Lunchtime Rooty Bircher by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Bircher muesli, traditionally, means oats soaked with fruit juice and grated apple so they soften into a sort of raw porridge. It’s one of my favourite breakfasts and I see no reason to confine it to the morning. This lunchtime version includes raw celeriac, lemon juice and olive oil to give it a more savoury slant, but retains a delicious sweetness from the apple. You can make it in the morning and leave it soaking until lunchtime.

If I were to choose just one thing we could all do in order to be healthier and feel more energised, to have a better relationship with food and with our environment, it would be this: eat more veg.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be a special guest at the London strain of the UK-wide Vegetable Summit which will also be held in Edinburgh today.

For more information about the summit visit

Ingredients: Serves 2

100g chunk of celeriac

1 medium eating apple

100g jumbo oats

50g raisins or sultanas

50g whole, skin-on almonds

50g mixed seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame (or just one type if you prefer)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil

Juice of ½ lemon

200ml cloudy apple juice

Sea salt and black pepper


  1. Slice the knobbly, grubby outer layer off the celeriac, revealing the creamy-white interior. Grate this coarsely into a large bowl.
  2. Grate the apple into the bowl too. There’s no need to peel or cut the apple, just grate it on one side down to the core then turn it and grate the other side, and so on. Mix with the celeriac.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, including a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Mix together well, making sure the grated fruit and veg is well distributed.
  4. If you’re going to be eating the Bircher at home, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 6 or 7. Stir once or twice during that time if you can and let it come up to room temperature before eating. If you’re taking the muesli to work, divide it between a couple of plastic tubs, snap the lids on and it’s good to go – keep it cool until you’re ready to eat.


Roots Try grated carrot or parsnip in place of celeriac – or beetroot, for a splendidly colourful Bircher!

Dried fruit Choose your favourite dried fruit here: chopped apricots, dried cherries, sliced dates and prunes are all good.

Nuts Replace the almonds with whole or roughly chopped hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts.

Extract taken from River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26) out now

In association with Taste Communications.