Good Food Good Vibes, Science-based Health.

Get The NS Newsletter: What's your jam? Select one or all.

No Thanks
Eat Well Jul. 15. 2014

Cherry Cardamom Bircher Muesli

Jul. 15. 2014
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

Sweet, tangy, cool and warm all at the same time.

It’s summer. I’m taking every chance I can at incorporating my favorite summer fruits and vegetables this time of year and enjoying them in everything! Last summer I shared a delicious Tart Cherry Chia Pudding that oozes cherry flavor; today I’m sharing a unique twist on my classic Nourishing Muesli, Cherry Cardamom Bircher Muesli. This recipe has quickly become my favorite summer breakfast and even dessert, it’s raw- no fuss with cooking- easy to digest, tastes amazing, contains fiber, protein, and packed with antioxidants from the cherries.

I love this combination of flavors in this bircher muesli, it’s sweet, tangy, cool and warm at all the same time from the warming spices used and the way it’s prepared. I love adding traditional ingredients to this recipe such as lemon juice, oats, fruit, and nuts/seeds with a global twist by incorporating cardamom. Bircher muesli this time of year is lovely, it’s cool and refreshing since there’s no cooking or heating involved. It contains a healthy dose of fiber, healthy fats, plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, and is incredibly simple to whip together. You can even make this for a quick breakfast by making it the night before and storing it in the fridge until the next morning.

Muesli is the new granola, but what about bircher muesli?

I’ve talked at length about what muesli is on the Nourishing Muesli post in comparison to good ole’ granola, but in a nutshell, muesli is simply uncooked granola sans additional oils and sweeteners. All that’s required is a large mixing bowl to combine your favorite nuts, seeds, grains, and dried fruits in any ratio you prefer– I like to keep my mueslis with a higher ratio of nuts and seeds to carbohydrates. SO, what is the difference between bircher muesli and regular muesli? Bircher muesli is the swiss version of what many of us simply call overnight oats; my Mulberry Soaked Oat Porridge is a perfect example of a bircher muesli; although technically porridge is served warm/hot. Regular muesli is dry, bircher muesli is not as it’s typically made with cream and lemon juice and is eaten after all the ingredients have had time to soak.



Traditionally apples are used in bircher muesli, since we’re in the thick of summer and cherries are ripe and in season, it was an easy decision to replace apples with cherries (and it makes for some beautiful food photography and presentation, right?). Cherries are an amazing fruit to get to know if you’re a recreational athlete like myself, athlete, or anyone who suffers from inflammation. Cherries are truly a “super”food when it comes to fighting inflammation in the body, these little red beauties have been shown to help decrease muscle inflammation, reduce workout recovery time, and play a role in supporting our cardiovascular systems.



Let’s take a minute to chat cardamom

Cardamom is one of my favorite warming spices to use in baked goods, breads, cookies, porridges, and recipes like these. There are a couple of varieties of this spice, black and green cardamom, both contain pods and seeds. Cardamom is a widely used spice in seasoning mixes and solo especially in Eastern cultures and an India both in sweet and savory dishes. Some folk and traditional medicines even use cardamom to help treat digestive issues, mouth infections, and kidney stones; although the research from an evidence-based perspective is lacking. Nonetheless, it’s a delicious and unique tasting spice to get to know. Let this recipe be your first introduction if you’ve never tried it before or a unique way to enjoy it for all you current cardamom lovers.

How to make your own ground cardamom

Start by crushing the pod with the back of your hand or peeling the pod with your fingers. Then peel the outer shell of the cardamom pods, in this case the green shell. You’ll be left with tiny black seeds, these are what you’ll be grinding. Using a grinder or a mortar and pestle (check my kitchen tools page), until the seeds are ground. Store in an air tight jar or spice jar, like the ones I use here!

Tweet this! // Did you know that cardamom is the third most expensive spice, following saffron and vanilla?

