milk, but kefir can be made by fermenting any kind of milk (cow, sheep, goat, and even coconut and soy) with kefir “grains,” which no, are not actual grains—but they provide the beneficial yeast and bacteria that are so great for your digestive system. Kefir contains several strands of probiotic bacteria, including some not found in yogurt.

Also awesome: Cow’s milk kefir is high in protein and calcium and very low in lactose, so people who aren’t usually able to tolerate other dairy products may find that their stomachs handle kefir just fine. Health pros recommend plain over flavored varieties to skip drinking added sugar. Ready to try it? Enjoy a glass straight up or use it in one of these smart recipe ideas. (P.S. Here’s the real deal with probiotic drinks.)

Berry Compote Kefir Parfaits

Dianna Sinni, R.D., L.D., wellness dietitian and food blogger, keeps things simple with this three-ingredient recipe that features mulberries, which add sweetness without extra sugar. “Choose an unsweetened plain kefir, as many flavors have an extra 8 to 10g of added refined sugars per serving,” says Sinni. Feel free to mix in your favorite fruit or berry compote and then top with granola for some crunch. Spices can also make things interesting. “You can add ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or a dash of vanilla extract to flavor without all the extra sugar,” she says.

Strawberry Peanut Overnight Oats

Bloggers Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D.N., and Janice Newell Bissex, M.S., R.D.N., love kefir because it contains probiotics, so you know it’s great for gut health. Though plain kefir is best in terms of avoiding excess sugar, these overnight oats show how a little flavor can go a long way toward getting your whole family to enjoy a healthy morning meal.

Wild Blueberry Kefir Smoothie

Because of its consistency, kefir is a no-brainer when it comes to adding protein to smoothies. Just swap it in for milk or yogurt and add whatever other ingredients you usually throw into the blender. Dietitian Lindsay Livingston uses blueberries to mask the green in her spinach smoothie. Even those who say they don’t like green smoothieswill love this mix.

Berry Pistachio Crunch Smoothie Bowl

If kefir is great for smoothies, of course it’s equally great in smoothie bowls. Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., says kefir offers a delicious way to work probiotics into your day along with bone-building calcium and filling protein. Her crunch berry smoothie bowl recipe also includes “fiber-containing berries and banana, as well as several healthy toppings—including pistachios, which offer healthy fat, protein, and fiber to help keep you full and satisfied,” says Gorin.

Mango Cardamom Kefir Lassi

Lassi is a refreshing yogurt drink from Southeast Asia served with meals to enhance digestion. Registered dietitian Dixya Bhattarai jazzes hers up with mango and cardamom when she needs a break from the morning smoothie routine.

Dairy Free Bircher Muesli

After my last post on coconut milk kefir, I know some of you were asking “what the heck do I use kefir for besides as a beverage?”. I’m going to answer that with this post on Bircher Muesli a.k.a. Swiss oatmeal. Bircher Muesli is a make ahead breakfast that you prepare the night before, and it sits refrigerated overnight to make a perfect hearty porridge for the next morning. Bircher muesli can be made with any variety of seeds, nuts, grains and fruits but the core of it always contains oats, some dried and fresh fruits and some sort of sweetened liquid usually a cream or yogurt. In this case, I’m using coconut milk kefir for a dairy free option. You can certainly use the more traditional cream, dairy kefir or a yogurt that has been thinned with milk.

Start by placing your dry ingredients in a jar or bowl. Then, add the grated apple and cover with the lemon, honey and kefir. Stir it up and store in the fridge overnight. I use steel cut oats since they result in a more al dente consistency which I prefer. If you don’t mind it a little more mushy, feel free to use rolled oats or just make it up in the morning and let it sit for an hour instead of overnight.

If you wish to make a large batch, increase the recipe to however many batches you want to make and mix up just the dry ingredients. The dry mix can be kept it in the cupboard and will keep really well since it’s all dry ingredients kind of like a trail mix. If you want to mix the whole recipe up together, you certainly can and it’ll keep refrigerated for up to a week. The oats may get a bit mushier but the flavor is still lovely.


One of our selection of recipes for the simply delicious and nutritious food we serve at The Cliffs of Moher Retreat.

Bircher Muesli

Here is a recipe from our menu here at the Cliffs of Moher Retreat. It’s one that we serve on our retreats!

