Vegan Bircher Muesli

After three months on tour and relying a wee bit too much on convenience foods - namely Linda McCartney's vegan range, bagel's, baked beans, that sorta thing - I'm desperate to get back to my relatively healthy eating ways. I'm not really one for snacking but being on tour means you have to snack throughout the day just to keep energy levels up and whilst I love marmite rice crackers and nakd bars, there are only so many a girl can eat before she's sickened with the sight of them. Carbs were calling my name every morning and unfortunately I answered by consuming a few too many crumpets, a heap load of toast and a decent helping of those bagels I mentioned - not all at the same time I hasten to add! Topped with pb&j, this was my favourite and, to be perfectly frank, easiest breakfast of choice - the other bonus being it filled me up until lunchtime, which, especially when you're having to do two shows back to back, is essential. Luckily because I was so active I ended up losing weight instead of gaining but I knew my body wasn't happy so being back home and in my own kitchen was a welcome relief, as I felt I could return to my normal eating ways.

A few too many excuses there perhaps (and I occasionally did have granola, fruit and soy yoghurt - occasionally being the operative word there!) but believe me (and I know you do seeing as I've bleated on about it so much) that tour was tough enough without restricting my food too. Food really was my only comfort and because I didn't want to linger in the communal kitchen too long, quick and easy eats became an absolute priority - get in and get out - so there were lots of stir fries and pasta. Carbs, carbs, carbs!

Carbs are still on the menu in our house but not in the same quantity I was inhaling them when away. I started off the new week with this wonderful vegan bircher muesli. Honestly, if I were to have only one breakfast for the rest of my life this might be it, it is just so darn delicious. If you're not a soy gal/guy then there may be other non-dairy yoghurts on the market where you live that would make a great substitute - I hear So Delicious have a new coconut milk yoghurt available (sadly not in the UK but we live in hope!). I did try ricera yoghurt when I lived in the States but I wasn't crazy about it - although it would certainly be nice to have an alternative to soy right now.

Anyhoo, whatever yoghurt you use I can't imagine this bircher muesli not tasting absolutely, out of this world, fantabulous. It's light yet filling, sweet but not sickly with lots of texture and a heap load of taste - surely the perfect way to start your morning? Now, I'm not claiming this to be the perfect superhero recipe - what with the use of processed items such as rice milk and soy yoghurt plus the sugar from the dried fruit etc. - but I see no harm in having a bowlful of this loveliness a couple of times a week. I'm all about mixing it up, so have the kale smoothie by all means but include a bircher in your life sometimes. For me being 'healthy' encompasses my mental health too and I'm pretty sure a kale smoothie in the morning wouldn't get me leaping out of bed the way this muesli does.

This breakfast is the original overnight oats recipe - y, know, that breakfast sensation that's taken the (vegan) world by storm over the past few years? You can soak the oats in water, any non-dairy milk or even apple juice - although I think that might be apple overkill. When you arise fresh as a daisy in the morn all you have to do is mix in the other ingredients and et voila a nutritious brekkie awaits - now that's what I call slow, fast food. Those swiss sure do know how to work an oat.

How do you like your eggs oats in the morning? I like mine with a kiss x

vegan bircher muesli

in each bowl:

3 tbsp rolled oats

approx 1/4 cup rice milk (or any non-dairy, water or apple juice)

1/2 apple

1 tbsp cranberries (or gogi berries)

1 tbsp sultanas or raisins

1 tbsp chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds work best)

2 tbsp plain soy yoghurt (or any non-dairy yoghurt but ensure it is plain)

agave nectar (optional)

1 tbsp mixed seeds

Place the oats in a bowl and cover with rice milk. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning peel and grate the apple - I like mine very fine, almost puree like but you may want the strands slightly thicker, it's a personal choice. Loosely mix just so the apple doesn't discolour too much.

Add the cranberries (gogi berries), sultanas, nuts, yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Squeeze in a little agave nectar if you wish - add to taste but I'd recommend no more than a teaspoon.

Give it a final stir before topping with the mixed seeds.

That's it. Good Mornin'!

breakfast, veganAine Carlin