Taking the heat off summer, porridge for a temperate climate

Hands up who starts their day with a bowl of porridge.I for one, but I tell you, when the weather was hot this summer, I craved fresh, cooling foods and the last thing on my mind was getting up in the morning and stirring a pan of oats and milk over the stovetop.I endeavoured to search for all the ways to avoid heating up the kitchen/ house, not only at breakfast but throughout the day. Starting with breakfast plan your day to encompass salads, wraps, snacks and cold desserts. Well let me tell you my newly discovered start to the day, I think maybe here to stay, well at least till the colder weather comes. Its what I now call summer porridge.If you are oatmeal obsessed like me this is a great way of getting your oats   ( pardon the euphemism chaps) but with a twist. If you’ve never had overnight oatmeal, its basically a no-cook method of making porridge. So, instead of cooking oatmeal on the stovetop , you soak the raw oats with milk. That soaking process allows the oats to absorb the liquid and soften them enough to eat uncooked. You only need to let the oats soak and rest in the fridge for 2 hours. But, it’s ideal if you soak it overnight…hence the name overnight oats!The next morning you have a ready-to-eat, delicious, creamy bowl or jar of “oatmeal.” The consistency is like a porridge or pudding. It makes for an easy convenient breakfast that has a more dense and creamy texture than warm oatmeal.What I love most is how overnight oats seem to keep the integrity of the oat intact, helping to avoid that gummy texture that cooked versions sometimes take on. They’re simple to prepare  and perfect for when you need a make-ahead breakfast.  After a little testing, I’m happy to report that the simple, straight-forward method truly yields great results! I even tried partially cooking the oats with warm almond milk before refrigerating, but much preferred this completely raw version.I now  use the following base formula for making perfect overnight oats:

1/2 cup Dairy-Free Milk  + 1/2 cup Rolled Oats + 1 teaspoon honey = Perfect Overnight Oats

You can play with formula as needed, adding more dairy-free milk ( I used rice milk but you could use full fat dairy milk if you want) for wetter oats, or adding greek yoghurt (or oats) for thicker, more creamier oats.Add sunflower seeds, chia seeds or dried fruits for texture. I even added peanut butter to this version for flavour and a protein boost! -an acquired taste and not for everyone I truly understand.
To make your overnight oats, simply add these ingredients to a small jar or bowl with your preferred sweetener ( maple syrup or honey).
Give the mixture a few stirs to make sure the oats have been fully immersed in the milk. Then, cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight to let the oats soften allow the flavours to meld.In the morning you can top your oats with seasonal fruits and /or nuts.Don´t be tempted to add the nuts to the mix the night before,there is nothing worse than a soggy nut.


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