Pimp My Oats

Last night for this mornings breakfast I combined two of my favorite breakfast recipes: overnight oats AND chia seed pudding. In addition, I added a handful of fancy Instagram-worthy toppings for that extra sumthin’ sumthin’. The result was a taste explosion (to say the least). Then I walked my village and looked for beautiful details to photograph for you and appreciate for myself.

1/3 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup milk (I used almond)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a jar and stir to combine.

Leave in fridge overnight and nom nom the following morning with favorite toppings.

*gluten-free (if using GF oats)
*refined-sugar free
*vegan (if using maple syrup)imageimage[1]image[2]image[3]image[5]image[6]image[4]image[7]image[8]

Anisa sensei (chef Anisa in disguise) strikes again


First off, I want to say that I’m in the wrong country for food art. Seriously guys, how can anything I make shine, when my neighbor, the supermom, is making Tottoros from seaweed and rice?!

Next, that for the first time in my 23 years of life, I am actually feeling the festive side of Christmas. No, I’m not the Grinch in disguise, I was just born in Iran. Growing up, I had learnt of Christianity during Baha’i Children’s Class but I’d never encountered the festive side of the Birth of Christ. That is, until we arrived in NZ and witnessed everyone becoming super excited over a day which we knew nothing about and I always always felt left out. It seemed to me that everyone was decorating trees, baking gingerbread houses and filling out Christmas cards and I was not. In fact, I think about 13 Christmases came and passed where my family simply treated the day as an inconvenient one where everything was shut.

Later, when I started dating a Kiwi and later again, when my sister became married to one, we experienced the festive side of Christmas through them and their families, for the very first time.

This year, not only am I going to have a white Christmas in JAPON but I’ll be spending it with my dear dear sister and brother-in-law who are coming to visit in exactly five days, FIVE! If there’s anything I’ve learnt from living this crazy difficult adventurous life in rural Japan, it’s that the most important thing in life is being with loved ones.

Christmas Oats:
1/2 cup oats, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp pure maple syrup. Stir on low until ready. To serve, top with fresh Christmas themed fruit and natural peanut butter.

Kinako (soybean powder) Cookies:
I used this (For Diets! Super Easy Kinako Cookies), cookie recipe and simply added raisins to one batch and sesame seeds to the other for variety.

Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies:
I used Erin’s cookie recipe and added macadamia nuts, too.

peanut butter and banana overnight oats

Sometimes I spend my evenings out and about and sometimes I am so completely alone in my little apartment in the middle of nowhere surrounded by bears, snakes and deer – which is okay because I use that time to update my blog (insert smiley face here) and make breakfast, 8 hours earlier than it need be made!

If you like peanut butter and banana then I guarantee you’ll love this. Not only is it packed with various super nutritious ingredients, it is also naturally free from gluten (if you use gf oats), dairy and refined sugar.
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3/4 cup oats (use GF if gf)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds

1 banana
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp all-natural peanut butter

Combine the oats, milk and chia seeds first.

Then mash the banana into the oat mixture.

Lastly, mix through the honey and peanut butter.

Refrigerate in a covered container overnight.

Enjoy with a crunchy topping, nuts/seeds/granola. I used walnuts.

homemade granola without an oven

The title says it all. I’m not gonna make you read through anything other than:
1.I don’t have an oven
2. I made granola in a frying pan under 10 minutes and so can/should you.

1 cup of your favourite raw nuts and seeds (pick everything! go nuts! see what I did there? I used raw walnuts and almonds as my options are limited here (to put it nicely). You on the other hand should add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cashews, brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, pecans,
linseed, sesame seed etc etc)
10 cups of jumbo oats (use GF variety if GF)
1 cup of your favourite dried fruit (I used raisins but you can use blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, apricots, banana chips etc etc)
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of cardamom, ginger and nutmeg 

2 tbsp raw honey or pure maple syrup  (optional but definitely recommended)
1 tbsp coconut oil

First add the nuts to a large dry frying pan on medium heat.

