Overnight oats is a super healthy and a quick and easy breakfast for a good start to the day.
The idea stems from the original Swiss muesli (bircher muesli) which was traditionally soaked overnight before eating, and was the invention of the Swiss Dr Maximillian Bircher-Benner who very much advocated a raw food diet. A very bold and interesting man if you read up about him and in some ways ahead of his time.
Bircher muesli usually consists of oats and grated apple, but you can add whatever you fancy to your overnight oats
Basically, soaking oats overnight makes them more edible. Have you ever tried to eat dry porridge, or rolled, oats? then there's those "proper" muesli's you can buy with the big thick jumbo oat flakes. Try eating those, even with milk on, straight from the packet and you will maybe decide never to eat muesli again. It's hard work! -all that chewing. It could be said, well that's good because it will slow you down and make you eat less and chew properly. But few of us have time for that. Who wants to get up 20 minutes earlier just so they can spend more time chewing?
So, to make oats more easily edible you can of course cook them, which is fine but then you go off to find your shoes and come back and they're burning, or you decide to throw them in the microwave and come back to an explosion.
The beauty of overnight oats is that you can prepare them the night before and your breakfast is ready, waiting and prepared to be eaten straight away. The chewyness has gone, but the oats still feel like they have some body to them, so they are still very satisfying
And there is another advantage. Oats have a great reputation for their nutrient content for vitamins and minerals, and most famously for their fibre content, particularly the soluble fibre reknowned for its heart health benefits. So if raw oats are impossible to eat and cooked oats lose some of their nutrient content to the heat, then soaked is the most ideal way of eating them
Stuff you can soak your oats in:
milk, water, fruit juice, yoghurt, kefir
stuff you can mix in with your oats:
seeds and nuts. ground seeds and nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, grated carrot
Now I have heard of people mixing in jam or peanut butter. I don't fancy that myself (nor do I fancy juice for that matter) but that might be something you want to try. And of course it goes without saying that vegan substitutes for some of the above are also suitable
Have fun experimenting!
If you find you don't quite like the texture or taste of raw oats, try pouring on boiling milk or water which will cook the oats slightly - but it won't make it taste like eating cold porridge
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