But with the weather beginning to heat up, I've got to find a new way to enjoy my oats without having to cook them.
Enter the saviour, overnight oats!!
Essentially bircher muesli with a few tweaks :)
Here's a quick recipe to get you started on what I've found, is the beginning of a serious addiction.
Basic overnight oats
1/4 cup of wholegrain oats
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice
2 tsp chia seeds
1/4 fruit of your choice
Mix all ingredients together and leave in fridge overnight. Oats will become soft and chia seeds will expand with the fluid giving the finished product a thick consistency.
Here's the flavour I'm flogging at the moment.
Choc-berry overnight oats
1/4 cup wholegrain oats
1/4 cup apple juice (freshly squeezed if you have the time)
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp chia seeds
1 Tbs hemp seeds*
2 tsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp raw mesquite powder*
1/4 cup strawberries chopped
1 Tbs shredded coconut
1 Tbs of raw flaked almonds
Place in screw close jar and shake it.
Place in fridge overnight and be ready to have a seriously delicious breakfast in the morning.
If I'm making a big batch for me and the kids I just throw it all in a big bowl and cover it, making sure I mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
You can really let your imagination run away with this recipe and try all types of combinations.
Here's a few ideas:
- Grated apple, raisins and cinnamon.
- Carrot, ginger and nutmeg (using freshly squeezed carrot and ginger juice).
- Pear, almond and vanilla.
- Green monster (blend kale/spinach and spirulina with almond milk and juice and then add to other ingredients)
*raw mesquite powder can be found at health food stores, it is high in protein and has good quantities of calcium and magnesium, as well as containing lysine which is really good for people who get recurrent cold sores. It's also low GI and has a yummy caramel taste.
*hemp seeds are big in the U.S where I first came across them but you can still get them here. Hempseed's amino acid profile is close to "complete" when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. Hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids, including the 9 essential ones adult bodies cannot produce.
They also contain essential fatty acids (omega 3,6,9 & GLA)so double bonus.
Pretty healthy and nutritious breakfast if you ask me.
You can double the measurements if you like, but I always like to have a piece of toast with my breakfast, so this serving size is perfect to allow a bit of room for that without feeling stuffed.
Hmmm, I have been having a lot of grains lately, if I'm not careful I'm going to turn into one. Don't know what it is, just my body craving the extra energy I guess.
And speaking of grains, I've been craving risotto lately.
For some reason, I have acquired a lot of lemons. Oh yes, that's why. I was intending on making some preserved lemons but I need a hell of a lot more in order to do that. That, and my pickled onions, will have to be another post. But I digress.....
Here's a recipe I came up with tonight to fix my risotto craving and to make use of all those lemons!
Lemon and herb risotto
serves 4 as a light meal
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 medium brown onion diced
1.5 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
2 Tbs of lemon rind grated (from above lemons)
500 ml vegetable stock liquid (i make it with boiled water and vegan stock seasoning)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs parsley chopped
1 Tbs dill chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Heat coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan on medium heat.
Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, being careful not to burn.
Add rice and stir until all rice is coated and continue cooking like that for approximately 4 more minutes.
Add wine, lemon juice, lemon rind and stir until most liquid has evaporated.
Add stock a ladle at a time, being careful not to squash the rice when you stir and waiting until most of the liquid has evaporated before you add next ladle.
Should take about 25 minutes until all stock is gone and liquid has evaporated.
If you're rice is not cooking, turn the heat down and cover with a lid for a few minutes.
You're rice might cook before you have finished adding all your stock. Leave it as is, if you keep adding, you'll end up with a mashy mess!
Once rice is cooked, turn the heat off and add seasoning to taste, as well as herbs and walnuts, reserving some for garnish.
I served this with a side of baked vegetables.
I hate wasting so I grabbed whatever was on it's way out. Today was a mixture of fennel, carrot, capsicum, spanish onion, zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potato and pumpkin.
I always dry bake my veges (no oil) and toss them with white wine vinegar and evoo once they are done. Voilá, roast vegetable salad!
I find that when I dry bake, the leftovers last a little bit longer in the fridge. I can stretch them out to fill in sandwiches or if it's pumpkin, I can use in cakes or mash and add it to my oats for breakfast.
I really love pumpkin, it's super versatile. I mash it and use it as butter when I'm making sandwiches for the kids, or blend it with chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice for a quick pumpkin hummus dip for our afternoon snack of vege sticks. Kids love it :)
Now, to some health news.
I finally got my blood results back and it was what I expected. I'm low in iron and zinc. My iron stores are not too bad so that's a good thing and the best part is that I can do something about it.
So I have purchased the recommended iron + vitamin c tablets, a zinc supplement and a good multivitamin. I now have to be religious about taking these. I'm planning on having my bloods done again in another couple of months to see if it has improved.
And whatever the outcome of those results, well, I'll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it.
I am positive that I will get my levels up and I'm going to be more diligent in regards to adding more iron and zinc rich foods and so on.
So many vegans do this lifestyle successfully so I will try and get some tips from all the amazing support that there is out there.
Watch this space
Peas, love and mung beans