Stir, stir, stir/slave away until the nuts have browned and are fragrant (about 4 minutes)

Add the oats next and continue slaving, I mean stirring.

Lastly, add the dried fruit, spices, sweeter and coconut oil then turn down the heat.

You guessed it, stir until well combined.

The granola is ready when it has browned (not burnt) and smells delicious!

Serve with your favourite milk and fresh fruit or, alternatively; soak overnight with your milk or water for a delicious bircher!

finally a recipe! (savoury oats – the perfect brekkie to keep you going until lunch)


Savoury oats are so hot right now and here’s why:

-they’re a great source of fibre
-help lower cholesterol re-absorption
-help curb our appetite (keeping us full until lunch!/putting an end to those unnecessary snacks)
-help decrease the risk of colon cancer
-easy (and fast) to make!
-addition of egg=more protein=more gains=enhanced sexiness right?

With savoury oats, there’s no need for honey, maple syrup or fresh fruit to spruce up your morning brekkie so put those aside as I’m sure you’re already sweet enough! (Well, most of you).

This one’s super easy and a little Japanesey!

3/4 cup quick oats (use gf if gf)
3/4 cup skim milk or your fave non dairy alternative
1/2 cup tap water
1 free range egg
1/2 teaspoon of Japanese ‘seven spice’ (a mixture of sansho, tangerine peel, red chilli pepper, flaked nori, black sesame seeds, white poppy seeds and minced garlic)

Anything you like! But I used 1/4 of an avocado, diced.
Raw seeds like sunflower and pumpkin mmm!

First whisk your egg in a small bowl.

Then place all ingredients in a small pot over low heat and using a spoon mix constantly (slave away) until desired porridge consistency is reached.

Top with toppings and enjoy!

review no25 posh porridge/pancakes


Okay first up, this review is so overdue it’s not even funny but here goes.

Posh porridge takes the humble oat to a whole new world (yes, much like Aladdin does Jasmine). I mean, let’s just say, if Goldilocks were to sample this glorious porridge, she’d probably turn into a ravenous bear herself and violently hijack their stand. They (3 lovely vendors who I see operating Posh Porridge every Saturday) serve up the most (and seriously trust me when I say this) delicious porridge (well duh) you can find not only from 9am-1pm on a Saturday in CHCH but EVER. Ah, I sense you scepticism. If you’re not quite convinced and you’re sitting there reading this like: “ah I don’t know, my dad makes some pretty mean oats” then allow the following flavour combinations to blow your mind:

fig & ginger compote, dark chocolate, pistachio crumble
passionfruit curd, meringue coconut crumble, berry crush
banana, toffee sauce, roast almonds
poached rhubarb, vanilla bean custard, crumble

Do I really even need to continue?

As if creating the most delicious oatmeal in CHCH weren’t enough, PP occasionally mix up their menu and also provide delicious pancakes (equally dressed with posh and flavoursome toppings) and bircher muesli/overnight oats which is seriously on trend right now.

So Christchurch gave us an epic summer this year with bits and pieces still lingering about but as the colder months creep in, there’s no other disposable plate my frosty mitts would rather be clutching on a Saturday morning than a bowl of hot organic oatmeal. However, arguably the most popular stand at the Farmer’s Market, PP tends to get quite busy so be prepared to have to fight your way through the crowd in order to place your oatmeal request then hover close by with the millions of other porridge-eaters until your name is called. Although the queue is constant, the wait is seriously worth it!


Nothing fills me up like oats do. Seriously, nothing. Eat oats for breakfast and I promise you won’t have hanger pangs until well past “lunch-time”.

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 unsweetend almond milk
pinch of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small pot over low heat.

Stir continuously until porridge-like consistency is achieved.

To finish, top with favourite toppings: I used banana, raw almonds and drizzled honey.

