In these dark winter months, we all need a little bit of sunshine. At least I know I do. I feel people tend to stay more at home as soon as the weather turns a bit dreary, grey and cold. Instead of going out into nature to explore, most of us prefer cosying up under a big blanket on the couch or in bed. It seems as if we’re all put on hibernation mode (which is a shame, because winter can be so beautiful!)

Citrus fruits remind me of sunny days. A couple of years back when traveling to Morocco, I remember drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every morning, while enjoying the rays of sunshine in my face. So no wonder I still like using anything citrus in my recipes, to lighten up dark and grey days.

Also for my oats I like using oranges. I’ve created many different recipes, under which this creamy orange & vanilla overnight oats. During the night the oats are soaked in fresh orange juice, so the following morning my breakfast is ready in no time! All I have to do is add some fresh fruits, nuts, coconut or granola. This is ideal when I know I won’t have enough time to prepare breakfast in the morning. The oranges add a little sweetness to the oats, and I feel the vanilla complements the oranges. Very simple, but still delicious!

Ingredients
(serves 2, recipe can be doubled so breakfast is fixed for the following 4 mornings!

• 140 grams of oats
• 
120 ml of freshly squeezed orange juice
• 
80 ml of unsweetened almond milk (can be substituted by more orange juice)
• 
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or local honey!)*
• 
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
• 1 teaspoon dried vanilla powder or extract
• 
pinch of sea salt
• 
Optional: freshly grated rind of an orange (I would recommend using an organic, unwaxed orange)

Toppings
• Fresh fruit, such as oranges or some berries!
• 
Roasted coconut flakes
• 
Soaked nuts & seeds
• 
Soaked buckwheat
• 
Raw honey to taste

*Note: Although I prefer sweet over savoury breakfasts in the morning, these overnight oats are not tooth crushingly sweet. Just the way I like my breakfasts to be. For those with a sweeter tooth, I’d recommend adding another 1 – 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.

Instructions

In the evening before, combine the orange juice with the almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. When combined well, pour over the oats and chia seeds. Stir well, and set aside for the following morning. In the morning, add your toppings, and enjoy!