Food Focus: Overnight Oats!

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Overnight oats are quite a buzz-worthy meal these days! It’s understandable given the array of recipe options for a once-considered simple breakfast that likely filled your grandmother’s pantry.

As a meal, overnight oats consist of rolled oats that are soaked in milk (dairy or dairy-free) for at least 6-8 hours (usually overnight). From convenience to nutrition, overnight oats present to our breakfast tables with a strong resume. Oats are a source of plant-based protein and fiber, supplying about 5 grams of protein and up to 6 grams of fiber per serving. Oats are specifically high in soluble fiber, which promotes gut health and stabilizes energy levels for several hours (getting you through petite allegro!)

Overnight oats look complex, but this simple make-ahead meal is particularly easy if you’re anything like me: BUSY! I specifically love this breakfast during the warmer, summer months because overnight oats are typically served chilled, straight from the fridge.

The best part? Overnight oats are a NO-COOK option! Here are my 5 best tips for constructing a balanced, satisfying, and DELICIOUS jar of overnight oats!

Overnight Oats
  • Start with a base:

From steel cut “Irish” oats to rolled oats and instant “quick” oats, there are many options lining our grocery shelves. Your best bet is always plain, old-fashioned rolled oats. Add chia seeds to your base for a pudding-like consistency. This will also boost the fiber content, keeping your satiated and energized. When adding seeds, measure a ¼ serving of seeds per 1 serving of oats. For a batch using 1 cup of oats, add a ¼ cup of seeds. This rule-of-thumb works for all additions, such as ground flax, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit, pepitas, and sunflower seeds.

#TTP Tip: Since cold foods require more flavoring than warm foods, add a dash of salt to your base. This enhances the flavor of your finished product.

  • Add a liquid:

Any type of milk works. I use 2% dairy milk, but if you follow a vegan- or vegetarian- diet, try a nut-based alternative like almond milk. If you have an allergy to nuts, try oat milk. If you prefer your overnight oats thicker in consistency, then you’ll want to gage the amount of milk added. Typically, we add double the amount of liquid as oats. So if you’re making a batch using 1 cup of oats, then you’ll want to add 2 cups of milk.

  • Make It Interesting!

Spoon some nut- or seed-butter into your mix to boost the heart healthy omega-3 fat content. This will also add texture, which satisfies you until your next meal or snack. For an extra nutty flavor, scoop in some ground flax. Last, add a dash of spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and cocoa are all TTP favorites!

  • Make It Colorful!

Add your favorite fruit!

#TTPTip: Use frozen fruit as an easy and economical option. I use frozen blueberries and raspberries, which defrost overnight. Avoid larger chuncks of frozen fruit (like strawberries) as this can add extra water and alter the consistency!

  • Let the magic happen!

Once you’ve constructed your ingredients, stir and let the batch refrigerate overnight (at least 6 hours). Some prefer to split the batch into smaller, take-away containers or jars. Overnight Oats can keep in your fridge for up to 5 days. This makes it ideal for busy weeks.

Upon serving, you may optionally sweeten your serving. I suggest a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar. Top with fresh fruit if you’d like, and enjoy!

Try It! Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

Ingredients: (Makes 4 servings. 1 Serving = 1 cup finished oats)

1 cup rolled oats


¼ cup chia seeds


¼ cup hemp seeds


¼ teaspoon salt

A generous scoop of all natural sunflower seed butter

1½ cup frozen blueberries

2 cup milk or milk of choice


¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Instructions:

Divide all ingredients between four mason jars, or keep in one large bowl for individual serving. Stir until incorporated. Place in refrigerator and let sit overnight. Remove, serve, and Enjoy!

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