Banana and Blueberry Baked Oats

Judging by my current Instagram feed, ‘baked oats’ are the next big thing since nana ice cream (chunks of frozen banana blended into a soft-serve consistency). So, this morning, I ignored all of those inspirational quotes about being different/unique and breaking away from the status quo and attempted my very first batch of baked oats. From my understanding (after a quick internet surf), baked oatmeal/porridge is regular oatmeal but baked – just call me Captain Obvious. Perhaps the only other difference is that sometimes, an egg is added in order to lighten/fluffen up the texture. Now, although the end result was delicious, I was not entirely WOWed; my baked oats tasted like regular oats except they took longer to make. In conclusion, through first-hand experience, I’ve come to recognise that baking your oatmeal is simply an easier/lazier (whichever way you want to look at it) but longer/less energy-efficient way of cooking regular porridge. Does anyone else agree? Have I completely failed at the baked oatmeal fad? Is there something I’m missing? Creating an oatmeal volcano in the microwave and/or standing over the stove stirring sweet fragrant cinnamon porridge is just so damn enjoyable I don’t understand why anyone would want to suck the fun out of it by involvin an Oven. Ah, I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird.

Anyhow, here’s the recipe (serves 2):

1 cup oats (use GF if GF – sorry for stating the obvious)
1  1/2 cup milk (i used almond milk)
pinch of cinnamon
1 free-range egg (optional)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 rip banana (sliced)
1/2 cup raw nuts (I used walnuts and hazelnuts)

Combine the oats, milk and cinnamon in a small bowl or jar and leave overnight in fridge as you would with overnight oats/bircher muesli.

In the morning preheat oven to 160C

Whisk an egg, add it to the oat mixture.

Transfer oaty/eggy mixture to an ovenproof dish and top with blueberries, banana and nuts.

Bake for 20ish minutes or until the  top is crunchy and golden


Let wholesome, delicious food be your beauty secret!

Do you think it’s possible to get through Summer only eating smoothie bowls?! Yes, if they’re filled with this much healthy. This delicious choco berry smoothie bowl is jam-packed with natural goodness and flavour. In addition, it’s naturally free from dairy, gluten and refined-sugar. Forget proactive, for beautiful skin, eat wholesome, nutritious food instead!

Below, I’ve added some proof/excerpts from Jolene Hart’s incredible book Eat Pretty: Nutirition for Beauty, Inside and Out for more info: 

On banana:

“Bananas contain an amino acid that boosts healthy hair and nail growth and protects the body from ageing free radicals. They also contain silicon, an essential element for strong hair, nails, and collagen. They’re easily digested and soothing to the lining of the stomach, and they feed good bacteria in your gut.”

On raw cacao:
“This beauty superfood has a higher concentration of antioxidants than any other food we now know of, thanks to its powerful phytochemicals like epicatechin that block the formation of wrinkles. The catechins in cacao throw a one-two antigaing punch: they turn off age-promoting cell mechanisms while activating protective cell mechanisms.”

On oats:
“Oats are mineral-rich breakfast staples. They’re extremely high in manganese, which helps maintain healthy hair and hair colour and supports mitochondrial health. They’re also rich in the beauty mineral iron for strong hair and nails.”

On unsweetened almond milk:
“When you pour a cup or so over your oatmeal, you get about half of your daily dose of vitamin E, the beauty vitamin that keeps skin moisturised and protected from the sun, plus about 45 percent of your calcium and 25 percent of your vitamin D. Unsweetened almond milk is low in both sugar and calories, and it’s free of the hormones and antibiotics found in conventional dairy.”

And, last but not least, from my previous posts, you should know blackcurrants are insanely good for your health (containing higher levels of vitamin C than any other commercially available fruit or vegetable).

So what are you waiting for? Toss out that processed crumpet and instead, simply whizz together:

2 frozen bananas
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp gluten-free oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup organic frozen ViBeri blackcurrants

To finish, top with whatever your heart desires! (My heart desired silvered almonds, strawberries and blackcurrants.)