Posts Tagged ‘oats’

Express Post: Cosy Almond Oats

Quantities for 1 adult. Half portions for children.

  • 1 cup jumbo organic oats 
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • a few dates and dried apricots, chopped
  • 1.5-2  teaspoons almond extract (this is what gives it the kick)
  • 1 cup of boiling water, poured over all of the above
Leave to sit for 1-2 minutes. Add a small chopped banana, a droozle of honey or syrup, and if you’re strange like me, some chia gel from the fridge.
Because when it is “Midsummer” and freezing outside with driving wind and rain, and your kids have eaten all the cherry-and-berry spelt pancakes, you need something cosy for breakfast!

Bircher Muesli

Well if we are going to be pedantic, this is a re-hashed version of this post: Overnight Oats. Only Bircher Muesli sounds posher.

Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner introduced muesli to the patients in his hospital, of which an essential part of the therapy was a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. As a lover of plant-foods, I love this last point, and as a linguist, I love that “muesli” is the diminutive form of “mues” meaning “puree” or “mash-up”. It consisted in soaking oats and fruit (generally grated apple), and it was often served with lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk because of fears of bovine tuberculosis in regular milk (pasteurisation and refridgeration not commonly available)

Not sure if sweetened condensed milk (though delicious) would now be considered an integral part of therapeutic diets, but I am sure it was preferable to bovine TB. And after all, they didn’t have blenders to make almond milk with.   🙂

Muesli is the “lazy mans granola”- a great way to enjoy home-made goodness that is not tecnically “made”- just thrown into a bowl!  Traditionally the oats are left in soak overnight to soften them, but principally to break down the “phytic acid” which is an anti-nutrient.So basically- what I always say about juices and smoothies: I am not sure you can call this a “recipe”- you just mix up what you like, and therein lies the beauty of it.  It takes a matter of seconds, it just requires you to remember the night before. In a pinch- leave it all all in soak in the early morning for 1-2 hours,  and enjoy a lateish breakfast.

yum, for real.


This particular bowl had:

  • 1 cup of jumbo organic oats
  • 3 dried apricots, snipped
  • flaked almonds
  • 1 Tablespon chia seeds (more on these another day: they are the flecks that look like poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 a grated apple
  • sunflower seeds

Soaked in home-made almond milk overnight.

Serve with extra sweetness- honey, maple syrup etc  Though if you want to go for natural sweetness, chopped bananas and date paste (recipe via this link) work amazingly, and help maintain stable blood sugar levels better.  I had some date paste made and added a large spoonfull and it made it perfect.


I can confirm this was de-lightful. Isaac can too 🙂

Hooray for posh re-hashes!

Hooray for oats!

Hooray for physicians before their time!

And hooray for something hearty and filling on a cold day, when (*forheavenssake!!*) we should be eating fresh fruit!



Peanut Butter and honey Bars (ferric orthophosphate free)

When selecting peanut butter, it is preferable to opt for one closest to the peanut, the “whole” peanut, and nothing but the peanut, avoiding ones containing wierd things like ferric orthophospahte, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup solids, , soy proteins, mono and diglycerides and other almost unprounceable unmentionables (All of these are in a lower-fat peanut butter made by a company that rhymes with Hippy)

You can even make your own, with unroasted or roasted peanuts in the food processor and a bit of oil- though I have never done it; I think that is a bit too close to nature for Alfredo, and he’s the big peanut butter aficionado in the house. Though I definitely love these:

A  gooey chewey bar made with peanut butter, honey and various other healthy yummies. I also have a peanut butter and honey flapjack recipe on here. It is baked and has a typical “flapjack” or granola bar texture. This is a kind of peanut butter-honey chewy toffee made in a saucepan, and the oats,seeds, and nuts are stirred in afterwards. It was inspired by my sesame toffee, but I cook it for less time so it is a bit chewier.


  • 150 grams honey (in a saucepan)
  • 75 grams Peanut Butter (for example Whole earth or Suma, if you are trying to keep this wholesome)
  • 50 grams jumbo rolled oats
  • 25grams of your selection: sunflower seeds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chopped nuts etc

Oh, and one shallow, medium rectangular tupperware, lined with non stick parchment.

