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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Overnight Vanilla and Coconut Oats with Cacao Nibs

I've been following My Whole Food Life for quite some time now. Melissa's blog is one chocked full of creative recipes that are vegan and made using unprocessed ingredients. She is quite an inspiration. She is known for her overnight oat recipes and I've been wanting to try some of them for a long while now. Since she recommends eating the oats cold in the morning (they can be heated if desired), I was waiting until warmer weather arrived to delve into making some batches. I recently adapted one of her coconut vanilla versions to my liking and I am now officially hooked.
 

I love the texture and healthfulness of this recipe. And, as odd as it may sound, I can't believe how refreshing oatmeal can be when prepared this way. Know that this isn't your typical, hot oatmeal, however. It is meant to be eaten cold and it isn't overly sweet.

I can't wait to experiment with other flavors and variations. In my house, we live on steel cut oats made overnight in the slow cooker in the winter months. But, I am totally loving these oats cold out of the fridge now that we're waking up to warm temps here in Michigan.

Melissa uses steel cut oats on their own in her overnight oats recipes, but suggests using rolled oats if you don't want that extra crunchy texture and if you desire a smoother result. I used a combination of both and thought it was perfect.

This recipe makes enough for one serving. It can easily be adapted to make several servings at once.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 heaping tablespoon shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon flax seed meal
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup milk of your choice (I prefer almond milk)
2 chopped dates (optional for sweetness)
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (found at natural grocery stores, online or in some supermarkets)
Honey or pure maple syrup, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for the honey/maple syrup. This can be done in a Mason jar or plastic food storage container. (NOTE: I start with 1/2 cup milk and add up to 1/4 cup more milk as needed in the morning.)

Store in fridge overnight. Add honey or maple syrup to taste prior to serving. Fresh fruit(s) can, also, be added in at time of service.

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