I have always had a thing for lemons. I distinctly remember my mom catching me as a young kid eating lemon wedges and scolding me for ruining my tooth enamel. I still cannot help myself sometimes. Yolo! It seems Rose also has the same penchant for tart things, because she begs me to eat lemons whenever she sees me cutting them. Eh-mon! Eh-mon! she yells. And then I usually refuse, telling her she will ruin her enamel. We’ve come full circle!
Anyways, I have an obsession with anything lemon flavored. I have been dreaming up this recipe for a while, ever since I started soaking my grains with a squeeze of lemon juice. Soaking grains overnight (or for as many hours as you can), followed by a quick rinse, helps eliminate the phytic acid found in grains, rendering them more digestion-friendly. Adding lemon to the soaking liquid further facilitates this process. The problem with overnight oats is that you don’t rinse and drain them the next morning. After all, the whole purpose of overnight oats is to go to bed with that smug, I’m-on-top-of-everything satisfaction that you have a fully prepared breakfast already waiting for you in the fridge. Having to rinse the oats and then prepare them totally kills this vibe. So what to do about the phytic acid lingering in that creamy jar of overnight oats? I was pleased to learn that the addition of lemon juice (or another acid, such as ACV) neutralizes the phytic acid. Win-win.
With these overnight oats, I really leaned into the lemon flavor. And I have to say, the result is extremely delicious. It tastes like creamy coconut oats mixed with a generous helping of lemon curd. The turmeric not only gives the oats a beautiful yellow hue (reminiscent of lemon curd), but also adds anti-inflammatory benefits. Don’t forget the small pinch of black pepper – it helps make the anti-inflammatory compounds more bioavailable. The cardamom and vanilla work really well here, balancing the turmeric and complementing the sweetness of the coconut and honey. They are the perfect summer oats, with bright, citrusy flavors that taste best cold.
It took all of five minutes to groggily mix this up before bed (sidenote: does anyone else get exhausted and kind of anxious after watching House of Cards?). I woke the next morning so excited for breakfast and had extra one-on-one time with Rose – never a bad way to start the day. I topped mine with coconut yogurt, a spoonful of coconut butter (this one is my fave), manuka honey (I use this one daily) and strawberries. Also, Rose LOVED these oats. The lemon doesn’t fall very far from the tree. Hehe.