I bought ten pounds of unsprayed blueberries this week from a local farm. I had to drive to pick them up, there were that many. I have frozen some and dehydrated some, but still, we have eaten so many blueberries in this house over the last few days, that we will probably sprout anthocyanin-coloured superfood wings, or turn into that rolly poly blueberry girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Or at least be sufficiently sick of them by the end of the season.
Blueberries aren’t too terribly sweet, they are filled with fiber and pectin and help to balance out digestion (whether things are running too slow or too fast) (which kind of seems like intuitive fruit magic to me). They are actually good for your urinary tract too and help to counter UTIs (and are way easier to eat than cranberries!).
What blueberries are perhaps the most famous for nutritionally, is their epic antioxidants, the anthocyanin pigments. This purple-y blue colour that blueberries wear so well helps to mop up free radicals and toxins in the body and also protects our cells and keeps them healthy. So, a pretty good food for someone who has cancer or is focusing on prevention.
You don’t have to know any of their health benefits to enjoy them though, they taste so good, I don’t know anyone who would say no to blueberries in season (unlike other off-beat healthy fruit -you don’t see people turning dried goji berries into pie…) (although, to be fair, fresh goji berry pie would probably win some love).
We’re not making pie though, we’re making breakfast. Specifically, overnight oats. It’s blueberry season, which means it’s the summer, which means that fewer of us are probably eating hot oatmeal in the morning. This is a breakfast recipe that you can stir up in a bowl the night before, and it is all ready and waiting for you the next morning. Perfect for when you choose a sleep-in over breakfast-making, or if you’re just in a lazy cereal habit. It’s like a gift to your future, bleary-eyed self. You can even make it in a jar and throw it in your bag on your way out the door.
This version is more than just oatmeal, it’s sort of a chia pudding/oatmeal hybrid. I didn’t invent the concept, it’s definitely been around a while, and from someone who doesn’t have the deepest feelings of love for traditional oatmeal, it tastes great and makes you feel like you can take on the day without needing a second (or third) breakfast.
It is all stirred together with nut milk. I have used a homemade hazelnut milk (trying to keep it a little more local this week after the papaya dance party last week) but any non-dairy milk would work, including this almond and Brazil nut milk, or easy homemade coconut milk. Store-bought is fine too, if the alternative is not making this recipe at all (but in case you haven’t tried it yet, making nut milk is insanely easy and you just need raw nuts, water and a blender).
I have used blueberries as the star of the show, but feel free to sub in any seasonal fresh fruit that is looking good these days. Or frozen fruit, if that’s what’s available. Any berries would be great, or cherries, peaches, nectarines or plums would be delicious, pears in the fall, tropical fruit if you’re somewhere warm -literally, anything.
I will warn you, besides the blueberries blended in with the milk and garnishing it, this breakfast is not sweet. Many recipes call for sweeteners like maple syrup, but I don’t love the idea of that, I prefer a little bit of extra whole fruit, complete with all of its parts, if you need it. Taste the milk after you blend in the blueberries, if it doesn’t taste sweet enough and you don’t think you’ll like the final product, try stirring in some additional chopped, dried figs or apricots into the oats, or maybe even blend a pitted date into the milk. Don’t just add more blueberries because the pectin in the berries will make it too thick. Make sure the blueberry milk tastes good to you before you add it to the oats (and don’t forget you’ll be adding fresh fruit on top at the end). Scale back as time goes by, eventually your body will get used to the natural, balanced sugar amounts and won’t need it as sweet (which will make your cancer cells very sad).
Happy blueberry season!
- 1c Rolled Oats (not instant)
- 2Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1.5c Hazelnut Blueberry Milk (or other plant-based milk)
- Zest of one lemon
- Pinch of Sea(weed) Salt
- Blueberries (or other fruit) to top it off with in the morning
- 1c Hazelnuts (or pumpkin seeds if you can't have nuts), soaked for 8-12 hours in water and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar, drained and rinsed
- 4c Water
- ½ c Blueberries (or other fruit)
- Stir ingredients together and pour into a couple of jars or bowls.
- Wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight.
- Top with fresh fruit the next day and enjoy.
- In a blender, blend together the hazelnuts and water for 1-2 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag, if you have one.
- Pour strained milk back into the blender and blend together with the blueberries until very smooth.