Overnight oats with berries and chia

Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It’s too controversial.

Erma Bombeck

After a lifetime of detestation of oat porridge (something about the texture was anathema to me), I have lately come to love it quite passionately. I decided at age 52 that I needed to get over myself and try this wholesome, energy-filled breakfast food again. My 8 year old self had a minor tantrum, but grown-up me tried it, loved it, and now eats porridge almost every day for breakfast. As winter comes to a close I need something for my summer morning breakfast, and so tried overnight oats, also known as bircher meusli, after the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who invented the recipe in the early 1900s.  Really delicious, it is quick, easy and healthy. There are many variations of overnight oats, but this recipe is the one for me. I like the coconut particularly, and although the chia seeds are non-traditional, they give a protein boost to the dish. I used black chia seeds, but white ones would also be fine to use. If you ae avoiding dairy foods, then almond milk would be an excellent substitute.

Serves 2 – 3

100 g oats
1 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
300 ml milk
1/2 teaspoon honey, to taste
a few drops of vanilla extract
a squeeze of lemon juice

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 – 1 cup blueberries and raspberries, or any fruit you have to hand (grated apple and sultanas, banana and passion-fruit, strawberries and pear, dried cranberries, flaked coconut and sultanas are all good combinations)

In a 600 ml container with a lid, place all the ingredients and give a gentle stir. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning divide between two bowls and add the toppings. Drizzle over honey, to taste and eat right away.