Sunday, August 17, 2014

Overnight Oats - A Quick Healthy Breakfast

It has been a long, slow summer full of staying up later than we should and unrushed mornings sleeping in. Sometimes breakfast was more like brunch and since most mornings we didn't have to rush out the door, I had the time to cook our favorites, including banana pancakes, which I make often and just realized with surprise I have never shared with you. Wow, blogger fail. Anyway, we are back to work/school this week and I have been trying to figure out easy and fast breakfast recipes to help mornings run smoother. We are going to need all the help we can get until everybody is adjusted to our new routine. Nobody but the cat is a morning person in this house.

I've been seeing recipes for overnight oats all over Pinterest. This past week I decided to give them a try. The little man, to my delight, ate the oats all up two days in a row. I am also cooking up some freezer breakfasts, which I will share in another post, but the overnight oats will also be a great choice for our busy mornings. Just make up a batch the night before, grab out of the refrigerator in the morning, stir, and eat. Everyone gets their own grab and go jar. The flavor variations are nearly endless, too. We have enjoyed vanilla strawberry and blueberry cinnamon flavored overnight oatmeal so far. I think I will experiment with an apple walnut next. Little one loves apples. Oh, and with fall just around the corner, a pumpkin flavored one is a must.

Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • handful of fresh strawberries, sliced
Mix ingredients in a quart mason jar or other lidded container. Store in refrigerator overnight. May eat cold, or if you prefer, heat in the microwave. Enjoy straight from the jar. 

Blueberry Cinnamon Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • handfull of blueberries, approximately 1/4 cup ( I used frozen wild blueberries)
Mix ingredients together in a jar. Refrigerate overnight. Stir and eat straight from the jar. May be heated in a microwave if desired. 

I see so many possibilities for overnight oats. If you change the milk to a nut milk and the yogurt to a coconut or soy yogurt, and sweeten with agave or maple syrup, these would be a great vegan breakfast as well. I know some recipes call for steel cut oats, but you don't want to use instant or quick cook oats or they may be too runny. If you decide to experiment with flavors and ingredients, let me know what yummy combinations you come up with. I'd love to try them.

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