The Dishery’s overnight oats

Ask a Chef reveals the secrets of those superb dishes you ate in cafes and restaurants and wanted to try yourself.

My mum always loved dessert for breakfast so I wanted to make an apple crumble oats dish that was still a bit healthy.

The crumble component for this dish developed over time. It began as a decadent cookie then moved to a crumble. And eventually we made our own vegan white chocolate, which wasn’t easy to perfect, and removed the egg to make this vegan.

This recipe makes a whole tray and you could add a ½cup of flour, gluten free, or wheat to make chocolate oatmeal cookies instead, and crumble those.

We make the crumble in batches so you could do this the day before and then soak the oats, and it is served in the restaurant with stewed apples, coconut yoghurt, mint and plant-based milk. Not strictly gluten-free due to cross-contamination.

We use quick oats but jumbo or wholegrain oats would be great too.

Makes 1 large serving


1 cup (90g) oats

3 cups water

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla paste


Soak all ingredients overnight. Place in a small pot, bring to the boil on a medium heat, stirring (as the chia seeds can make this sticky). Turn down to a low heat and thin out the porridge to your own liking with coconut milk. Pour into the serving bowl.

Cookie crumb (makes enough for multiple breakfasts)


½ cup raw or white sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup/120g butter, margarine or coconut oil

1 egg

1 cup almond meal

1 cup oats

½ cup coconut thread

1 Tbsp instant coffee granules or instant espresso coffee (dry, optional)

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup diced dates

½ cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts

½ cup white chocolate chunks, chopped


Heat oven to 180degC. In a standing mixer on medium beat together raw and brown sugar and butter till light and creamy.

Add egg, stir in almond, oats, coconut, coffee granules, the baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Finally stir in dates, walnuts and chocolate chunks.

Drop the dough in blobs on an ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown and edges are set. Cool completely, for about 30 minutes. Crumble.

Stewed apples

Peel and dice 1 or as many apples as you like. Put into a small pot with water, a pinch of sugar and a lid on and simmer on low temperature until cooked through.

Recipe provided by Ainsley Thompson at The Dishery, Queenstown.

If you have enjoyed a dish at an Otago cafe or restaurant and would like the recipe, write to Ask a Chef, Features, Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, Dunedin, fax 474-7422, or email, including your name, address and a daytime telephone number, and we will request it.

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