The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Archive of ‘Seeds’ category

Overnight Oats

Hello!

I’ve been wanting to post this but just never got to. I’ve been taking sometime mid of CNY till March..I haven’t made much this month in April cause I wanted to eat more proteins in the morning.

Easy breakfast ideas

So anyway, overnight oats are the easiest breakfast to prep, healthy and filling. It is also on the go, and well it can probably be made into an afternoon snack but don’t really suggest that as it is quite filling. You can also add your favourite fruits and nuts to spice it up! I usually load them with lots of berries and 1 banana to kick start the morning. If you’re wondering.. hrm.. why is it overnight ??

overnight oats 2

Because rolled oats are soaked in milk / almond milk / any other liquid the night before you want to eat them. This way, you don’t need to cook or heat up anything. The rolled oats just becomes soft but still biteable (if there’s a word) while soaking up the milk. Some people called it porridge (sorry, porridge in the chinese world means rice + broth, congee) There may also be like a million type of oats, small oat leaves, steel cut oats, whole / rolled oats, instant oats, old fashioned oats, oat bran.. etc.. For this, you need “rolled oats”. The shape is more defined but they are not thick. If you use instant oats (or those that is processed to be smaller in size) they will become really mushy, maybe like blended baby food. Haha but please, whole or rolled oats are recommended. Or, if you can have a peek thru the packaging, make sure the oat leaves are in whole pieces, not powdery.

overnight oatsThen, there are also many ingredients that you can add to it. I always add chia seeds (a good source of protein) and grounded flaxseed.

Benefits of Chia Seed

1. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

2. Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.

3. Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

how to make overnight oats

Benefits of Flaxseed

1. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

2. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

3. Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

The reason I ground them is so they are more digestible.

overnight oats recipeSo there really isn’t a recipe per se. Try with 1/2 cup of rolled oats. I add slightly lesser than 1/2 cup. Then add in chia seed or flax seed if using. Add in milk. I use a mixture of almond milk and fresh milk., till it covers oats. Cover and give it a shake. You may add some honey or maple syrup if you want, but some fruits are already sweet so there really is no need to add any sweeteners.

overniht oats with fruits

Then, put it in the fridge. Go to sleep. Wake up the next morning and you can see that the oats have bloomed and soaked up some of the milk. Here, go ahead and add fruits you like. Here I have sliced Korean Strawberries (which are sweeter and juicier), almond nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and topped with raspberries. Et voila you have your yummy, delicious, healthy breakfast to go!

I’ve used these fruits before; banana, persimmons, pear, apples, blueberries, dragonfruit, kiwi, plums, prunes, champagne grapes, regular grapes uh… and maybe more which I can’t remember. I sometimes add some chocolate chips, a dollop of homemade nut spread, nutella, almond flakes, or  toasted coconut flakes.

Overnight Oats with dragonfruit

To share some tips, if you want to add any nuts or seeds, prepare them (if you want them toasted) and put them in individual containers. This way, you don’t have to search thru your kitchen / pantry in the morning. I usually have what I want ready the night before so I can speed up in the mornings. sometimes I even cut fruits the night before (especially those that are big, like dragonfruits or mango) so you don’t stain your working shirt.

As you can see, I always have alot of fruits to go with overnight oats. Partially because, I am NOT an oats person. Well, you didn’t see that coming did ya ? I do not like taking oats, at all. Not until I tried making these overnight oats and then loved it. But I still hold back against it and really try to make up for the taste by adding fruits I love.

See, it really is not so difficult to incorporate healthy eating into your diet.

Ok cheers!

 

 

Watermelon Beetroot Smoothie

m4s0n501

If there’s anything I love about beetroot, it has to be when it is boiled in a soup, or when it’s juiced, and when it’s canned and its in a sandwich. Oh, and it’s also dog friendly.

We used to make beetroot & corn soup at home, and the juicing part comes when I was working in Sydney where I would juice beetroot, watermelon and orange to concoct a beautifully red drink. So what about beetroot ?

Beetroot Watermelon Juice Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, it also contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid. Beets also contain carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre.

Watermelons are a great fruit to help you hydrate and cool down in this heat (and occasional haze). Also, since it’s mostly made up of water, pureed watermelon makes a refreshing drink. Despite being mainly water and sugar, watermelons are actually a very good source of vitamin C, (which provides protection against immune system deficiencies) and vitamin A (which promotes good eyesight). The red flesh of a watermelon is also a significant source of phytochemicals, in particular one known as lycopene. Lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes, is a nutrient with proven cancer-protection qualities.

