It’s rare that I re-blog about something,, it feels like a bit of a cop out. But when you discover something as amazing as this is deserves multiple appearances. This single dish has changed my life, and that is a very bold statement. I make it every night before work and I eat it in the car after I drop of the kids. No, don’t feel sorry for me, I like it that way. It’s just me, the radio and my amazing oats. I can’t think of a better way to set me up for a brilliant day. After all breakfast is the most important meal of the day, particularly if you listen to the old adage – breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Then why is it that breakfast is the meal we give the least thought to, often eating on-the-go or buying processed breakfast baps and pastries devoid of any nutritional benefits. Time to stop!
But soaking oats overnight is not a new idea. The original overnight oats recipe, known as Bircher Muesli, is said to have been invented by Swiss Physician Maximillian Bircher-Brenner in the 1900s as a way of improving the nutritional quality of food given to his hospital patients. And even now, in this current climate of superfoods and protein powders, traditional porridge oats are still one of the healthiest things you can eat.
Oats are full of fibre, providing a slow steady release of energy which both fills you up for longer and stabilises blood sugar levels. Rich in magnesium and protein this whole grain also contains more potassium than a banana. They are thought to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and compared with their cooked counterpart overnight oats are a lot easier to digest. But probably one of the greatest benefits of overnight oats is time-saving. Just 2 minutes of prep the night before saves up to 10 minutes in the morning. And strangely the great thing about oats is they don’t taste of very much. This makes them the perfect blank canvas for a creamy, healthy bespoke breakfast. Just place the oats in a bowl, pour in enough liquid to cover (milk is classic but water and even orange juice also work well), add a couple of tablespoons of delicious yoghurt and personalise with your favourite toppings. My bespoke mixture has evolved over time. things have been added, things have been removed and now, for me, this is perfect. This is just my take on the it, but feel free to play around. The possibilities are endless!
- Oats – this bit is essential! I use Flahavan’s Irish organic porridge oats but I’m sure others work just as well
- Goji berries – during some recent work related research I discovered that goji berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit, absolutely bursting with antioxidants. If you’re looking for vitamins A, C and E, zinc and beta-carotene then this is the berry for you!
- Raw coconut chips
- Cacao nibs – I think this one is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. It has a bitter taste, but that gets hidden in a breakfast like this and I love the ‘bite’ it gives. Packed full of magnesium, potassium and iron antioxidants they are the perfect sugar free alternative to chocolate chips.
- Pumpkin seeds – these are a new addition but I find they work well unlike the flaked almonds I tried previously which I didn’t enjoy!
- Mixed milled superfood seeds – I use packs by Linwoods. There so many available, my current favourite is ground flaxseeds, almond, walnut, brazil nut and co-enzyme Q10, but just chia seeds or flaxseeds are fine too.
I pre make this mix so it is ready to go. Then the night before I want it I place 5 tablespoons in a Tupperware pot (I have a big appetite so this may be too much for you), cover with milk (regular, almond, coconut etc), add 1-2 tablespoons of yoghurt (I use Onken fruit yoghurt but if you’re being uber healthy you could go for plain/Greek or try some kefir – yoghurt drink with friendly bacteria and yeast. It’s all the rage but I find it a bit too sour for me), and top with fruit (banana, pear, berries, nectarine you name-it really) and leave overnight. You can add the fruit fresh just before eating if you have time but I tend to soak it. Leave it all overnight in the fridge (or minimum of 2 hours they say, although I’ve never tried this). I tend to take mine out an hour before I eat it as I don’t like it cold, but that’s just personal preference, this dish is pretty bespoke so make it work for you! But definitely make it, trust me you’re missing out!