Overnight oats (also known as Bircher muesli) and chia puddings are super convenient and easy brekkies to make ahead of time so that you can have a batch ready in the fridge each morning when you wake up, then simply choose a different topping each day to keep things interesting. The more different-coloured fruits you use, the more vibrant it will look. We love kiwis, berries and bananas, to name just a few. Both the oats and the chia puddings are eaten cold, so they’re great for summertime or in warm weather.
There is no end to the number of variations you can make, but there are a few essential components that are common to both that will give you the access code to chia pudding and overnight oat nirvana!
Oats or chia seeds:
Use whatever oats you have – regular porridge oats, jumbo oats and gluten-free oats will all work well. Chia seeds are packed with nutrition, so they’re a great
addition to your diet. You can get them in most supermarkets and health food stores these days. They swell up and form a pudding-like texture once soaked. You can soak them overnight or for 10 to 20 minutes before eating.
Liquid: You can use any non-dairy milk (sweetened or unsweetened) that you like or have in your fridge, a fruit juice, such as apple or orange juice, or even just water. You can also mix some non-dairy yoghurt, such as coconut or soya yoghurt, into your liquid for added creaminess. When making chia pudding, the basic ratio is one part chia seeds to six parts liquid.
Fruit: This is where you can really get creative. Fresh berries, chopped banana, kiwi or mango, halved grapes – go wild! The greater variety of fruit and the brighter the colours, the more impressive your dish will look and taste.
Optional extras: Here are a few optional extras that you could include directly in the mix or as toppings:
2 tablespoons chopped nuts
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons nut butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup or other sweetener
½ teaspoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to serve: Our favourite way to serve overnight oats and chia puddings is to layer them with fruit compote (see p. 26) and coconut yoghurt in a clear glass or shallow bowl, like creating a triple-layer sundae! In a large glass or sundae dish, put the oat or chia mixture on the bottom, then add a layer of a colourful fruit compote, such as mango or berry, in the middle, then a good dollop of coconut yoghurt. Top with some granola, fresh fruit or cacao nibs to add extra flavour and crunch.