The old adage states that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I agree, eating a good breakfast gives you the energy and nutrition to make the most of your day and should be able to power you through until lunchtime.
Working varying shifts, often getting up at 2am, I have slowly sunk into some bad habits at breakfast time. A sugary cereal and quick coffee whilst reading the news and catching up on people’s lives on apps on my smartphone have become the norm. I then drive to work and sometimes indulge in another coffee all before starting a 4am shift. The starchy processed nastiness disguised as processed cereals and muselis doesn’t sustain me for long and I often find myself wandering around during my break for second breakfast!
So recently I decided to start pre-planning my breakfasts as I have done in the past. Scrambled eggs and toast aren’t really appealing in the very early hours of the morning so I decided to make overnight oats. A rough guide to the recipe can be found below, note that amounts are given in ratios rather than specific measurements:
Kicking Overnight Oats
This recipe combines fresh and dried ingredients and includes my favourite ingredient of all, the mighty ginger. Ginger is a fantastic ingredient, with a number of health benefits including its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also extremely easy to incorporate into most recipes. The ginger gives my overnight oats a fiery kick to wake you up for the day ahead:
- Fill a large ceramic bowl with porridge oats. I’m currently using Scottish Porridge Oats which soak up milk reasonably easily. They aren’t the cheapest on the shelf; however, I tend to find that the very cheapest brands are ‘dusty’ and don’t soak up milk quite as well. I fill the bowl with about 300g of the oats before adding anything else.
- Add dried fruit so that you get 1 or 2 pieces of dried fruit per large spoonful of oats. Raisins and chopped apricots give the mixture flavour and moisture and complement each other well.
- Grate 1/3 to 1/2 of a red apple into the mixture. This gives the overnight oats a varied texture and again adds to the moisture of the dish. I don’t have a particular preference for any particular kind of apple but less sweeter varieties work well. Keep the skin on when grating the apple; it adds to both the colour and texture.
- Grate 1/3 of the zest of a medium size lemon. The slight acidity combines with the sweetness of the dried fruits to give the overnight oats a more dynamic flavour.
- Grate the ginger. Be bold. Fresh ginger works best as you can grate longer strands into the mixture than with frozen ginger. I generally grate about 3/4 of an inch of ginger into the mixture.
- Use your hands to mix the ingredients together and try not to eat it all as you go!
- Add the milk. I use semi skimmed purely because I have used semi skimmed milk on cereal and porridge all my life. The milk here is not important to the flavour of the dish; it acts to bring all the ingredients together and give the oats a porridge-like consistency. Add enough milk to cover all the oats and check back after an hour to ensure that no oats are becoming dry.
After you’ve prepared the overnight oats leave the mixture in your fridge overnight.
Accompanied by a coffee made with my Aeropress, this overnight oats recipe is a nutritious way to start the day without having to waste precious minutes in the kitchen before work. If you want to add fresh fruit to your portion of oats in the morning, why not try slices of banana or kiwi?
This recipe is a cheap and easy way to maintain a healthy start to the day, it’s incredibly moreish too!