Vegan Coconut and Chocolate Overnight Oats

To be totally honest with you my favourite things to eat for breakfast are gooey sugary pastries or a big fry up, I am not going to pretend otherwise!  I can't and won't, however, allow myself to indulge in those things every day.  I do find eating healthily at breakfast to be quite difficult, I am always in a hurry in the morning and if I have not prepared something ahead of time then I inevitably end up with a very average, and overpriced, croissant from Starbucks.  I then get annoyed at myself because I have just eaten something that was neither good for me nor particularly satisfying.  The lesson that I have learned is that a make-ahead breakfast option like these overnight oats is the perfect solution.  Overnight oats are a great healthy alternative to other breakfast cereals and they are very versatile as you can add any number of different flavourings to suit your taste.  Make them at night and store in the fridge ready to eat when you get up in the morning or, as in my case, grab as you run out the door.  

 Creamy overnight oats made with cashew milk and coconut yoghurt.

Creamy overnight oats made with cashew milk and coconut yoghurt.

I have made this recipe vegan by using cashew milk and coconut yoghurt but if you want to include dairy then you can use cows milk and regular natural yoghurt.  I love cashew milk, it is super creamy and lower in calories than whole milk, and obviously it is a great alternative for vegan diets and those that are lactose intolerant.  I generally avoid shop bought nut milks because they often contain high amounts of sugar and thickeners, so I couldn't believe it when I discovered how easy cashew nut milk actually is to make at home, all you need is a blender!  I am going to do some more experimentation with making my own nut milk in the coming weeks so look out for a follow up post, but I include the basic recipe for the cashew milk below.

 A quick and easy grab and go breakfast.

A quick and easy grab and go breakfast.

RECIPE

Ingredients

Cashew Milk

150g Cashew nuts

700ml Cold water plus extra water for soaking

1 Tsp Vanilla extract

1 Tbsp of Maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Overnight Oats

Makes 2 portions

50g Porridge oats

1 Apple, finely grated. I use a Granny Smith because I like the sharpness but you can use whatever variety you like.

150ml Cashew milk

2 Tbsp Coconut yoghurt

1 Tbsp Chia seeds

2 Tbsp Marks and Spencer Nutty Hemp & Cocoa Nib mix (can be removed or substituted if not available).

20g Dark chocolate chips

2 Tbsp Dried coconut flakes

1 Tsp Maple syrup

METHOD

  1. Firstly make the cashew milk.  Place the nuts in a bowl or jug and cover with plenty of cold water and allow to soak overnight. 
  2. Drain and rinse the nuts and place into a blender with the 700ml of cold water.  Blend on high power for 5 mins or until the nuts and milk have combined into a smooth liquid.  Cashew nuts, unlike some other types of nut, break down easily and so there is no need to strain after blending.
  3. Add the vanilla, salt and maple syrup and blend for another minute until combined. If you do not want to sweeten the milk then omit the maple syrup.  The milk is then ready to use.  It can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  4. To make the overnight oats put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.  I found this great ground nut, hemp and cocoa nib mix in M&S recently, that I used in this recipe, but this can easily be omitted or replaced with any other ground nut mix.
  5. Spoon the oat mixture into two airtight jars or tubs and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. Eat either straight from the fridge or allow to come to room temperature before serving.  They will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.