Overnight Oats

My new “thing” for breakfast is this overnight oat recipe.  I had tried a few different recipes which had different ratios, no yogurt, less yogurt, no chia, etc., and not loved them.  This one to me is perfect and keeps me going until lunchtime and beyond.

The recipe:

  • Equal parts old-fashioned oats, non-dairy milk, and non-dairy yogurt (I quite like Amande vanilla in this context) — I generally go for 1/3 cup each
  • ~1/2 tbsp chia seeds (optional, but it adds nutrition and a really nice texture)
  • A dash of cinnamon and a tiny dash of salt

At night before bed, get your bowl ready.  Mix it all up, pop it in the fridge, and in the morning you’ve got creamy, fluffy oatmeal that’s nice and cool, which is so nice in the summer.

It does well topped with some granola or a bit of crunchy cereal for a contrast of textures, and I always put a scoop of peanut butter (or any nut butter!  Healthy fats!) and usually a 1/2 a banana or some strawberries.  Local strawberries are amazing right now, like little juicy pieces of candy, so I’ve been loading up on those.

After a breakfast like that, you’ll be able to go forth and conquer pretty much anything.  Paired with the beet/apple/cucumber/grapefruit juice here, I am practically able to leap tall buildings and save babies from burning houses.

– Crystal

Chia Lemonade

I was so inspired by the chia tamarind drink that I decided to use chia seeds to add some interest to my very favourite lemonade recipe.  Nothing beats lemonade on a hot, sticky day.  Chia is neat and I like to use it where I can – it’s full of protein, fibre, omega 3s and antioxidants.

It’s really simple.

Step 1
Create a simple syrup. Combine equal parts of white sugar and water in a saucepan. Place the mixture over low heat while stirring constantly to prevent the sugar from browning. Remove from heat immediately once you achieve a syrupy consistency. Let it cool.

Step 2

To create the lemonade itself, use this ratio: 1 part lemon juice, 1 part syrup, 2 parts of cold water. Stir well and adjust according to taste or preference.

Step 3
The fun part is dressing it up.  I like to add fresh pineapple to give it a bit of a tropical taste, which you can see in the photos.  Pineapple and chopped fresh mint make a great combo.  If you’d like to add chia seeds, I recommend adding 1 tbsp per 4 cups.  Berries make a nice addition, too.
Mmm, chia.

– Crystal

Nicaraguan Tamarind Chia Drink

During the summer there are many food and culture festivals where we live. Like, right down the street from us. Every year there is this Nicaraguan place which sells rice and beans, fried plantains, plantain chips, cabbage salad, coffee, corn on the cob, and a variety of ridiculously refreshing beverages. I hit up this stall probably ten thousand times this weekend.
The Chia drink pictured below is a particular favorite. I told Crystal that I’m thinking of moving to Nicaragua to drink this daily. Are you sensing my passion for this beverage yet? This drink seems to be a combination of fruit juice, tamarind, and obviously chia seeds. When you soak chia seeds they take on a gelatinous texture, not unlike tiny balls of tapioca (think Bubble Tea with hundreds of tiny “bubbles”). This drink is insanely delicious. If you’re Nicaraguan and you have a recipe for this pleeeease send it to me. If you live in the London, Ontario area then get down to one of the summer festivals and try this drink. I also highly recommend the Cebada drink, which is pineapple juice and barley and a bunch of other stuff. Amazing!

Oatmeal, Three Ways

I used to think of oatmeal as only being that flavoured stuff in the packets that you pour hot water over.  No more!  Oatmeal is so easy to make, there’s no need for the packaged stuff.  Oatmeal…three ways!
“Simple, Quick Countertop Oatmeal” with peanut butter, coconut shreds, goji berries, hemp seeds, banana and maple syrup

Simple, Quick Countertop Oatmeal

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 tbsp chia seeds (they give a really nice fluffy, chewy texture and add nutrition)
Non-dairy milk to cover mixture
As many mix-ins* as you like
Combine oats and chia seeds in your bowl, and pour on enough milk to cover mixture and allow for the oats and chia to soak up some milk.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Microwave for 2 minutes on high, stir, and add in mix-ins.

Simple Stovetop Oatmeal

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond or rice are best)
1/3 cup water
1/2 a banana, sliced thinly
1 tbsp chia seeds 
Pinch of salt
As many mix-ins* as you like

Combine oats, water and milk in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add sliced banana.  Once it begins to bubble, vigorously stir to whip the banana in.  It will pretty well disappear into the mixture.  It will take approximately 5 minutes for all the liquid to be absorbed.  Pour into bowl and top with your mix-ins.

Overnight Oatmeal – no cooking required

Equal parts old fashioned oats, non-dairy milk and non-dairy yogurt (anywhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup)
Any mix-ins* you like, added in with your oats (except things that are crunchy – add those in the next morning so they don’t get soggy)

Stir together your oats, milk and yogurt, put in your mix-ins, cover and put in the fridge.  That’s it!  The next morning, your oats will have soaked up all the liquid and will be good to eat.

* The options are really endless.  Some ideas for mix-ins to get you started:  peanut butter, coconut shreds, hemp seeds, fresh berries, dried berries, chocolate chips, almond butter, banana, apple, peach slices, figs, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, crumbled graham crackers, granola, crumbled up muffin bits, cookie bits, maple syrup, jam, dried apricots, canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices, apple butter, non-dairy yogurt, raisins…

– Crystal