Two of the things that I miss over the summer are pomegranates and persimmons. Pomegranates are a staple in my home when they are in season. I usually de-seed a couple at a time and keep the seeds in a bowl in the fridge. There is nothing as satisfying as popping those, juicy, tart, delicious seeds in your mouth a spoonful at a time. Until recently, I have never even used them in any cooking, they are that good raw. Persimmons on the other hand are a newer discovery. When I was in London, my friend from Germany told me it was her favourite fruit. I have never heard of them before, let alone tried them but once I did I was sold.
Persimmons have a thin skin that can be eaten, so no need to peel. The inside is a soft but dense orange flesh that is very sweet, with a very distinctive flavour. I don’t think I can really describe it, so I am just advising you to try and get your hands on them! There are two varieties but I always buy the fuyu. They should be firm but not rock solid and then they are ready to slice and eat. Like pomegranates, I am tempted to just eat these raw and not complicate things at all, but these overnight oats have convinced me.
My sister has been trying to get me to try overnight oats for a long time. What are overnight oats? Basically, all you do is fill a bowl with oats and some milk (whatever kind you want) and sometimes a few other ingredients (in this case dried peaches), leave it in the fridge overnight and voila, you have breakfast in the morning. It is filling, healthy, easy and endlessly versatile.
Despite all of these great qualities, I was very resistant to trying it because I am not a oats or porridge person. I don’t really enjoy the texture but I was reading about these again on My New Roots last night and decided that it wouldn’t hurt to try! You know when you don’t like something for so long and don’t try it for years and years? Well, things change, so I guess it was time to try these again because I really enjoyed them.
I spent time in Vancouver last week, which was wonderful. It felt like I was home again. I bought a bunch of special treats while we were walking around, including some dried white peaches from ‘Pirate Joes’, a store that sells Trader Joes products (which are not available in Canada). I thought that these would be great re-hydrated along with the oats. They provided a slightly chewy texture and nice flavour. If you can’t find any dried peaches, I am sure dates or cranberries would be great as well.
The hazelnuts and buckwheat hearts provide some extra protein and a nice crunch, you can substitute any nuts you’d like. I also sprinkled some chia seeds on mine. Why not!
The pomegranates provided a zingy, bright, freshness that the dish needed and the persimmons raw or roasted are great.
Basic recipe from My New Roots
This can easily be made vegan by using a nut (or other vegan) milk.
Not all of the milk absorbed into the oats but I enjoyed it that way. If you want all of the liquid absorbed, reduce milk to 3/4 cup.
This would be great with either raw or roasted persimmons. If you want something a little different, go ahead and roast them. You may want to make a larger batch and use them throughout the week.
The pomegranate seeds give it a wonderful zing, I found myself wanting them in every bite, so you may want to add a little more.
If you can't find dried peaches, you can use any dried fruit (dates or cranberries would be great!).
In a bowl, mix together oats, milk, dried peaches, and lemon juice. Stir and leave in fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice persimmon (leaving skin on or off, I couldn't tell a difference).
Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup over persimmons.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Heat up oats (or leave at room temperature, whatever you prefer).
Top oats with persimmons, pomegranate seeds, chopped hazelnuts, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, cinnamon and buckwheat hearts.