I have been really bored of breakfast foods lately, in the sense of the usual dough-based fare that frequents and graces our table. I’m not one to skip a good breakfast nor advocate dismissing this very integral part of the day, especially for as long as I have been able to make it myself, however, this apparent food-rut has left me seeking more in terms of morning nourishment, as I know there are more vibrant ways to welcome in the day. Another factor adding to this recent dietary inertia is the memory of the food I was eating when I was recovering from the flu a few weeks ago. Having made a colossal pan of crumble to use up fruit that I simply could not accommodate on my own, I found myself eating small portions of it as a snack and for breakfast over the course of a week, which I not only enjoyed immeasurably, but I found the cooked fruit and juice to be incredibly soothing and nourishing to my body, and I felt good under the multiple layers of shit endured while being ill. I’m sure I will be able to go back to enjoying wonderful pastries and breads and richer things at the start of the day, but, for now, I am relishing something simpler and lighter, so I bring you my poached cinnamon oranges with coconut soya yoghurt and toasted oats.
You will need:
* 3 large oranges (any variety that suits you will do);
* 1 and a half teaspoons demerara sugar;
* Ground cinnamon;
* Vanilla extract;
* 4 tablespoons oats, rolled or whichever you prefer.
You can, as ever, change up the quantities to suit your liking and needs (if you are making this for more than one person, for example). I used three oranges so I could use them over a number of days, but half a large orange should be okay for a one-person portion.
* Start by cutting your orange into segments and removing the soft fruit from the skin. I find it easier to cut it into quarters to begin and then removing the fruit before halving again, just so you are not grappling with thinner slivers of orange and juicing yourself in the eye as you go;
* Next, place all the fruit into a pan and fill it with half the volume of cold water to the amount of fruit, this will create the poaching liquid for your oranges and the thin syrup to pour over at the end. Pop in your sugar, a capful of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon to your liking, stir all the components together then cover and place on a medium heat;
* While you are waiting for the water to boil, put your oats into a pan and toast on a gentle heat until you can smell their warming aroma and they appear a little golden brown on the surface. I did this using a teaspoon of salted butter in the pan as I like the flavour that it imparts. This is, of course, completely optional and you can omit it to make this an entirely vegan meal. It is incredibly easy to burn the oats, so keep them moving in the pan and make sure to take them off the heat as soon as you see any change in colour to avoid charring the smaller pieces. Set aside and go back to the oranges;
* When the liquid surrounding the oranges has started to boil, turn down the heat beneath and simmer them, still covered, for about five minutes; they should be cooked, but not so much that they start to break apart, so keep an eye on them during this stage. When you are happy with their state, take them off the heat and remove the segments from the liquid and place them into a bowl or dish, the remaining liquid will now be reduced to create the orange syrup;
* Place the pan, uncovered, onto a gentle heat and simmer the infusion until it has halved in volume; it should appear slightly thicker and a light caramel colour at this stage, but still very much in liquid form. Take off the heat when you are ready and pour over the oranges that you have set aside;
* The time has come to assemble your bowl. Place some of the orange segments, I find six is a good amount, at the bottom and pour over a few or more tablespoons of your desired yoghurt- I used Alpro’s coconut soya yoghurt, but you can experiment with other dairy and non-dairy yoghurts and flavours as well. Lastly, spoon over your toasted oats and enjoy your wonderful breakfast creation! This can also be eaten as a snack, topped with your favourite oat-based cereal or even using other poached fruits instead of oranges- the segments will keep in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container, just heat them up when you want them on a hob or in the microwave. Eat well and be happy :) ♡.