Oats. They’re the centerpiece of many a vegan food blog.
To be honest, I haven’t caught the wave of hype yet. Two hours after engulfing a bowl of oats leaves me feeling like a blob of setting cement, AND they don’t deliver much in the department of texture or flavor (yeah, maple/brown sugar is cool, but who hasn’t had that one ka-fuckin-jillion times already???).
In my eyes, breakfast should be easy to eat (blended or soft), easy on digestion (light), easy to make (I got shit to do), and over everything, fuel my body with energy. Based off this description, you can see why oats aren’t my breakfast of choice – that was until I discovered overnight oats, which belong to a completely different realm than the standard man’s oats.
Being that overnight oats are germinated – the process in which grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes begin to sprout into living plants – human bodies are able to more efficiently soak up the nutrients in oats, making the process of digestion less distressful. What does all of this have to do with this recipe? Taking cues from their overnight cousins, these steel cut oats are soaked in an acidic solution (apple cider vinegar + water) the night prior to consumption, which converts their nutritional potential into full-blown kinetic energy. Basically, you can eat your oats and have energy too.
The best part? The quality of the final dish is not at all compromised by the soaking process, as these oats are creamy, sweet, warming, and loaded with spice + everything nice.
Alas, with these oats in my arsenal, I too can partake in this groaty trend! (Get it? Oat groats?)
Ahh, don’t mind me, just enjoy this new breed of hot breakfast cereal y’all.
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Chai Toasted Oats (Gluten Free & Stomach Friendly)
Finally, oats that don't make me feel like a pile of bricks!
- 1 c steel cut oats*
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- Water for soaking
- 2 c dairy-free milk
- 1 tbs vegan butter
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- Heavy pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pumpkin Praline Topping:
- 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbs crushed almonds (or other nut choice)
- 1/2 tbs vegan butter
- sprinkle of salt
- Flaxseed meal
- Chia seeds
- Banana slices
- Maple syrup
- In a medium bowl, soak oats for 12 hours (overnight) in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar plus enough warm water to cover by at least two inches.
- The next morning, drain and rinse oats in a fine mesh strainer.
- Heat a large sauce pot or sauté pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add butter.
- Once melted, add in drained/rinsed oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and cook until toasty, lightly browned, and fragrant, 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in milk and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until desired consistency is reached, about 10-15 minutes.
- While the oats are simmering, start your praline topping. Heat a small pan over medium heat – once hot, add butter.
- Once your butter has melted, add in pumpkin seeds, almonds, brown sugar, and salt. Roast, stirring frequently, until lightly caramelized and browned, 2-4 minutes.
- Place oats in two bowls, top with your pumpkin seed praline, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, and other desired toppings.
*If you prefer rolled oats in place of steel cut oats (as I often do), follow the directions as they are, simply keep in mind that rolled oats require less cooking time. Thus, reduce the boiling time down to a minute and simmer for only 5 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.