In times as uncertain as these, I like to return to two concepts that guide much of what I do in the kitchen at EarthRise: simplicity and flexibility. While you may be tackling how to bake bread or make your mother’s pasta sauce, sometimes returning to basics can be a way to calm our hearts, minds, and bodies. While our current situation is both strange and unsettling, the kitchen can be a welcome respite from the anxiety — a way to transform the fear, anger, and unknowing into action… tangible, delicious action! One can approach the kitchen counter with compassion for oneself and for one’s capacity to feed and nourish.
The following recipe offers you two ways to transform simple oatmeal into a new experience. It allows us to plan ahead for the morning meal, to slow down and start the day without a ton of work. It also offers a base ingredient that is flexible (feel free to mix and match, to change up the add-ons). It is adaptable to what you have in your pantry or whether you’re feeling sweet or savory.
OVERNIGHT OATS – 2 Ways
Sweet Overnight Oats or Savory Porridge
Feeds 2 people over 2 days or 1 person for 3-4 days
1 Cup Oats
1 Cup Steel cut oats (optional–increase regular oats if not using)
1 Can Coconut milk
1 Cup Water
1 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup toasted Quinoa, uncooked
1/4 Cup Millet or Amaranth
1 Tbsp Hemp Hearts
1 tsp Chia Seeds
If using Quinoa: Toast 1/4 Cup Quinoa in oven for 4 minutes, set aside to cool.*
- Combine oats with coconut milk, water and salt – stir together and cover bowl or jar. (* This is the point to add optional add-ins like Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, Chia Seeds or Hemp Hearts)
- Place oats in the refrigerator until morning or for at least 8 hours.
Next Morning (or whenever you are ready to eat):
Day 1: Sweet
- Remove oat mixture from the refrigerator and give it a good stir. Remove desired amount of oats and place the rest of the mixture back into the refrigerator for day 2 savory porridge.
- Add milk or water to overnight oats to thin out to desired consistency. (I like the thickness of it straight from the refrigerator, but feel free to thin yours out.)
- For sweet overnight oats, I add the following:
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Jam or fresh fruit
Toasted nuts, seeds or coconut
Cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom
Day 2: Savory Porridge
- Remove oat mixture from the refrigerator and give it a good stir. Remove desired amount of oats and place the rest of the mixture back into the refrigerator for day 3 sweet or savory porridge. (I use this mixture for up to five days!)
- Place oat mixture into a small pot and add 1 Cup water to overnight oats to thin them out. Turn stove on to medium heat and stir as needed to prevent burning. (I let my porridge thicken up for about 10-15 minutes on the stovetop.)
- Remove from heat once cooked down to desired thickness.
- For savory porridge, I add the following:
1 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
Toasted nuts, seeds, or coconut
Fresh herbs (cilantro, scallions, parsley, chives)
Poached or fried egg
About the Author
Erin Singer is the Chef de Cuisine at IONS EarthRise and looks forward to the next time we can break bread together. She is a maker, mover, capricorn-shaker who loves the first blue light of morning, swimming, and the smell of chocolate melting into butter over a double boiler.