Bircher muesli is one of my favourite foods for breakfast. Particularly with the addition of raspberries. And it’s a super easy breakfast because you make it the night before in only ten minutes.
This quantity is enough for four servings, so if you’re making it to take to work then store it in four individual air-tight containers or jars.
Rolled oats are the main ingredient in bircher muesli. They’re a great choice for breakfast as they’re a whole grain, and are high in fibre and vitamins and minerals, and are low in fat and cholesterol free.
When you eat rolled oats for breakfast they provide a steady release of glucose into your blood. You’ll avoid the high spike in blood sugars that you get with cerals like coco pops, nutri grain or any other low fibre, high refined sugar cereal (like most of the ones on supermarket shelves).
The high fibre content of rolled oats will allow for this steady release of glucose into the blood. Glucose is an important fuel for the body because it provides energy for every cell in our body to function. It’s particularly important for the brain, because the brain runs only on glucose. Brain functions such as memory, thinking and learning are closely linked to the amount of glucose in our body. If we lack glucose, then our cognitive function will suffer. (Check out this great documentary called ‘Sugar vs Fat’ by the BBC to see this in action. Identical twin brothers go on a high sugar or high fat diet then do a difficult cognitive activity to compare how their brains funciton on these diets. The difference is amazing).
The adult brain is only 2% of body weight, yet it uses 20% of the glucose in your body (Mergenthaler 2013). So the brain needs a steady supply of glucose. And glucose comes only from plant foods.
Children’s brains use even more glucose than adults. Children aged 4-10 years use around twice as much glucose compared to adults (Chugani, 1998). The long overnight fasting period in children (due to higher sleep needs) can deplete their glycogen (stored glucose) stores overnight (we only have enough glycogen to fuel us for 12-18 hours without food) (Thorleifsdottir et al., 2002). Breakfast is vital for kids so they have plenty of energy, and so they can use their brains for learning, thinking and paying attention at school.
The best breakfast foods are complex (unrefined) carobohydrates such as wholegrains (e.g. rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat). Look for cereals or breads that are whole grain, and contain very little refined sugar. Or make your own delicious bircher muesli, overnight oats or creamy breakfast rice.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups soy milk
- 1 green apple, unpeeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- Place the oats, soy milk, grated apple and maple syrup in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Gently stir in frozen raspberries, being careful not to break them.
- Gently pour the mixture into an airt tight container, or four individual containers.
- Place the the fridge 8 hours or overnight.