Chilled Berry Oats with Rosewater & Almonds via acupofcoconut.com

As I plan out my next few weeks by making scribbles in my diary, I can hardly believe that it is nearly mid-January, 2015! How surreal is that?! I have fond memories of watching Back to the Future on repeat while growing up (Part III was secretly my favourite – don’t judge), and it is a little mind blowing to think that the ‘future’ referenced was indeed 2015, complete with hoverboards and dog-walking robots. If that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what will!

Back to the Future 2015

A friendly reminder that as of last week, this is how we are all supposed to dress. Bangin’! Image via quickmeme.com

I’m not that big on setting myself new year resolutions. I once read that a better time of year to evaluate your life and set yourself goals is your birthday. I quite like this logic, as the passing of one age to the next often provokes a feeling of self reflection. So this is what I try to do. That being said, there are some specific goals that I’ve been intending to see through, and what better time that now!

1. Get outside more. I’ve kicked this off by signing up for fitness classes at the local park, and downloading the Podcast ‘Serial‘. I know I’m behind on this, but have you guys listened to it yet? I’m only 1 episode in and I’m hooked! With 10ish hours of storytelling mastery, I’ve committed to only listening to it while out walking/jogging. Now I can’t wait for my evening strolls.
2. Take more moments to relax, appreciate and unwind. De-stressing is super important for your physical and mental wellbeing, and practicing mindfullness can help you achieve just that. I can’t wait to do more yoga this year, and I’m excited to have found a local studio that do classes by candlelight. If you have a similiar goal, keep in mind that Lululemon in Perth do free sunset yoga classes at the beach on Wednesday evenings.
3. Plan my meals ahead. One of the best ways to eat more healthily, save money, and improve your cooking skills is to put in a little planning. I love shopping at the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, and I’m in the process of developing a Sunday cook-up plan for the following days. Something as simple as cooking up a few cups of brown rice, a big tray of roasted veg in fresh herbs, toasting nuts and seeds, making a jar of hummus, and mixing one or two fresh salad dressings, can provide you with lunch for the next 3 days at least. When I work out my weekly cook-up, I’ll be sure to share it with you!

So, summer oats! Please excuse my lengthy introduction, but in some shape and form I was eventually going to get to the point of making time to eat breakfast. I am sometimes guilty of skipping breakfast when I’m in a rush (my love of sleep competes with my love of food), so I thought I would run this idea by you: why not make breakfast the night before?!

Oats are delicious, creamy and so good for you! Even my gluten-free friends may still be able to eat them (be sure to check the packaging to see where and how they were processed). Over on Facebook last week, I shared this article highlighting new research out of Harvard University that supports just how great this wholegrain is for good health and longevity. Summer ‘porridge’ involves soaking your oaks overnight, with delicious toppings, leaving you no excuse to skip breakfast the next day. Best of all, it only requires 5 min prep the night before!

Chilled Berry Oats with Almonds and Rosewater

Chilled Berry Oats with Rosewater & Almonds
Makes 1 jar, perfect for breakfast on the run or a mid-arvo snack

Ingredients
¼ cup oats (go for rolled, not instant)
¼ cup milk (or dairy free nut milk, soya milk etc)
¼ cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt
½ tablespoon honey (or more/less to taste)
¼ teaspoon rosewater
a dash vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1 teaspoon chia seeds
½ cup (or more!) thinly sliced strawberries

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients, except for the strawberries, in a medium bowl, gently mixing until just combined.
2. In a clear glass jar, layer a couple of spoons of oat mix with a few sliced berries, and repeat until the jar is full.
3. Seal jar, and leave in the fridge overnight.

To serve
Eat straight from the jar, or spoon into a bowl and top with additional nuts, seeds, berries, yoghurt, and/or other fruit. Don’t be afraid to mix up the recipe to include your favourite ingredients! Try substituting berries for other summer fruits, such as plums or peaches. In the cooler months, try baked apple or pear and use pure apple juice instead of milk. Almond butter or tahini would be a tasty addition if you choose to use banana instead of berries (note – in this case leave out the rosewater and use cinnamon instead!).

I hope you have kicked off the new year with health, happiness and a good appetite!

P.S For all you Back to the Future nerds out there (loud and proud!) get excited: Nike will release Back to the Future shoes with self tying laces later this year…