Overnight Oats with Peach and Blueberries

I was introduced to overnight oats a year or so ago but was never really bitten by the bug.  Recently though a friend told me about Bircher Muesli which is a form of overnight oats.  You start with  rolled oats and soak them in apple juice overnight, in the morning you mix in some grated apple, top with yoghurt, et voilà!  I  tried it and it was delicious just a wee bit sweet for my taste.  I thought I would give it a go with some coconut water and given that NZ is experiencing an apple famine I thought I would add in some peaches and blueberries which, are very much in season and just exploding with flavour.

I love the fact that you can prepare them, for the most part, the night before and they are perfect for a transportable brekky, simply soak the oats in a jar and top with fruit and yoghurt before you head out the door.   If you need one more reason to try overnight oats, let it be known that they are pretty healthy too!  The soaking activates the oat germ, initiating the sprouting process making them easier to digest and generally better for you.

I like to use a mix of steel-cut oats and rolled oats. If you haven’t had steel-cut before they look a little different to regular rolled or quick oats.  Instead of being submitted to pressure and steam the oat groats are simply sliced into two or three sections.  They tend to have a lower glycemic index but are otherwise nutritionally very similar to the other types.  The reason I like them though is they have a chewy almost nutty  texture and stand up to the overnight soaking.  If you can’t find them you can just double the amount of rolled oats you use.

In a medium bowl combine the oats and coconut water.

Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Divide mixture into two bowls and top with yoghurt, diced peach, blueberries finally scatter over the chopped almonds.

 If you want to make them totally transportable or ready to roll for the following day simply build the layers in a straight sided jar, screw or clamp the lid on and you are set.


Peach and Blueberry overnight oats

prep time: 5  minutes previous night + 5 minutes in the morning
serves 2, cost per serve: $1.50

Ingredients:

  • 45g/1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 45g/1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 180ml/3/4 cup coconut water
  • 2/3 cup thick set or Greek style yoghurt
  • 2 peaches
  • blueberries
  • 2 tbsp almonds, chopped

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the oats and coconut water.
  2. Cover and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
  3. Divide the soaked oats between two bowls or jars and top with the yoghurt, fruit and chopped almonds.

You can soak the oats overnight to 48 hours and once constructed your ensemble with keep fresh for 24 hours.

Mix it up, try soaking the oats in milk or juice, change the fruits and nuts also try adding in some spices or nut butters to make it richer.  I will be experimenting for sure, the possibilities are endless.

Summer Fruit Ice Blocks

We have had such a disappointing strawberry season this year.  It started with an invasion of slugs that chewed through each and every berry at the point of ripening.  I spent many an evening out with tongs and a bucket on the hunt for these slimy, little critters but no matter how many I caught more seemed to evade me.  After several weeks I gave up and bought some slug pellets, they worked almost instantly and within days we started reaping the rewards.  For about two weeks we were getting nearly a punnet a day and it was awesome but then our resident thrush invited a couple of friends over and between them they hatched a plan to break into our netted strawberry patch.  On a daily basis I would find at least one of them in there, literally drunk on strawberry and as I ushered them out they were completely unfazed by my presence.

The birds seem to realise however, that the season (in our garden at least) is coming to a close and very graciously left the final harvest to us.  So yesterday I went with Oscar to pick the last few berries and we decided as it was such a hot day, that we would guzzle down a couple each before combining the remainder into some delicious, creamy yet refreshing ice blocks.

It only takes minutes to cobble together.  Hull the strawberries and peel the banana, halve the nectarine and remove the stone.  Place all of the fruit into a blender along with the coconut cream and honey if using.

Blend until smooth then pour into moulds.

Place in the freezer and leave to freeze for at least 4 hours.


Summer fruit ice blocks

Prep Time: 10 minutes, freeze time: 4+ hours
yield: 750ml/3cups, cost: $6.00

Ingredients:

  • 400g can coconut cream
  • 200g hulled strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 nectarine or peach
  • 1 tsp runny honey (optional – depending on the sweetness of the fruit)

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into moulds and freeze.
  3. Depending on the size of the moulds they will take around 4-6 hours to freeze.

 

Sprouted Puy Lentils

The title will either inspire you or make you curl and turn in disgust.  If you are the latter, bear with me because not so long ago I felt the same way about sprouts in any shape or form, but a while back I was chatting about them with our playgroup leader who is a wealth of knowledge on the subject and she suggested trying lentils as the flavour is milder than some other sprouts, almost nutty.  I felt compelled to give home sprouting a go.  Well I was a convert and the whole process is so ridiculously easy, you don’t need a green thumb or even the vaguest idea about gardening you just need something to sprout (in this case puy lentils), a vessel in which to sprout in (glass jar, bowl, tray, plate etc.), some water and a dark place to keep your little babies while they are germinating.

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Courgette Soup with Garlic and Rosemary Croutons

I don’t know about New Years Resolutions but I do like a fresh start which the beginning of the year offers.  The only trouble is I tend to treat December as a month of anything goes, food wise anyway!  It gets progressively worse as the month goes by, culminating in a week of total wickedness involving copious amounts of chocolate and other such evils, mainly of the festive variety.  My theory…you have to get them gone before the “fresh start”!

So the “fresh start” has arrived and I am craving fruit and veggies.  Our courgette plants began producing over the festive period and I have found myself with a couple of kilos, so I thought I would make a quick soup to cleanse body and soul, starting the New Year off on the right foot!

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