I always joke whenever I post a recipe that contains a chia seed or some kind of oat that I’m NOT a Deliciously Helmsley Clean Eater.
But I cook so frequently with said items that I now have to drop the joke and just become one.
Whether that means becoming a joke or becoming a clean eater I’m not quite sure, all I know is that I like what I like without ever being strictly aligned to a side. Purely because I don’t categorise food by clean and filthy, to be honest. I’d like to think of myself as just a moderately tidy eater.
I eat what tastes good and what tastes good is fine by me.
And it’s at breakfast where I can “feel my oats” and be at full peace with my inner Deliciously Helmsley style of cooking.
Enter the bircher.
I’ve said a few times on this blog without shame actually that “overnight oats” are my breakfast from Monday to Friday. This should be nothing new to any frequent reader of this blog. I have some amazing pancake recipes and some really bolstering breakfast wake-up call recipes… but from Monday to Friday, my breakfast is always “overnight oats”.
There’s a comfort factor to them if I’m honest, knowing that breakfast is taken care of and I have nothing to worry about of a morning. There’s nothing left to think about. And of late, I’ve become so idle in the mornings that I actually make a big bowl to keep in the fridge and then spoon myself a few portions every morning.
I make no apologies for it.
But of course, an oat/chia/milk mix sounds as dull as it tastes so I always like to mix it up as much as I can with different flavour pairings and additions. This one I am quite proud of and has become a staple of mine.
Turmeric has all sorts of healing properties, allegedly. I’m not a doctor so I don’t know how much of it is placebo and nor am I in a position you to include it because it’ good for you. I’m in a position to tell you it tastes great and spikes the milk into a golden elixir that I really can’t get enough of.
And chia seeds also apparently have all sorts of goodies within them that help you in all sorts of ways. I know nothing about it. All I know is that they absorb milk like an eager kid in class and give bircher an incredibly thick, creamy texture and for that, I’m in wholeheartedly.
Yes you could totally do away with the puree if you wanted, no one is forcing you but it does add a peppery sweetness which contributes towards the overall silkiness of the dish. And that’s all we want from a morning right?
A lot of people take umbridge with a cold breakfast so you could absolutely zap this in a microwave or heat up on a stove, but I slink in from the gym of a morning, grab the bowl and get on with the damn thing. Buttons and flames are just incomprehensible at certain hours of the morning.
So this recipe is as simple as this.
200g of jumbo oats in a big ass bowl. In goes 80g of chia seeds.
Follow this up with two heaped tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and two heaped tablespoons of sunflower seeds.
In goes a teaspoon of ground turmeric, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, a squeeze of honey and a drizzle of vanilla extract.
Cover everything with the milk of your choice (I go sweetened almond) and stir with a metal spoon (no wood… the turmeric stains like a bugger). Cover the bowl with cling film and let rest in the fridge overnight.
These quantities should cover 5 small bowls every morning… I got you covered for the week gal.
Now for the puree, which I keep in a separate Tupperware box and spoon over whenever I have a bowl of the bircher, is just as simple.
Drain a small can of mandarin segments and throw them in a saucepan. Add a little drizzle of honey, some lime juice and a ¼ of a teaspoon of ground cardamom. Bring the saucepan to a sizzling boil and then drop to a gentle simmer.
Let this keep simmering until the mandarin segments burst and begin letting their juices sizzle up in the pan. Stir the pan now and then for about 15 minutes until the mandarin segments “melt” (for lack of a better word) and join up together to create a jammy, puree.
Pour this into a sterilised jar or Tupperware container and allow to cool before slipping in the fridge to use alongside your bircher.