This is probably the most asked about of our recipes at the Cliffs of Moher Retreat

Bircher Muesli was developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Brenner for his patients. In fact, he was a pioneer of the Raw Food diet.

The idea is that when you soak your oats over night you break down the phytic acid which is an enzyme inhibitor among other things (by adding a drop of lemon juice/apple cider vinegar /kefir you assist this process) making them more digestible and nutrient rich.

I love it because I can spend a few minutes getting organised the night before and in the morning I have a ready made healthy breakfast!

The key to making Bircher Museli is to get creative! I am giving some suggestions below but I have made this successfully with dessicated coconut, ginger, chopped dried fruit, fresh cherries, raw cacao and even grated carrots! The possibilities are endless…

Recipe: makes 2

2 cup of Oats (I use Jumbo Oats but you can use any you prefer)
Liquid (to cover) – juice: store bought or homemade (you can also use cooled herbal tea, berry or camomile is nice)
Fruit – 1 cup of frozen berries, 2 peeled and grated apples
Optional: 2 tablespoons of yogurt – natural or coconut are my favourites
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extras: sprinkling of seeds (I like chia seeds) nuts
Honey to taste if you require!

Mix everything in a bowl/mason jar. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
It’s ready in the morning! Take out and let sit before serving (if you have time!).

Tip: If you find you don’t have time for breakfast in the morning, you can make this in a snap-shut mason jar and bring it to work.

I’ve put measurements above but I would encourage you not to stick too firmly to them. Adding more strawberries for example will just give it a more strawberry flavour. Adding more yoghurt makes it creamier. Experiment and find what you like. You want enough liquid to cover the oats, as much as you might add to make porridge/oatmeal.

Jesse Mulligan's Kefir Soaked Oats Recipe, From The Sweet October Cookbook

The Sweet October Cookbook features sweet and savoury recipes by Sweet Louise members (those with incurable breast cancer) and well-known Kiwis and influencers. The book is available to download for $31 and features 31 recipes in total — for the 31 days of October. During October (breast cancer awareness month), Sweet Louise aims to raise $100,000 to continue to support around 800 women and men a year with incurable breast cancer. Here’s a preview of Jesse Mulligan's recipe from The Sweet October Cookbook. Visit

"We have a different sort of problem in our house: we can’t get the kids to stop eating breakfast. As the clock moves steadily towards the 9am school bell my three older children are at the bench demanding bowl after bowl of oats. At least we know they are fuelled up for the day! This recipe has almost nothing but healthy ingredients in it and yet is one of the most delicious ways to start the day. It’s also made with kefir which is full of live culture bacteria – there’s good research showing the benefits of including kefir and other fermented foods in your diet. Enjoy, but don’t blame me if you are late to school!" — Jesse Mulligan


1 cup plain (not quick-cooking) oats, organic if you like
2 cups kefir milk (see below)
Quality maple syrup (a good one will make all the difference, this is not the time to budget!)
Slightly tart fruit such as kiwifruit, raspberries or tamarillo — depending on what is in season
Nut butter and/or flavoured coconut yoghurt (optional)

Kefir milk
1 litre milk
1-2 Tbsp kefir crystals (expensive from a Health Food shop but free from ‘Fermenting Freaks’ Facebook page or other online communities)

1. Pour the milk over the kefir crystals in a jug or jar and place out of the way on the kitchen bench.

2. Cover with a paper towel and leave at room temperature for about 24 hours (the time will depend on the time of the year). The milk will become thicker and pleasantly sour — stir a couple of times throughout the 24 hour period to stop it getting too thick on the surface. Strain and put the milk into a sealed container in the refrigerator. Rinse the crystals and store in a container of water in the fridge for next time — you will need to ‘feed’ them with a splash of milk from time to time.

3. The night before, put the oats into a bowl and pour the kefir milk over the top and leave to soak. In the morning put the oats into a breakfast bowl, drizzle a small amount of maple syrup over and serve with fruit of your choice and a dollop of good nut butter or coconut yoghurt.

Note: For ease of preparation a store bought Kefir Yoghurt such as The Collective can be used instead of making your own kefir, just add milk or nut milk so that the oats have plenty to soak up. But do give homemade kefir a try at some stage, it’s incredibly easy and much cheaper! As an optional extra you can add grated raw apple, chopped dried fruit or spices to your kefir oats.