When you move to a new country, even if that country’s customs are impossibly close to your own, you’re still going to feel some culture shock. The biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome moving from Canada to Australia is the difference in slang.
Australians. Abbreviate. Everything.
Afternoon is arvo; a biscuit is a bikkie; and avocados are avos. Some of their slang doesn’t even come close to what it actually stands for (see Jackaroo, shout, or furphy)! Sometimes I feel like the people around me are speaking a completely different language. And when I try to chime in (because, yippee! I actually remember one!) my boyfriend will often just shake his head and laugh at me.
Given the variations in language and slang, it’s no surprise that there are also many cultural differences in the food Australians eat. One of the first Aussie breakfasts I tried was bircher muesli. It was served to me by my boyfriend’s dad one morning when we were visiting them at their coastal home. My first impression was that it looked lovely – golden raisins, dates, sweet mandarins, shaved granny smith apple, and hazelnuts drizzled with golden honey atop a mountain of… something…
“They’re soaked oats. It’s cold.”
I’m sorry. Soaked oats? As in oatmeal? But… cold? That doesn’t sound… right. Nor very tasty. I don’t know about you, but I hate when my morning oatmeal goes cold. However, I didn’t want to be rude.
Tentatively, I took my first bite. That’s when the Heavens opened, the sun spilled through an open window creating a halo around my bowl, and I swear I heard birds singing in harmony.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic. But, damn, those cold oats were tasty! The milk and yogurt created a creaminess to the oatmeal I’ve never experienced before. Combined with the toppings, it was everything I wanted from breakfast: sweet, nutty, tangy, and creamy. I have been converted. I’m on your side, bircher muesli, and I’m never going back!
This summery version is citrusy from the orange juice, sweet from the peaches and apple, sour from the raspberries, and a little bit spicy. If you’ve never had soaked oats before, I suggest you try this and hop on this magical ride. It will change your breakfast game for good, trust me.
Bircher is traditionally soaked overnight to allow the oats time to fully absorb the liquid, which makes it great if you don’t have a lot of time in the morning. Just throw on your toppings and you’re eating in minutes! This particular bircher recipe was inspired by the hot summer days I’ve been experiencing in Australia, and the gorgeously sweet fruit these months yield. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Summer Citrus Bircher Muesli
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 2 tbsp sultanas
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4–6 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1/2 yellow peach, sliced thinly
- 1/2 pink lady apple (or other sweet apple), julienned or shredded
- 10–12 raspberries
- 2 tbsp almonds, roughly chopped
- honey or maple syrup, for drizzling
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut, chia seeds, and sultanas. Toss with the cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice and vanilla. Add the juice to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pat down the oats to level them and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to allow the oats, coconut, and sultanas time to soak up the juice.
The following morning, remove the muesli from the fridge and set it aside while you prepare the toppings.
To assemble the bircher, place half of the oat mixture into a bowl. Dollop 2–3 tablespoons of yogurt in the middle and arrange half the peach slices around it. Place half of the apple sticks on top of the yogurt and dot the raspberries all over. Sprinkle with half of the chopped almonds and drizzle honey over everything. Repeat with the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
Serve with hot coffee or tea for an irresistible summer breakfast.
I hope to convert at least a few of you over the the bircher camp. Let me know if you make this bowl of healthy, summery, creamy goodness and what you think of it!