  1. Heat the honey on a medium heat until it reaches a nice rolling boil
  2. KEEP STIRRING, boil it for 90 seconds (use a timer, don’t guess)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in your other ingredients (have them ready and weighed out)
  4. Pour into your lined tupperware, and put into fridge.
  5. After 15 minutes, it should be firm enough to cut, and refridgerate until completely firm.

makes 12 small squares. Not all featured here, sorry Alfredo 🙂

Banana “marzipan” shake

After a long break, I have returned. And I am kicking off 2012 with a delicious, filling nutritious breakfast shake. Perfect for after those cold winter morning runs.

Just kidding…I am enthused for a new year, but it hasn’t stretched that far.Not yet, anyway!


  • 1/4 cup almonds 
  • 2-4 dates, depending on the size
  • 1/4 cup organic oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ripe,speckled banana
  • 1 teaspoon almond essence (optional)

Highly recommended– leave the nuts, oats and dates in soak overnight. (You mean you don’t plan your breakfast the night before?? 🙂 )

For interested parties:  1/4 cup of almonds = 24 almonds. This is equivalent to 170 calories (approximately), 15grams of wonderful nurturing heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein. Plus, half of your RDA of the antioxidant Vitamin E, 25% of your recommended magnesium, and plenty of manganese, copper and vitamin B2.  I don’t necessarily advocate calorie counting in isolation, I think you have to look at the whole package…but I mention it nevertheless. PS  Unroasted almonds with the skins on have been shown to have greater nutritional benefits than blanched ones. Fancy that.

Blend your soaked almond-oat-date mixture with your ripe banana, and enjoy. 

Did you see that? 2 minutes planning the night before, and you get up to an almost- instant super-healthsome breakfast shake.

This is so creamy, sweet from the ripe banana and dates, has two kinds of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and so very filling…..Get your almonds in soak, quite frankly!

Apple and Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl

Man, it must be the freezing English “summer”, I just don’t want smoothies much at the moment. I have discovered the most gorgeous ever breakfast bowl, which has a whopping (estimated) 22 grams of fibre in!

22 grams of fibre before 9am is not too shabby an effort, and must surely win you some points with your digestion department. Not only digestion, however!  Soluble fibre in particular (found, among other things, in oats, and flax seeds, both in this recipe) forms a kind of “gel” in your digestive tract. It slows down the absorption of glucose, preventing blood sugar peaks and troughs, and “soaks up” harmful cholesterol. (Sorry about the unscientific terminology) And, guess what: insoluble fibre, which speeds up transit time and prevents constipation, is also abundant in oats.

On to breakfast. This only takes a few minutes to assemble. It is truly delicious, and really filling. I know it contains date paste, but once you have made that, (details on this page)  it keeps (with a squeeze of lemon juice) for 2-4 weeks in the fridge. Go and make some! (……or…add 4 small dates)

It also contains ground golden linseeds  (or “flax seeds”) which are a total super food in my book; I buy them whole (they are very affordable in any health food store, and many supermarkets) Keep them in the fridge (important!) and grind when ready to use. They have more Omega 3 than fish, mild-tasting, packed with soluble fibre, and also happen to work as great egg replacers (see my post on Vegan Sugar Free Banana Bread). But I digress. Apple and Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl:

  • 1 cup jumbo organic oats
  • 2 medium apples.
  • 1/8 cup date paste.  (or about 4 Halawi dates)
  • 1/2 T honey. (or more, to taste)
  •  1/4 t cinnamon  
  •  1T ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 T raisins (just a pinch)

Simply whizz up your apples in the mini chopper with the honey, date paste, flax seeds, cinnamon and 1-2 teaspoons of water if needbe, until it forms a paste.

Then, mix with the oats and raisins and enjoy. Now…..the vital statistics!


  • 100 grams or 1 cup pf rolled oats:  10 grams.  (half is insoluble fibre, half is  a soluble type, called beta-glucan)
  • 1T ground flax =3 grams
  • 1/2T raisins = 0.5 grams
  • 2 medium apples=6grams    
  •  1/8 cup date paste = (3 small dates?) =  2.5 grams

TOTAL: 22 Grams!! !  I totally believe that totally merits bold font type, and 3 exclamation marks because the UK RDA for fibre is 25-35 grams. I think you see what I am saying.

