Most of my recipe choices when posting are intended for special occasions. Please don’t think fresh baking is on every day’s menu in this house. For that reason, this would not be a typical choice for My Kitchen Wand. However, keeping healthy is much of the “job” of a kitchen witch and I am notoriously bad at having breakfast. There is no buffer zone between asleep and working and it has been that way for years. Not good, I know. Breaking my fast before the day starts usually turns into elevenses, lunch or afternoon tea. So awhile ago I started making breakfast in the afternoon or evening, when life was calmer, in batches that would last for at least four days. That way I can pull out of the fridge something filling and nutritious, add a spoon and nibble my way through the morning between what needs doing. I still plan for smoothies on days when the calm arrives earlier and something different on the weekends.
1 cup Greek Yoghurt
1 – 1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 – 4 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. spice (more below)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 -1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. cornstarch
As there is a specific purpose to making this dish, holding a focus is easy. This is about self care, my health and being responsible. Most often celebration food is for the good of all but this time it is for me. Deep breaths help to still my mind, relax and open my heart. Warm soapy water, washes away the nigglies. I know that this is only a start and that as time goes by how I deal with breakfast will most likely change but for now, I invite the compassionate spirits to join me and begin.
Let’s start with the fruit. During the summer time fresh berries would be my first choice however I have fifty pounds of healthy blueberries in the freezer and I fully intend to use them in these overnight oats. The issue is if I put them directly into the mix, the entire dish will become a not so lovely shade of gray as the liquid from the berries mixes into the dairy. So to avoid that I am going to cook the berries and put them on top of the oats. If you prefer to use apples, pears or a combination of fruits that is absolutely an option. Fruit is not mandatory.
I chose to add lemon zest to the last of last years blueberries and no sugar. You can see that there are frozen blueberry crystals around the outside of the berries. There was no need to add any extra water as there will be more than enough liquid once the berries begin to cook.
This years crop will not have the same issue and a tablespoon of water will help stop the berries from sticking to the pot. Over a medium low heat bring the berries to a simmer, stirring regularly.
Take a a couple of tablespoons of the blueberry liquid from the pot and add the cornstarch to them. Mix well, breaking up any clumps before returning the mixture to the pot and combining it with the remaining liquid. Cornstarch will make the liquid cloudy. Stir until the sauce is clear again and put aside to cool.
I make my own Greek yoghurt and it is generally pretty thick. I also prefer my oats on the creamy side. For those two reasons there may need to be a little adjusting to the dairy in this recipe when you make it. Store bought Greek yoghurt will be less firm and therefore need less milk to thin it down. You might want to try 1 cup milk and then adjust if it feels to thick. Use whatever fat content works best for you. I make my yoghurt with 3.25% and the milk was 2% but if your norm is skim use that. The higher fat content the creamer the finished product but that is not the only criteria when making your choice. Additionally, if you are vegan, using non dairy options such as oat yoghurt and almond, soy or other milk options will work too.
When I had homestay students, I shocked one of them when he saw me making porridge.
In my family when I learned how to make oatmeal, we added a little salt. That didn’t happen in his and he was aghast. That same situation can easily happen here. If you prefer to not add the salt it is certainly optional.
A variety of spices can be used in the oats; cardamon, allspice, nutmeg, five spice, and combinations like apple or pumpkin pie and speculass. I believe the original option was cinnamon. The choice is yours but that extra 1/2 teaspoon adds another layer of flavour.
Maple syrup is an alternative to honey as are a variety of sugar substitutes. Start with a smaller amount and increase until it is right for your taste buds and health plan. I keep it to the low side as there will be fruit on top.
The choice of oats is also your preference. I like old fashioned rolled oats but if you prefer steel cut or quick oats, that is absolutely fine. Make sure the oats were processed in a gluten free location if that is an important consideration for you.
As my intention is to have breakfast at home, the oat mixture was transferred to small bowls and topped with the blueberry sauce. The wider tops are helpful when eating but if these are going with you to work or school, something with a secure top is a better choice. Make sure you have a long handled spoon that can get to the bottom to go with.
Cover the tops and cool overnight. The oatmeal will soften and be ready to grab in the morning but taking it out a half hour ahead of eating is something I prefer. If you would like yours warm, popping it in the microwave is the quickest way to go and a toaster oven is the other option.
There are many ways to mix this up. It certainly does not need to be the same thing every morning. Change the milk variety or oat style, add ground nuts or chia seeds, chop bananas and add to the oats mixture, add nut butters, chocolate chips, eat cold and warm.
So this is my attempt at getting healthy nourishment to my body before much of the day is over. So far, so good.