Tonight is the Erev of Rosh HaShana, which, translated from the Hebrew, means ‘New Years Eve’. Unlike the organised ‘People of the Book’, those that inhabit The Mother-in-Law’s house are entangled in the annual maelstrom of preparing for a festival: last minute baking, shopping, cleaning, gardening, and inviting of the renegade West Country Jews.
The last minute cooking falls to me, whilst The Mother-in-Law sorts out the airing cupboard. (Why enter a new year with crumpled pillow cases?) This morning I made a honey cake – the traditional lekach eaten by Ashkenazi Jews to welcome a sweet new year – without any honey. I’ve boiled the hell out of some dried kabuki peas, which, even after an overnight soak and 4 hours of boiling, still seem to be dried. The kale knish (basically Yiddish ravioli) and keftes de prasa (Syrian leek fritters) look good. And should it all be a disaster, the raw and deliciously addictive heat of my homemade zhoug (a spicy Yemenite sauce) should shroud a multitude of culinary disasters.
In the Ashkenazi tradition, Jewish folk eat slices of apple dipped in honey on Rosh HaShana with the intention that the marriage between the new season’s fruit and Mother Nature’s liquid gold will evoke a sweet new year. So, late yesterday afternoon, we plucked apples from the trees of The Secret Garden to create a twist on this tradition and a spin on our usual morning porridge.
The thing I love about overnight oats is that it’s a delicious, lazy alternative to old-fashioned porridge that takes virtually no time at all to prepare. I couldn’t give a monkey’s that it’s a trendy raw eat, when all you need to do is open the fridge door in the morning. Now that’s my kind of morning.
300ml water (ideally filtered)
200g grated apple (equivalent of 2-3 apples, depending on size)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Handful of dates, pitted and chopped
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh seasonal fruit
Milk (almond, cow’s etc)
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a stir. Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, simply serve straight from the fridge with toppings of your choice.
2 thoughts on “Overnight Apple, Date & Cinnamon Oats”
Not wanting to nitpick (and I think it’s a widespread misconception so not really your mistake), but overnight oats are rarely a “raw” food as most types of oats have been heated. Oat groats are usually heated to stop them going rancid too quickly, and rolled oats are steamed to make them easier to roll. So if someone claims their overnight oats are a “raw food” they are probably wrong unless they’ve gone out of their way to source genuinely raw oats (which are mostly only available from specialist suppliers).
This is also why it’s fine to eat uncooked & unsoaked oats (e.g. in muesli) but not very good to eat uncooked wheat flour, as the oats have basically been precooked so are easier on the digestive system. It’s also why there’s not really a nutritional benefit to soaking oats, whereas most whole seeds (whole grains, legumes, nuts etc) are more nutritious after they’ve been soaked. [Soaking “live” seeds activates the enzyme phytase which reduces the amount of phytic acid in the seed; phytic acid binds to minerals and prevents them being absorbed in the gut. Just to confuse things though, phytic acid has been linked to reduced cancer risk, probably because of this very property – excess iron in the gut is thought to increase the risk of bowel cancer. Whether phytic acid is a good thing or a bad thing therefore basically depends on your diet & your requirement for the minerals phytic acid binds to – for people who have a high need for iron (e.g. women of childbearing age), or people who eat a lot of wholefoods and don’t have huge amounts of iron in their diets (e.g. vegetarians), soaking seeds is a good idea, whereas people who already have excess iron in their diets (e.g. people who eat lots of red meat) are better off not soaking]
Anyway, enough of the food geekery! Your overnight oats look yummy, and that’s the main thing 🙂
Saskia, I’m sorry it’s taken so long for me to reply to this message but THANK YOU so much for pointing all of this out. I LOVE your food geekery and look forward to you tripping me up again 😉 xxx
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