A few weeks ago we went to Tofino for the first time since our baby was born. It had a different feel than it used to. For starters, it was so fun to see our little girl watching the waves and squealing at (and terrifying) the birds and the dogs running on the beach.
We had to take turns surfing instead of surfing together. I was wondering if after not surfing for over a year, how much I might have regressed, and guess what?! I was amazing! Just joking, I was unfathomably terrible but no one I knew actually saw me, so did it even count? I figure between all of the time I spent under water and my long, stringy hair that hasn’t found time for a hair cut in 100 months, I was basically a mermaid, which is way more special than being a surf champion.
We rented a place with a kitchen so that we could easily make her meals could eat good food (something babies, mermaids and surfers really need). It was awesome and I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner.
We reserved the early mornings for beach walks and didn’t want to spend a lot of time making/cleaning up breakfast, so this bircher was the answer. I made a batch that would last two days, covering us all for breakfast and sometimes even a snack later on. It is traditionally served cold but we would warm it up on chillier days too.
Bircher is really the original Overnight Oats. They don’t differ too much but bircher has more liquid (think muesli in milk) and includes more fruit and often a sweetener. We stuck to fruit as the sweetener; local apples that were sweet and tart, grated, to help them to release their sweet juices. Any local fruit would make a good sub though (and use pears instead of apples if you’re feeling backed up).
And dried apricots, which I always forget about but find they taste like magic and happen to be chock full of fiber. After a good soak in the bircher, they release a lot of their own sweetness and sort of melt into the oats, eliminating the need for any more refined forms of sweetness.
Other bits: chia seeds for fiber and healthy fat, also thickens it a bit and adds a smooth texture. Hemp for protein and healthy fat (they also don’t require soaking and aren’t a choking hazard, in case you’re sharing with a little non-chewer). Cinnamon because it’s warming despite the dish being served cold and also because it helps balance your blood sugar (and because apples with cinnamon is a no-brainer).
I used almond milk but any nut/seed/hemp/coconut milk would work well. I encourage you to make your own because the flavour/quality of the milk really does change the flavour of the overall dish. Try our homemade coconut milk (no soaking required) or use our basic nut milk recipe and sub in any nut or seed (or hemp hearts, if you don’t have time to soak or strain them).
In my experience, breakfast tends to be my stupidest, eat only what’s in front of me meal of the day (which is not good news around chocolate-heavy holidays or when there are cookies or pizza around) BUT if there is a delicious, already made healthy alternative, I will without a doubt always eat that instead. So, although it may not help you with your surf game, this bircher recipe may save you from your grumbly morning self.
- ½ c Rolled Oats (not quick oats)
- 1 Tbsp Hemp Hearts
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 medium Apple (or Pear), grated
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ¼ c dried Apricots (unsulphured)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1¼ c Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
- Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 6 hours (or overnight).
- Store in the fridge for up to two days.