This bowl of oats embodies what whole plant-based eating is all about for me: getting to eat something scrumptious, filling and even sinfully sweet, that’s also incredibly good for you! No compromise either on health or taste – it’s a beautiful win-win situation leaving you feeling excited, satisfied (physically and emotionally) and almost a bit smug!
The recipe for this all came about about because I wanted to prepare breakfast for my boyfriend. My boyfriend is vegetarian and likes his dairy, so at my place he’ll usually go for muesli and milk. One particular Sunday afternoon before he came over I realized that we were out of milk. Since he’s not exactly a fan of plant-based milks I started thinking about what I could dish up for him. He’s always been very accommodating to my special needs and desires and I always appreciated the rice milk and oat puffs he’d buy specifically for me, before I switched to bringing my own breakfast along (It’s so easy to bring a smoothie or chia pudding the night before and leave it in the fridge.) While thinking about what he would enjoy I remembered that I used to sometimes prepare a Bircher muesli for him the night before, soaking oats in orange juice, then mixing in Greek yogurt, grated apple, ground hazelnuts, whatever dried fruit was around and drizzling some honey on top. He always loved that. From there I started thinking about what I could make that we could enjoy together. A dairy-free version. Hmm… and then it clicked. Coconut milk! It also had to contain a banana, since my overnight oats always have mashed banana in them – they create such a great texture and wonderful subtle sweetness. And from there the other flavors just fell into place. Here’s how I made it:
Makes 1 serving
- 40g oats
- rice milk (/any plant-based milk)
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (the kind you use for cooking)
- 1 heaped tsp cacao powder
- 1 generous tbsp peanut butter
- (optional: cacao nibs to decorate and honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness)
Place the oats in a small bowl and cover with just enough rice milk to make everything wet – the oats shouldn’t be swimming in it or anything. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning mash a banana and add it to the oats along with the coconut milk, cacao and peanut butter. The first time I made it I added some honey, but that made it almost too sweet – it felt too much like dessert, my boyfriend said. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing, he added… But we both found that it’s perfectly sweet enough without the honey. I’d suggest trying it without any sweetener and then adding some honey or maple syrup if desired. It’ll still be so much better for you than sugary cereal 😉
Variation: If you’re out of peanut butter (a misfortune I try to protect myself against and hope never happens to you!) or just want to switch things up, try this with tahini instead of peanut butter. My boyfriend actually prefers this version. Here I added a tiny bit of maple syrup though, to combat any potential bitterness from the tahini – feel free to try without though. (See the tahini version below – unfortunately I didn’t have time to decorate properly, as I had a flight to catch!)
Feel Good Fact #1: Oats protect against heart disease, thanks to their high fiber content and unique compounds, while also stabilizing blood sugar and reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Feel Good Fact #2: Cacao is incredibly high in antioxidants, which neutralize free radical damage and it can also enhance our mood, making us feel good. What better way to start the day?