Whenever I bring up bircher, or overnight oats as Instagram has renamed them, my Mum reminds me that Bircher himself would be rolling in his grave for lack of credit. The olden day version of a company posting using your smoothie bowl photo on the gram to sell their skinny tea. Poor Bircher.
While there are many brands of oats that are gluten free, and there’s obviously nothing remotely wrong with oats, I decided to experiment with an oat free version of bircher. This is mainly because I’ve found that I don’t tolerate grains in large quantities at the moment, and because I’m selfish. I want a bircher I can actually eat with more than just my eyes, you know.
This bircher is gluten free, vegan, FODMAP friendly, and can be adapted to be grain free and nut free. It’s hugely adaptable and is more of a not-recipe in the sense that you can adjust the flavourings and thickness to your liking. Some may call it a cheat’s recipe. I would also call it that.
Work your way up using the sweetener and the milk – adjust based on your preference of sweetness and thickness. You could use rice malt syrup as a lower FODMAP liquid sweetener, and you could add any number of spices in to jazz it up – nutmeg and cinnamon come to mind. Maybe not cumin.
As for the grain free option, use coconut flakes instead of quinoa flakes. You could experiment with toasting them for a nutty flavour, particularly if you are omitting the nut butter. The coconut version generally needs less milk because it absorbs less liquid than quinoa flakes – all the more reason to start small and work your way up. You can add extra milk in the morning if necessary, but you can’t subtract it, amirite.
FOR THE BIRCHER:
- 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon linseeds
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flakes or coconut flakes (the large bits, not desiccated)
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice (add a teaspoon at a time to test for sweetness preference)
- 4 tablespoons plain coconut yoghurt
- 6-8 tablespoons plant based milk
- 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter (use sunflower butter for a nut free alternative)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Pinch of sea salt (trust me, it works)
- 4-6 strawberries, cooked in 1-2 tablespoons water and with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2-1 banana, sliced and cooked in coconut oil on a medium heat until golden
- Coconut flakes, toasted in the oven for 5 minutes
- Fresh fruit (berries are low FODMAP) extra coconut yoghurt, nut butter and hemp seeds
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients into that same bowl. Cover overnight, eat immediately, cover for two nights. The world is your overnight oyster.
- I like to mix in a couple of tablespoons of extra milk just before I eat it to loosen it up a bit. This depends on whether you like a firmer or milkier bircher. I like mine to be the consistency of porridge.