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overnight oats with homemade yoghurt

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overnight oats

No, you don’t have to make your own yoghurt to enjoy this breakfast but it’s so amazingly easy that I challenge you to try. I’ve been awed to discover how easy certain dairy products are to make at home – all those mysterious churning, heating, curdling and uncurdling (made up) machines really quite surplus. Okay, making a wheel of Cheddar is a more serious enterprise, not to mention AOP Epoisses, but mascarpone? A doddle! Ricotta – in an afternoon, and all good yoghurt needs is a thermometer (or good eyeballing skills) and a tea towel.

oats with homemade yoghurt

I have recently discovered I wasn’t eating enough fibre. I guess it wasn’t such a huge discovery seeing as I tend to (read: try to) eat not so much bread and pasta. Since I love everything oaty I thought I’d have oat flakes, plus perhaps barley to be sociable and rice flakes for the crunch. I divested it from all the granola-ish sugary additives like raisins and maple syrup for calorie-counting reasons and decided to have them raw.

Muesli is raw oats, I figured. Ha – but muesli has all the above enhancements which make it palatable. So a little honey needs-must and fruit will be swapped for fresh fruit. Plus dairy – to make it a sort of not-cooked porridge.

overnight oats with honey

It is most certainly the quickest to prepare and the healthiest breakfast, at least in terms of the fibre supply. But joking aside, it IS healthy, and it is very simple, and you can tailor it to requirements by adding a/ thicker yoghurt, b/thinner yoghurt, c/ homemade yoghurt for the smug feeling and as much honey/maple syrup/golden syrup/ heck – sugar! as you can afford.

You can even take it to work in a kilner jar like hipsters do.

overnight oats with homemade yoghurt

Servings: 6-8 portionsTime: oats 5 minutes; yoghurt 24 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1l (about 2 pints) full fat milk, not UHT (raw if available)
  • 2 tbsp. full fat natural, live yoghurt
  • 100g (4oz) chunky oats
  • 100g (4oz) barley flakes
  • 100g (4oz) rice flakes
  • 50g (2oz) pinhead (steel cut) oats, optional
  • seasonal fresh fruit of choice, chopped (or berries)
  • honey, to taste

METHOD

To make the yoghurt, pour the milk into a pan that had been chilled in the freezer for about 15 minutes, to prevent the milk catching. Heat it over medium heat to 90C (180F) – if you don’t have a thermometer bring it to just before the boiling point.

Take the milk off the heat and let it cool down to about body temperature, 37C/110F. Decant about half a cup of the milk to a small bowl or a tumbler and stir in the yoghurt. Return the mix to the milk pan and stir it in.

Cover the pan with a lid and keep it in a warm place for about 6 – 12 hours; wrap the pan in a towel in cold seasons. Let it sit until it thickens, then transfer it to the fridge and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

If you prefer thicker, creamier yoghurt, prepare a large sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth set over a large bowl. Pour the yoghurt into the sieve and keep in the fridge, uncovered, overnight or longer; until it’s as thick as you like. Transfer into a tub, store in the fridge and use like shop-bought yoghurt. NB the strained whey is great to use in baking bread if you’re of that disposition.

Mix the oats, barley and rice flakes in a large tub. To prepare overnight oats, place about 50g of the mixed flakes – or just rolled oats – in a breakfast bowl. Sprinkle some pinhead oats on top if using. Stir the fruit or berries into the flakes and spoon about 100g of yoghurt on top; stir it in if you prefer the cereal softer and gloopier. Keep in the fridge overnight.

Drizzle some honey over the bowl in the morning and stir it well if you hadn’t the night before: unstirred, the flakes and oats will be crunchier and drier in the morning.

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