When summer is at its height, the markets are stacked high with all sorts of warm weather produce. Usual summer suspects are berries, and strawberries, in particular, are in plentiful supply, ready for your palate’s creativity. Combining strawberries with unexpected flavors is a fun way to experiment. This recipe for vegan overnight oats combines strawberries with tahini for a delicious morning treat.
Think of tahini as a seed butter created by blending sesame seeds into a smooth paste, similar to a nut butter like almond or peanut. It is uniquely toasty and nutty with a slightly mysterious flavor. Tahini is a familiar component in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It is very affordable and can be found on the shelves at most markets or ordered online. It can also be made at home in a high speed blender; however, achieving the extra smooth consistency usually desired in a tahini can be a challenge.
Tahini is a beautifully earthy complement to the sweet summer citrus flavor of strawberries. If your tahini does not contain salt, add just a dash of sea salt to mellow out its flavor. This small step will create a more balanced taste payoff. Stir tahini into warm oatmeal and top with strawberries. Blend a spoonful in a strawberry banana smoothie. Layer a strawberry chia seed pudding with a tahini drizzle. Or top rustic strawberry crumble with tahini cashew cream. This flavor combination will remain on your mind many hours after you’ve finished your breakfast or dessert.
One of my favorite creative ways to use tahini is in a quick breakfast of vegan overnight oats and chia seed banana porridge with strawberries and tahini. It’s bright, complex, and nutritious.
Vegan Overnight Oats With Strawberries & Tahini
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk or water
- 1 banana, mashed
- 3-4 strawberries, halved
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- dash of sea salt
- maple syrup or date paste (optional)
- additional toppings (see suggestions below; optional)
1. The night before, in a container with a lid, mix rolled oats, chia seeds, and nut milk. (If you do not want to use a plant-based milk, water works just fine.) Cover and place in refrigerator to soak overnight.
2. The next morning, mash the banana and mix with oat and chia seed porridge. If mixture becomes too thick for your liking, add an additional splash of plant milk or water.
3. The banana will already be sweet, but for optional additional sweetness, mix in maple syrup or date paste to desired taste.
4. If your tahini is not salted, add a small sprinkle of sea salt to the teaspoon of tahini.
Drizzle tahini over porridge mixture and top with halved strawberries.
Additions for extra texture and flavor: raw chopped walnuts or sliced almonds, shredded coconut, raw pumpkin seeds, cashew cream, lemon zest
More recipes for vegan overnight oats: Creamy Cauliflower Overnight Oats
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Photo: Robin Kurotsuchi