Home-Cooked on the Go: Overnight Oats

26 May

There’s nothing like a warm home-cooked breakfast to get your day started right, but what if your morning routine is a whirlwind and you’re more likely to find yourself eating your breakfast on the go? Enter my new favorite weekday breakfast, overnight oats.

Now if you follow a lot of health and fitness bloggers, this may be old news to you, as a lot of bloggers have written about overnight oats. Even though I’m a bit tardy to the party, I love them so much I thought it was time to share.

Oatmeal is great because it’s not just tasty. It’s also high in fiber, has cholesterol-reducing properties, and for lactating moms, it can enhance your milk production.

There are many variations out there. Some use cow’s milk, some use yogurt, and some use a combination of both. I am not a big cow’s milk drinker, so my overnight oats are a variation on the vegan recipe I spotted on Oh She Glows.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats (instant will work in a pinch but the texture is so much more appealing if you use rolled)

3/4 cup almond milk (again any kind of milk will work, but I love the taste and consistency of almond)

Anything else you’d like to add (see my suggestions below)

Instructions:

All you have to do is mix the oats and milk together and tuck into the fridge overnight to soak. I usually pack the next day’s breakfast and lunch right after I get home from work, so that everything is all ready to go and I don’t have to worry about it during my always hectic mornings.

You can eat your oats cold or warm them up in the microwave. Unlike regular oatmeal they don’t need to be cooked, so you only need to zap them long enough to get them warm–about a minute will do. I tend to find that my preference for cold versus hot depends on what toppings I’ve used on my oats. My husband always prefers them warm. I suggest trying them both ways until you decide what you like best.

Now the fun part–toppings! Overnight oats can be mixed with all sorts of fun things to make them tastier. You can top them when you soak them or right before you eat, but since I always eat them on the go, I prefer toppings I can add the night before and I avoid things that would get soggy like cereals and such. Below are a few of my favorite additions:

  • Any dried fruit: Dates and dried cranberries are two of my faves.
  • Raisins and cinnamon: Cinnamon is a great addition because it makes the oats seem sweeter without adding any extra sugar.
  • Peanut butter: If you use the natural kind, it’s a great way to pump up the flavor and add protein without extra sugar or salt.
  • Honey and slivered or sliced almonds: Great for your sweet tooth.
  • Frozen fruit: Drop it into your oats frozen, and it will be thawed by the next morning. Look for fruits that are sweet, like strawberries or peaches. Raspberries are a bit too tart for my taste, unless you’ll be sweetening the oatmeal up with something else.

Those are the toppings I’ve tried, but really, the possibilities are endless. If you’ve tried overnight oats, leave me a comment and tell me your favorite way of eating them.

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