It is very filling, and a low fat food, and as such, I think it is a fabulous dieters breakfast. You don’t add milk, you just eat it like that. It is so delicious.

Finally, for further reading about the amazing AMAZING oat grain, follow this link . I love this website because it discusses the studies done in detail, while still being understandable. They don’t just say “studies show it helps reduce blood pressure ” rather, they explain simply how the different compounds of the food interact with your body, and why it helps your blood pressure, or whatever. All studies are referenced at the end of each article.

There is no photo here. Unless you are a talented food photographer, oatmeal bowls fall into the category of delicious but aesthetically unappealing  in my opinion, as shown in my Overnight Oats photo. And anyway, my husband took the camera away with him.

I’ll finish now so you can go and make some date paste, and put golden linseeds on your shopping list  🙂

Overnight Oats

Okay, okay….you can’t technically call this a recipe….I am busy today. This is easy, and as versatile as you have ingredients. Oats have TWO types of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is not found in all plant foods, and it kind of “soaks up” LDL cholesterol (the stuff you don’t want).

Constipation is not an appealing topic, but neither is having it, and worse still is cancer of the colon. High fibre intake is one of the greatest protectors against cancer of the colon, as is a low (or no) consumption of meat, particularly of the red, and processed kinds. There is NO fibre in animal foods. There is fibre EVERYWHERE in the (unprocessed) plant world. Eat less meat, eat more plants!

Overnight Oats

  • Leave your rolled oats in soak overnight. You just want to barely cover them. You can soak in milk, but I soak in water, and then add milk the next morning
  • The next morning, add your “milk” or yoghurt of choice. I never have cows milk, for plenty of reasons, but let’s say, for one, I don’t like all the phlegm it produces in my throat. Gross. I cannot even write the word phlegm without having a shudder. ….dairy is very mucous producing. I’ll leave mine for the baby calves; that’s just my personal view on it.
  • Oh. Forgot to say…..Warm up, if desired. I eat it like this usually, except on freezing days, I might have some regular porridge.
  • Add fresh fruit of your choice: banana works well here.…(Fresh fruit is full of fibre too, of course)
  • Add your dried fruit of choice: chopped prunes, dates, figs, raisins, apricots, coconut flakes (there is also plenty of fibre here)
  • Add nuts/seeds of your choice: you know…..brazil nuts, hazelnuts, flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, etcetera…..
  • Add sweetener of choice: date paste, honey, maple syrup, and so on.. The idea is to add plenty of sweetness with dried fruits, banana etc so that you don’t have to load it with sweetener, but of course, you have to enjoy it.
  • Add any extras that do not fit into the above categories.  Some people add a spoonfull of nut butters, dark chocolate chips, powdered supplements, bee pollen, I’ve heard of almost everything!

Here is mine one day, with a dodgy looking centrepiece of date paste. I am no under illusion that this looks nice. It was delicious however….






My family are home. Until next time!


An addition to the post “Nut Butter Flapjacks”: Peanut Butter version

Thanks to an almond butter fanatic called Heather, I was introduced to the delight of baking flapjacks/granola bars without using butter or margarines; not to the intent of making them lower fat, just to the intent of using whole-food plant fats, ie nuts. The recipes are here, and I can highly recommend them.

However, some of the ingredients may be kind of costly; macadamias for example, or maple syrup. While you can make any kind of nut butter, using less expensive nuts (unroasted almonds to name one kind), the other thing is that you need a food processor, and not everyone has one.

Here is a delicious variation for all you peanut butter lovers that I got from a book called The Yoga CookBook. I cannot remember their actual quantities, but these are mine. The best option would be 100%-nothing-else-but roasted-peanuts-butter.  Failing that, the next best thing would be a no added sugar or salt version like Whole Earth.

  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter  (100g)
  • a scant 1/2cup of honey (100g)
  • 1/4 cup of wholewheat flour
  • 1  1/2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Melt the peanut butter and honey in a pan, stir in all other ingredients. These quantities are good for a smallish tin like this:

Watch them and take them out the minute they have a light golden brown edge.In my oven it took literally 5-7 minutes at 180 degrees.  Obviously like all flapjacks they are a little soft when out of the oven but they are fine when cool, honestly. If you overcook them they will be horribly dry.  These are really good!

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