Coconut oats muesli
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Reuben at Home

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Reuben at Home


Coconut oats muesli

Recipe By Reuben Riffel
Photographs By Craig Fraser


160g rolled oats, well rinsed
4 fresh dates, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
1 litre coconut milk, plus extra for serving
120g coconut sugar*, finely grated
salt flakes
1 mango and 1 kiwi fruit, finely sliced
 (or any soft fruit and berries available)
handful of mint leaves
lime wedges
* Coconut sugar (aka palm sugar) is available at Asian shops

I grew up with mieliepap but fell in love with oats whenI ate Scottish oats for the first time at a place in Dullstroom. A shot of whisky in your porridge for breakfast didn’t seem like such a bad way to start the day, and I thought to myself, ‘Mens kan darem lekker goed met oats maak…’ (You can do some nice things with oats…). I subsequently learned that oats are a great vehicle for flavour; a bowl of oats doesn’t only have to be wholesome, it can be indulgent as well. Like this one. So instead of Scottish whisky and cream I give you mangoes and dates and cinnamon and mint and fresh lime and salted coconut caramel sauce. Now surely that’s worth waking up for? And if you are wanting ordinary, wholesome oats in the morning, there are two things you need to remember: one, don’t use the instant stuff because it goes mushy, and ideally you want the nuttiness of steel-cut oats. Secondly, make it with butter, not water or milk. You want the butter to melt and emulsify into it. That’s the way to start your day…

Cooking Instructions

  1. Add the oats, dates, cinnamon and vanilla pod and seeds to a medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups coconut milk and a cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender (15 to 20 minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in 250ml coconut milk (the cold liquid loosens up the oats).
  3. Refrigerate in an airtight container until it’s cold.
  4. Place the coconut/palm sugar and 4 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil until syrupy and caramelised.
  5. Remove from the heat and add 50ml water and a pinch of salt flakes. When the bubbles subside, stir in 100ml coconut milk. Cool this sauce to room temperature before serving.
  6. Portion out the coconut oats evenly, top with mango, kiwi fruit and mint leaves, and serve with the coconut caramel sauce, remaining coconut milk and lime wedges on the side.

About the Author

There can be no doubt about the fact that Reuben Riffel is one of South Africa’s most well-known and acclaimed chefs. With no less than five restaurants in his stable (Reuben’s in Franschhoek, Reuben’s at the Robertson Small Hotel, Reuben’s at the One & Only in Cape Town, Reuben’s at Abalone House in Paternoster and finally Racine in Franschhoek), Reuben has also become a household name as the face of Robertsons Herbs & Spices and his recent role as a MasterChef South Africa judge. This award-winning chef is also father to four cookbooks: Reuben Cooks: Food is Time Travel, Reuben Cooks Local (also published by Quivertree and winner of Best Chef’s Cookbook and photography respectively at the World Gourmand Awards in 2009 and 2012), Braai: Reuben on Fire (published by Quivertree and second-place winner of the Sunday Times Cook Book of the Year award 2014) and finally Reuben at Home. Key to Reuben’s success is his unsurpassed ability to marry South African and international cuisines via an eclectic but unpretentious approach, using only the best seasonal ingredients.

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