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I eat mostly paleo. And I know that oats are not paleo. The paleo template tells us that oats are a grain and they contain anti-nutrients that could be harmful to the gut. As paleo is all about healing the gut and keeping it in tip top condition, this obviously means that grains - including oats - are out.
But here's the weird thing.
I actually feel better when I eat oats.
I know, it's weird. My tummy feels more settled with the odd portion of oats a few times a week. I tried to resist them, telling myself they might bring my psoriasis back, or the crippling IBS that had me unable to leave the house back in the old days. But so far, I've been eating oats for a month or two and the only difference is that I honestly feel better, physically and mentally.
Now, just like some people thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet and others (like me) don't, I think we're all different. Our biology and chemistry comes from how and where our own particular branches of the human species evolved, over possibly millions of years. Some people tolerate milk, others don't. For some, a handful of oats might not be a great thing. For others, it seems to work. I'm not knocking the paleo diet - after all, I credit it with giving me the active, full life that I have now, and I suspect it will always form the basic template for my diet. But all I am saying is that my stomach really likes oats. Occasionally.
So when I decided, after three years, to 'officially' include them back into my diet - even if it is the odd treat - I wanted to make every portion worth it, nutritionally. So I make these overnight oats.
This beautifully sweet, creamy pudding-for-breakfast is packed full of so many nutrients I've lost count. There's vitamin C and those all important phytonutrients and antioxidants from the raspberries. Magnesium, fibre and phytonutrients from the cacao nibs. The coconut water is full of digestive enzymes and the coconut yoghurt is bursting with friendly gut bacteria. It might look like a creamy, indulgent 'cheat' breakfast but it's a powerhouse. It's also completely dairy-free and vegan.
Make sure you use gluten free oats if you need to.
Raspberry and Vanilla Dairy Free Overnight Oats
40g rolled oats
125g tub of coconut yoghurt, plain or flavoured - your choice
40ml coconut water
large handful of frozen raspberries (or you could use fresh)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
maple syrup (optional), to serve
Measure out the oats and place in the bottom of a jar with a lid, or a glass container. I use these ones. Pour over the coconut yoghurt and the coconut water and give it a swirl with a spoon, just to help the liquids settle down with the oats. Scatter over the raspberries and spoon over the vanilla extract. Sprinkle cacao nibs over the top and then replace the lid. Slide into the fridge and leave overnight. I make these just before going to bed. Then, you'll have creamy, indulgent oats ready for you in the morning. Add a tiny drizzle of maple syrup if you want to, although I mostly don't, because it's sweet enough as it is. Beautiful!
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