Night-be­fore break­fasts

Anna Jones’ overnight oats

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - Anna Jones

have al­ways thought I would grow into morn­ings. That one day I’d sud­denly be grown up enough to wit­ness that mo­ment of be­fore-the­world-has-wo­ken peace­ful­ness. That one day, I too might sit on the back step with a pot of cof­fee and a note­book, or that I might spring out of bed to tend my (fic­ti­tious) dewy al­lot­ment ...

Now that I can safely (if very hes­i­tantly) con­sider my­self a grown-up, I have had to ac­cept my fate: I’m not a morn­ing per­son. And be­sides, morn­ings have changed im­mea­sur­ably since my son ar­rived just half a year ago. They have be­come a lot brighter – be­ing greeted with a small per­son’s smile makes even a 5am wake up pretty mag­i­cal – but I still haven’t quite got the hang of a tran­quil morn­ing. If I man­age to get a piece of toast and a cup of tea down be­fore leav­ing the house, it’s been a pretty good morn­ing. So I have had to get a bit smarter, as miss­ing break­fast is just not some­thing I am pre­pared to do.

Break­fast th­ese days is usu­ally put to­gether the night be­fore. A line-up of jars – grains, seeds and oats – march then tum­ble their way into a big screw­top jar or mix­ing bowl, fol­lowed by some milk or juice and some sub­tle flavour­ings. Th­ese in­gre­di­ents are then left to soak and meld to­gether overnight. By the morn­ing, they have be­come creamy and com­fort­ing. It’s the work of a few min­utes at a time of day to which I am much more suited. I top the bowls with a lit­tle fruit,

Iquickly chopped, to brighten things. Some­times it’s eaten at my kitchen table, other morn­ings packed into a screw­top jar or Tup­per­ware and into my hand­bag to eat on the move, but, most of­ten, its quickly squir­relled lean­ing against the work­sur­face.

Th­ese kind of overnight break­fasts are es­pe­cially good at this time of year when smash­able berries and early stone fruits are around. The fol­low­ing two recipes are my favourite overnight break­fasts for this time of year.

The first uses a base of chia seeds. Don’t roll your eyes just yet! Th­ese an­cient seeds are high in fi­bre and omega-3s, mak­ing this one of the sim­plest and most en­er­gis­ing break­fasts I know and – with the ad­di­tion of the roasted straw­ber­ries – the most de­li­cious. A whole packet of chia seeds may seem ex­pen­sive, but they dou­ble in size when soaked so you only need a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoons of them each morn­ing, which will set you back around 50-60p.

If you’re not tempted to try chia, the sec­ond recipe is a sim­ple bircher muesli, gen­tly pepped with lemon, ap­ples and sweet­ness be­fore an overnight soak.

Both of th­ese break­fasts are so adapt­able, I’ve given a ba­sic master recipe to fol­low (see Flavour Map, top right) and a few sug­ges­tions of favourite flavours for you to try as the sea­sons change. I hope that th­ese break­fasts can please and for­tify and pro­vide a lit­tle pat-on-the-back calm­ness to your morn­ings.

Roasted straw­berry and chia bowls

I usu­ally dou­ble this recipe and make enough for two days. The night be­fore, stick a tray of th­ese roasted straw­ber­ries in the oven for spoon­ing on top the next day. The syrupy red straw­ber­ries take this break­fast from

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