Marcel’s culture flash: what is bircher?
Behind this cult dish, an icon of the vegetarian and hippie movement, lies the health secret of a mountain shepherd: crushed wheat in milk with honey and small pieces of apple. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Zurich’s Dr. Bircher-Benner discovered this recipe and recommended it to his dieting patients!
Makes 4 large yoghurts
Preparation time 10 minutes
Soaking time 1 hour
Cooking time 10 minutes
250 g (9 oz) stirred yoghurt
75 g (2. oz/¼ cup) baby (quick) oat flakes
185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) lukewarm water
4 pinches ground cinnamon (optional )
50 g (1. oz/⅓ cup) skinned hazelnuts
80 ml (2. fl oz/⅓ cup) agave syrup
4 tart apples (granny smith, Ariane …), peeled, cored and grated
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Soak the oats for 1 hour in the lukewarm water, sprinkled with cinnamon, if using. To roast the hazelnuts, chop them roughly, spread them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir the oats with a fork, add the yoghurt, agave syrup, grated apples and roasted hazelnuts. Stir, divide among four serving bowls and serve immediately.