Overnight oats flavoured with saffron and rose water
Sholeh Zard is a Persian rice pudding dessert flavoured with saffron, rose water, sugar and decorated with almonds, pistachio and cinnamon. I love the flavour but, more often than not, it follows a Persian feast, which has had rice served as one of the accompaniments or main dishes. So the last thing I want is a dessert with rice in it.
After a light bulb moment, I decided to experiment with the flavours of Sholeh Zard with the concept of overnight oats. Overnight oats have become very popular over the last decade – a quick, healthy and delicious way of preparing rolled oats. With no cooking required, it is prepared by mixing rolled oats, liquids and other ingredients and leaving them in the fridge overnight.
The process is simple, soak some oats and chia seeds in milk, Greek yogurt, saffron, rose water and honey and leave in the fridge overnight. Add flaked almonds and some strawberries the next day and give it a good stir. Serve it in a bowl topped with more strawberries, crushed pistachios and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The resulting breakfast dish is fresh, light and delicious. My family love it and it is one of our regular breakfast options. It’s so low maintenance to knock up and washing up is easier than the mess cooked porridge creates!
I have included chia seeds in the recipe due to the nutritional benefits including adding fibre and protein. Feel free to leave them out if you are not a fan. You can also make this with non-dairy milk and yogurt and replace the honey with maple syrup if you are vegan. If you would prefer to substitute the honey / maple syrup with a wholesome way to sweeten the oats, then grate pear or apple into the oat mixture prior to leaving in the fridge overnight.
Sholeh Zard Overnight Oats
- 50 g rolled oats
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 200 ml milk or non-dairy alternative
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt or non-dairy alternative
- 2 tbsp rose water (use only 1 tbsp if you want it less floral)
- 1/8 tsp ground saffron
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 tsp flaked almonds
- Strawberries (to mix through and garnish when ready to serve)
- Small pinch of cinnamon (to garnish)
- 1 tsp ground pistachios (to garnish)
- Mix the oats, chia seeds, milk, yoghurt, rose water, saffron and honey in a bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight to soak.
- Prior to serving, add and stir through flaked almonds and some chopped strawberries.
- Spoon into your bowl and top with more chopped strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon and ground pistachios.