When it comes to breakfast, most chefs tend to neglect themselves. From the moment I wake up, I’m planning my next menu, seeing a great shot in an arrangement of apples by the window, or thinking of a new story for the Journal. I get inspiration from everything around me, from the colour of my coffee to the daffodils that have sprung up on the way to JAN. With all this distraction, I become completely unaware of my own need to eat! Keeping a jar of overnight oats in the fridge means I’ve always got something yummy at hand to fill a bowl. From there, I let inspiration guide me (or whatever else I’ve got lying around).

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Of all the grains out there - and there are many - we only started domesticating oats about 1000 years ago. Across Europe, farmers began to notice a hardy weed popping up amongst their crops and decided to cultivate it. As with all weeds, the idea of ingesting it was slow to catch on at first, except in the British Isles, whose people had been ingesting it since before the Roman invasion. The Romans, of course, thought it was diseased wheat and looked upon the natives as barbarians for eating it.

The natural enzymes in oats can cause the grain to go rancid in as little as four days, so it is processed differently to other grains. It’s only harvested when it is ripe and undergoes a special kilning process to remove any moisture. From here, the grain can be broken down into the various varieties of oats we find in the shops, like steel-cut, rolled and quick-cooking oats, as well as oat flour and oat bran. Averaging about 15% protein and naturally gluten free, oats is also a very nutritious grain. So, who says oats need to be confined to breakfast only? I often have this hearty concoction when I get back from a busy service at JAN.

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prep: overnight + 3 hours for apples + 10 minutes to assemble / serves 1


  • 50 g (125 ml) oats

  • 125 ml almond milk

  • 60 ml Greek yoghurt

  • 60 ml dried cranberries

  • 3 ml cinnamon

  • 1 small red apple, grated with skin

  • 15 almonds

  • 5 dried apple rings

  • honey to taste

  • extra cinnamon


  1. Mix the oats and almond milk in a bowl and cover with grease-proof paper, pressing the paper onto the oats to prevent it from drying out. Store in the fridge overnight.

  2. Add the yoghurt, cranberries, cinnamon and grated apple. Mix and spoon into a serving bowl.

  3. Top with the almonds, dried apple rings and a drizzle of honey. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top and enjoy!

I don’t just keep overnight oats around to keep my breakfasts quick and uncomplicated. I often make myself some dried apple rings to eat as a snack. As it turns out, they turn this simple breakfast into a decadent treat.

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