It felt like summer was right around the corner. I was hitting the salads and smoothies in a big way. All of a sudden Auckland seemed to remember it's job is to bring us a chaotic spring and before you knew it, bad weather and spring storms hit. I'm back to needing warm breakfasts for a little bit longer.
Did you know that oats should be soaked overnight (at least) before cooking? Soaking with a dash of lemon juice or cider viegar helps break down the anti nutrients that coat the oats. Your post soaking oats will be easier to digest and actually much creamier when cooked. We're big oatmeal fans in my house and we've faithfully pre-soaked our whole oats this winter. You can definitely feel the difference. Once you get used to doing that one step the night before, it's no big deal.
This recipe has been perfected over the last few months. It transforms oatmeal into something special. The flavours are reminescent of rice pudding (which I love) and it's converted some die-hard oatmeal haters.
Though dairy free it's still ultra creamy. It's lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and has little bursts of sweetness from the sultanas and dates. I make a chia seed "pudding" with coconut milk separatly and then add it once the oatmeal has cooled to ensure the chia retains all of it's goodness.
I soak dates overnight as well as the oats and cook the dates in with the oatmeal. No need to add any other sweetener.
Creamy coconut, chia & date porridge - Makes 3 servings
1 cup whole oats
1/2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar - to add to oats while soaking
6 -8 dates (does'nt need to be medjool since you're soaking anyway)
Few drops vanilla
1/4 cup sultanas (or more depending on your taste)
3/4 cup coconut milk or 1/2 cup coconut cream for oatmeal and another 1/2 cup for chia seeds
2 Tbsp chia seeds
The night before:
Place oats in a large bowl with 2 cups of water. Add the cider vinegar.
Place dates in a cup of water.
Combine chia seeds with 1/2 cup of coconut cream. Stir well and place in fridge to thicken. (if you forget to do the night before it's fine. You'll just need to give it 15 minutes in the morning to thicken)
In the morning:
Place oats, 1 1/2 cups of water, dates (plus 1/2 cup of date water), cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas into a pot. Cook for at least five minutes stirring frequently. I often cook for longer and add extra water as I like it really creamy.
Add coconut cream and cook for a further minute. Taste. Add more coconut cream of spices to suit your own taste if necessary. Set pot aside to cool slightly.
Either add chia seed "pudding" to the pot or stir through individual bowls according to taste.
If using this over a couple of mornings. Keep the chia pudding and oatmeal separate and combine just before serving. Avoid heating the chia.