I hope you all enjoy this quick and healthy breakfast recipe as much as I have been. Be sure to share this recipe with others if you love it and keep tagging me in all your lovely remakes of the recipes, I LOVE seeing your pictures on Instagram and facebook 🙂

Have a beautiful day,

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 2



1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 cup fresh cherries, sweet or tart cut in half

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tablespoon raw unsalted almonds, chopped coarsely

1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom

pinch of sea salt

serve with fresh cherries, halved


Mix all the ingredients in bowl until combined. I like keeping the cherries in halves, but you can “mash” them with the back of a fork to soften, then stir.

Soak ideally for 2 hours or until soft about 30 minutes, overnight works well if you want to make it ahead of time.

Enjoy cool or room temperature.

NS Society

Inflammation Fighting Foods Nutrition Stripped

9 Foods That Have Shown to Fight Inflammation

Grocery Shopping Must-Haves Dietitian Approved

The 5 Items Always on My Grocery List

NS Pillars Of Health

Improve Your Digestion With This Easy Reset

Exclusive online nutrition resources and recipes — a $5.99 monthly subscription to know more about living well.

Join Now

Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Cardamom is one of my favorites too and I probably sprinkle it into 6/7 of my breakfasts! I just love the floral warmth it brings to any dish. I once read an article where a chef explained it as a “haunting” flavor and I have LOVED that description ever since. Every time I shake it into whatever I’m mixing up, I think about that lovely haunting floral flavor.
    Muesli is a total favorite too. Love that you used cherries!

  • It looks just heavenly. I fell in love with your beautiful photos. I can’t wait to make the muesli, I bet it’s amazing.

  • Looks delicious! I love bircher muesli/overnight oats, and this cherry version sounds great 🙂

  • Azu

    Love overnight oats, recently I have been experimenting a lot with them. I love cardamom so this would be a good addition. Pinned!

  • Beautiful photos!! I have never cooked with cardamom, I am actually not sure I have ever had it! It looks fantastic though! Almost too pretty to eat! 🙂

  • Laura

    Any idea what the nutritional breakdown plus kcal this dish is please ? Thank you

  • I came upon you site quite by chance and I am so glad I did!
    I agree with you on the idea of focus on seasonal produce. Am pleasantly surprised to see your Bircher Muesli recipe at the same time that I have posted my version on my blog too! To me, that is an amazing coincidence half way across the world! Looking forward to more interactions with you.
    I love the use of cherries here. We are beginning to find some at our markets too, so my next Bircher Muesli will have cherries in them. And yes, they do make a fabulous picture.

    • I’m glad you’ve stumbled upon Nutrition Stripped as well! So glad you did and I’m glad you enjoy my recipe. Enjoy and thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Erica

    Hi McKel. Now that summer is over cherries are no where to be found 🙁 Any substitution for cherries? Dying to make this! Xx

  • Hey McKel,

    I’ve just stumbled across your gorgeous blog today and I’m so happy to have found you! Your pictures are absolutely stunning. I made your banana bread earlier today and it was AMAZING. So moist! It was difficult not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

    I’m making this muesli as we speak and I can’t wait to have it tomorrow morning for breakfast!

    I know you probably aren’t in the habit of taking “requests,” but I wondered if you could post more recipes with zero/very low natural sugars in the future. I have a stubborn stomach bug that feeds on the stuff and I’m trying to starve it out. (This also requires cutting out gluten and dairy.) You can imagine how difficult this is! I’m planning to modify some of your recipes to suit, but I wondered you had any plans in the works for more savory, low-sugar recipes!

    Thanks so much for creating this blog – I’m planning to try a ton of your other recipes this weekend!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Ashley! Yes, I have heaps of recipes over 100+ in my cookbook coming out next spring that will have many options for low-sugar and other things like that. Otherwise, I’ll make note and answer this question in my YouTube QA series 😉

  • Made these last night for this morning’s breakfast – delicious! This delicious cold muesli is perfect for a warm morning when the air conditioning in our apartment is broken. Thanks for getting my day off to a lovely start, McKel :).

    • Amen to that, cold breakfasts are always great this time of year- it’s getting so hot here in Nashville so I can totally relate. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Pingback: 3 Overnight Oats Recipes for Glowing Skin()