Oh breakfast. The meal that we’re constantly told is the most important one of the day but who most people probably hold their hands up and say amounts to no more than a cup of coffee and a croissant on the go, if that. Over my lifetime I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with breakfasts from cocoa pops as a child, to microwaveable bacon sandwiches or egg mayonnaise sandwiches as a latch-key kid in my early teens to nothing in my mid-teens and then generally hair of the dog through Uni.
Now that I’m in my mid-30s, the inexorable passage of time marches firmly on and I’ve been aware for some time about what the importance of what I eat which has thankfully led to me being in considerably better shape, health and weight now than I was for most of my teens and 20’s. This morning for example, I had a boiled egg and some smoked salmon with a glass of water. It’s not to say I don’t enjoy a treat every once in a while, a hot chocolate from Costa on my way to work or a brownie from Leon but for the most part I try to keep those fairly infrequent.
One of the current trends that has passed me by though is overnight oats – I’ve heard about it, seen beautifully crafted images on Pinterest and Instagram and am aware of the health benefits but it’s just something I haven’t tried. Preparing breakfast the night before? That is just way too much organisation. So when I was invited to an evening at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho with Ella Woodward (Deliciously Ella) who has recently collaborated with Quaker Oats to create some new healthy overnight oats recipes, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to be inspired.
It was a beautiful evening and happened to coincide with our wedding anniversary so I bought Pete along to his first ever blogging event with me and we made our way up to the roof terrace of the hotel, which happens to be one of my favourites, to explore their incredible fruit and vegetable garden and see what kind of ingredients we might be able to use for our overnight oats recipes. The idea is to mix, prep and store all the ingredients overnight in the fridge with the oats soaking up the liquid and creating a healthy, protein-filled, slow-energy release start to the day to keep those hunger pangs at bay. There also isn’t really any limit to what you include either. We could choose from everything from strawberries and blueberries, apples and cinnamon, peanut butter, raisins, coconut flakes, flax and chia seeds – it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative without needing to invest too much time or effort.
In the end, it proved to be too hot for us to have a go at making our own versions on the evening itself but we had the chance to ask Ella questions about her perfect overnight oats recipes as well as the health benefits enjoying a beautiful setting on a perfect summer’s evening. I’ve already had a go at making my own so watch this space for some recipes coming up on the blog in the next week or so.