Bear with me on this one (awful pun narrowly averted)! Beer for breakfast isn’t as odd as it sounds.
Ginger beer originated in Yorkshire, England in the 1800s as a drink brewed with ginger, sugar, water, lemon juice, and a bacteria for fermentation called “ginger beer plant.” The alcohol content will disappear quickly as it cooks, but many modern ginger beers are categorised as non-alcoholic anyway because the alcoholic byproduct of fermentation is so minuscule. This results in a taste not unlike Canadian ginger ale, which is simply carbonated water flavoured with ginger. Both are sweetened, but ginger beer tends to be spicier, which is why I love using it in this recipe.
Pleasantly prominent when paired with the freshly grated ginger root, the flavour goes well with tart kiwi and the mellow nuttiness of oat. By the time the oats are cooked, the beer will have reduced into a gingery syrup that nixes the need for any additional sweetener.
These oats are in the form of whole groats, which is basically just the original grain with the tough outer hull removed. When these are cut up, you get steel-cut/pinhead oats; when they’re steamed and flattened, you get rolled oats and instant oats. Generally, foods become less nutritious with more processing, so groats are your best bet if you’ve got a bit more time to spare. You can substitute with rolled oats, but be aware that the texture will lack the nice toothiness of groats and pinhead oats.
Kiwi, in season until the end of July, is the base of this simple fruit topping. I’ve always been a fan of tart fruits, happily gobbling up all the sour grapes that my family left rejected at the bottom of the bowl. If that’s not your thing, any other fruit could work and the amount of honey can be easily adjusted to the extremity of your sweet tooth.
Ginger Beer Oats with Kiwi
- 65g (⅓ cup) oat groats
- 180ml (¾ cup) ginger beer
- water, as needed
- 100ml (½ cup) oat milk
- 2 kiwis, scooped
- ½ inch ginger root, grated
- 60ml (¼ cup) ginger beer
- honey, to taste
Soak groats in room temperature overnight to reduce cooking time.
Drain and cover with fresh water, bringing to a boil before covering loosely and reducing to a simmer on low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, adding water as needed. If you didn’t soak them the night before, this might take around 40 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, splash in the ginger beer and cook for another few minutes until reduced and thickened.
Meanwhile, cook the chunks of kiwi with ginger beer, grated ginger, and honey over low heat until softened and syrupy.
Serve kiwi compote over the hot oats with a splash of cold oat milk.