Summer is a tough time for all porridge lovers. As good as porridge is, who wants to have a steaming hot bowl of oat in the morning when you already start to sweat when you just take a look outside. That’s why we need a cold alternative. Cold oats? Yes, that’s a thing. Overnight Oats. And no, they are not boring or taste like a babyfood.
What are overnight Oats?
As the name already suggests, overnight oats is a form of oatmeal that is prepared overnight. Well not exactly. Usually they are prepared the evening before by mixing together oats and milk and then they chill in the fridge for a few hours, mostly overnight. This way the oats can really absorb and soak up the milk to get soft for the next morning
What is special about this dish?
Well, first, and most important, this breakfast, snack, dessert, whenever you want to enjoy it, is SO EASY to be made from LOCAL ingredients only. Why? Especially here in Austria we have a lot of farmers for local dairy products (but you can find this in most countries). Also, in pretty much any supermarket or bulk store you can find rolled oats that are grown in Austria, because we have an ideal climate here. And lastly, at the moment it is the season of berries, which means nothing is easier than finding berries from Austria right now.
Why is it better to buy local?
There is no single answer to this but I divided it into 4 main reasons:
- You support your local economy. Especially during or after a crisis like the one we are going through right now it is important to really support the country you live in. The farmers who produce Austrian products have also been hit by the crisis and as a nation it is important to help together. With supporting the economy you also save and maybe create new jobs, which is very important at the moment, since a lot have gone to loss.
- It’s environmental impact: when you buy locally, the goods do not have to be transported for a long time by ships, planes, cars or trains. Especially in a country like Austria, transport way are not very distant and this way we save a lot of CO2 and therefore have a positive impact on the environment.
- To be independent: This may sound weird at first but the importance is shown in crisis like the one at the moment. of course raspberries from countries like Spain or Portugal may be cheaper. But when we all keep buying those because they are cheaper, the amount of Austrian raspberries planted will be reduced. And then, when facing a crisis as the current, where delivery and the entire transport system suddenly stops or is interrupted we will not have enough berries to satisfy our needs. So when we consume the products we produce in the country we live in, we, as a nation, are more independent.
- Quality: when you buy local products (at least in Austria), you can expect the quality of the product to be at a high standard and you know this. When buying from other countries, where you may not not the quality standards, you may be disappointed and the product may contain some unnatural additives.
Where I get my local products from:
The main ingredient, so the Oats I buy at a bulk store. The one I go to is called Lieber Ohne and it only has organic and unpackaged food, mostly from the region but you can see from any product where it comes from.
The Dairy products I get at Joseph Brot. They are an organic bakery and always have dairy products from Austrian farmers in reusable jars and bottles. A great way to buy local and without producing waste.
The berries I get at a local market. I know where they come from and I can choose the ones I want myself!
The same goes for the honey and nuts. I either get both at Lieber Ohne or I get them at a farmers market!
How to make really good overnight oats:
As I said, overnight oats usually are prepared by solely combining oats with milk. Since this tastes a little boring as you can imagine we are taking a regular version and making it fancier, while still keeping it simple. By adding fruits we add an extra kick and we also use some more ingredients to make it extra creamy and delicious!
This already starts with the oats. Maybe you already know, maybe you do not – there are different kinds of oats. Larger (whole) ones and finer ones. While large ones work great for things like granola, finer ones are best for porridge and overnight oats. This may sound a little stupid because they are the same product in the end of the day but this really makes a difference! Finer ones just absorb the liquid better and therefore make it creamier.
Also, when wanting really creamy overnight oats it is best to add some yoghurt. In here I like to use greek yoghurt because it also is very easy to get in reusable glass jars but any other yoghurt or plant based yoghurt works just fine. Again, this makes it super creamy.
Another two ingredients which I would always recommend to be adding in are chia seeds and a little syrup. The chia seeds will swell up and make everything stick together better. The syrup adds a little sweetness (even if it just is a tiny drizzle) and make it 10 times better!
My last tip on making overnight oats is to add some fruit when making them. You for sure can just add some fruit on top the next day but adding them the night before helps the oats to soak up some of their sweetness, taste and juices, so it’ll infuse the entire dish.
More oat inspiration…
If you do like oats, just as I do you can check out a few other recipes of mine, which you are going to like for sure, like the Mango Overnight Oats, Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas, Bircher Muesli with Honey Poached Apple, Healthy Peach and Cherry Crumble, Mango Coconut Granola or my Apple and Cranberry Granola !
How to make this dish low waste
Making delicious dishes while not producing much waste is actually pretty easy. If you wanna learn how, then you can read this at my Andalusian Gazpacho Post, My Easy No-Waste ice Cream Sandwiches or my No-waste French Toast with Basil Apricots blog post!
So just to summarise:
- buy your oats at a bulk store! You can go there with your own jars or Tupperware and buy lots and lots of grains without packaging! A very sustainable way.
- Get your dairy products at your local bakery. Most times bakeries have a small section with dairy products, which most of the time are packaged in reusable jars or bottles
- Go to a local market. Getting fresh fruit there often is better than at the supermarket. Primarily, you know where it comes from easily and it most of the times is not packaged in plastic. I am aware that you will not find berries without packaging but mostly they at least come in paper or cartoon.
To sum up
I hope that this little guide and explanation really helps you to understand why it is important to buy locally and also include more local products easily into your daily life. Plus, you have really incredibly delicious breakfast recipe for these late summer days!
The Ultimate Healthy and Creamy Raspberry Overnight Oats
A delicious, creamy and refreshing summer breakfast for those hot summer days with regional ingredients
What you will need
- 100 g rolled oats the finer the better
- 100 g greek yoghurt
- 200 ml milk (you can also use plant based milk)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 200 g raspberries
- a few walnuts and raspberries for garnish
In a large bowl mash the raspberries until mushy. Add the rolled oats, yoghurt, chia seeds, honey and milk and stir until everything is combined well.
Keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Take out the next morning and top with extra greek yoghurt, raspberries and nuts. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy,
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière