5 pointers for perfect overnight oats

A quintet of rules to live by for that perfect pottle of porridge on the go.

As one of our favourite grab and go breakfasts, when done right, overnight oats are a spoonable, heart-healthy harmony of flavours and textures that keep the ravenous (and often irritable) craving-ridden beast at bay. But when thrown together haphazardly, the experience can only be likened to eating tasteless spoonfuls of freshly mixed cement. To prevent the latter from assaulting your perfect start to the day, or worse still, put you off porridge altogether, we’ve assembled five commandments to help you make like Goldilocks and craft a bowlful that’s just right for you.

1. Use the right kind of oats
Save the steel cut oats for the stove and the instant oats for the microwave, an overnight soak is best for the good, old-fashioned rolled variety.

2. Add enough liquid
Bearing in mind that the absorption method is what gets you that creamy consistency, you’ll want to aim for a 1:2 ratio of oats to liquid. So, for instance, for 1/2 cup of oats, you’ll want to add 1 cup of milk/nut mylk/coconut water (increasing it accordingly if you’re after a thinner texture or if you decide to add chia seeds). Then, before leaving it to do it’s thing, give it a good stir.

3. Season properly
The rule is that cold edibles require more seasoning than hot so you’ll want to season a touch more zealously than you would a steaming bowl. And don’t forget the all-necessary pinch of salt – this is what separates the mediocre from the masterful. Also, trade white sugar for brown or raw for a richer, caramel flavour that’s not just sickeningly sweet. And if you’re feeling particularly productive, dry toast your oats in a pan before they go for their soak to further enhance their nutty notes.

4. Leave some things till the last minute
If you wanted a homogenous consistency you’d probably reach for a smoothie so hold the sliced fruit and nuts or seedy topping until just before tucking in. But before you chow down, you need to…

5. Take the time to stir
A crucial step that’s often overlooked, once you’ve retrieved your breakfast pottle and added your textural medley of toppings, it is imperative that you mix before munching – this is how you incorporate the crunchy, chewy components so that every bite is as good as the last.

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