Celery is packed with fiber and also offers folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B and C. Celery is a favorite of many dieters because it contains so few calories and provides a number of health benefits. Keep in mind raw celery, which includes juiced celery is the healthiest way to consume the vegetable.

beetroot watermelon smoothieTo make this smoothie, you would need 1 cup watermelon cubes, 1/3 of a beetroot and a stick of celery.

Freeze the watermelon cubes overnight so you don’t need to add any additional ice when you blitz it up. Blend everything in a blender, pour into a cup / mug / glass and add a spoon of chia seed. Drink away.

And maybe have a good balanced breakfast to start the day ;)

beetroot watermelon smoothie2

 

 

Zespri 14-Day Challenge : Using Kiwi as meat tenderizer

Yup, do you know kiwifruit can be used as a natural meat tenderizer. It’s not a joke :P

Kiwi marinated Chicken

It’s especially good when you decide to cook something at the last minute and you don’t have hours to marinade or tenderize the meat.

Raw kiwifruit is rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme actinidain, which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer. Actinidain also makes raw kiwifruit unsuitable for use in desserts containing milk or any other dairy products which are not going to be served within hours, because the enzyme soon begins to digest milk proteins. This applies to gelatin-based desserts as well, as the actinidain will dissolve the collagen proteins in gelatin very quickly, either liquifying the dessert, or preventing it from solidifying.

kiwifruit marinate chicken breast

It works better on tough cuts of meat (beef, mostly) But since I don’t cook beef at home, I chose the …. toughest part of the chicken, the breast meat.

If on chicken, the best time is just to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking. I used half a kiwi for 2 pieces and let it rest for, maybe too long (about 20 mins) and some parts of the meat because a tad too mushy. Not sure if it’s because there’s too much kiwi, or I marinated for too long. I read online that if there’s too much, or marinated for too long, the meat becomes mushy.

Anyway, I didn’t just marinate it with kiwi. I used harissa paste as well and some coriander, garlic and mustard seed. Haha Don’t ask me what combination it is. I don’t know what was going thru my mind that time.

purple cabbage slaw and sweet potato

Other sides, a purple cabbage slaw and oven baked sweet potato. Not sure if I’m trying to go asian or western on this dish haha

Yes, all THREE recipes are included here !

Did the kiwi made much difference to the breast meat ?

Hrmm

I would say, a little, not major. Because even if breast meat was a drier cut, if baked properly, it should still be tender and juicy. But if grilled for long, the top will be slightly charred and dry, this one seemed ok. So I’m not sure if it’s the little kiwi doing its magic or my cooking skills has leveled up. I would like to believe, it’s both HAHAHA

Spicy harissa chicken with kiwi

Harissa Chicken with Purple Cabbage Slaw and Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Harissa Chicken
  • ½ green kiwifruit
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 chicken breast meat, fats removed
  • 1 cloved minced garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • about 5-6 coriander stems (the white bottom part - abt 6 cm)
  • pinch of salt & pepper
Slaw
  • ¼ purple cabbage
  • bunch of Coriander leaves
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
Sweet potato fries
  • 1 Sweet potato (about 150g)
  • salt and lots of pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
Harissa Chicken
  1. Mash all the ingredients except for chicken into a paste. Rub over chicken and let it marinate for 10 minutes
  2. Meanwhile prepare the sweet potato and slaw.
  3. When ready to cook, drizzle some oil on the meat, and bake at 190 for 15-18 minutes. I do this together with the sweet potato fries
Slaw
  1. Slice cabbage, julienne carrot and get the leaves of coriander, add into a bowl.
  2. Drizzle lime juice, and a gulg of olive oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper and spinkle toasted sesame seeds. Let it rest in the fridge before serving.
Sweet Potato Fries
  1. Scrub the potato clean. Dry the potato.
  2. Cut lengthwise into fries. Pat dry any access water. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Toss it and arrange on a tray, with space in between (so they crisp up)
  3. Bake at 190 C for 15 minutes. (I put it in together with the chicken)
  4. Turn the fries with a tong, then using a grill function in the oven, turn the temperature to 210 C and let it crisp up for another 5-8 minutes. (or till brown)

For more recipes and information, you can head on to http://www.zespri.com.my :)

 

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