Even if you don’t love traditional hot oatmeal, you might like this. A bowl of overnight oats is whole grain goodness meets instant gratification. No more waiting 10 minutes (that you don’t have) to microwave oatmeal and wait for it to cool off. Even better – no more sugary, overpriced breakfast cereals.
My friend and fellow nutrition analyst Alli was the first person to tell me about overnight oats. Now, I have them 5-6 mornings each week and sometimes (often) as a snack. Here’s how you make them:
The night before you want to enjoy your oats, put them in a bowl (I use ¾ of a cup) and completely cover them with milk (about 1 cup). I use original almond milk, but any kind of milk will do. Cover them up and put them in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, the oats will have soaked up most of the milk. Just uncover, add your favorite combination of toppings and voilà! You have overnight oats.
Here’s a list of yummy, (mostly) nutritious topping combinations I’ve tried:
Banana Nut: sliced bananas and walnuts
Maple & Brown Sugar: brown sugar and real maple syrup
Pumpkin Pie: canned pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans
Blue Monkey: sliced banana and blueberries (inspired by The Little Grill Collective’s Blue Monkey pancakes)
Mixed Berry: sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Cranberry Orange: fresh cranberries, orange marmalade, and pecans (my favorite!)
Creamy Vanilla Almond: sliced almonds and a dollop of vanilla yogurt
Crunchy Peach: sliced peaches and your favorite granola
Peanut Butter Alli: soak your oats in an empty peanut butter jar
But wait – there’s more!
If you’re looking to get a little more oomph from your oats, try adding one or more of these natural nutrient enhancers:
Flaxseed (whole or ground): a plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, many B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, fiber, and phytochemicals
Wheat germ: a plant source of protein, folic acid, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin E, antioxidants, and fiber
Now go get your oats on.