No-Cook Overnight Oats Two Ways
Yes, yes more oatmeal; but I feel like now that spring has sprung it's ok to eat my cold version of oats in the morning, so I wanted to share this recipe with you! If you've been reading my other posts you already know that oats are a power-breakfast: whole grains + soluble fiber beats any breakfast cereal, especially when you include some fresh fruit and good protein. But, one of the biggest troubles people tell me they have with breakfast (especially on weekdays) is time in the morning. Lots of people end up eating cereal because it's quick, easy and doesn't require any thought, but most cereals don't really give you much nutrition or lasting power. Solution? Make breakfast easy for yourself in the mornings, so all you have to do is grab and go before work.
These overnight oats are quick to throw together, and you can make them for several days ahead of time. They fit into jars so just pick the flavours you want, throw the ingredients in a jar, give it a shake and voila! Breakfast for the next few days is ready. I just prepped two different flavours (4 breakfasts) for both my boyfriend and I and it took me about 20 minutes. In the morning all I have to do is grab the jar and a spoon, add a little more fruit if I'm feeling extra hungry, and head out the door! I adapted this recipe from the Refrigerator Oatmeal on The Yummy Life Blog.
I find the serving size is just right for me, but Mike has to almost double the base (oats, chia, and milk) and add a bit more yogurt to make it satisfying for him, so hungry men - up the ante and the portion size! I also make mine sans sweetener, but the other day I added just 1 tsp of maple syrup to my raspberry mango oats and it was delish! Some days you just have to go a little sweeter :)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Jars (I used canning jars I bought at a craft store)
- 1/3 cup thick rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1+1/2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp ground flax seeds
- 1/3 cup 0% plain greek yogurt (lactose free if needed)
- 2/3-3/4 cup skim milk (lactose free if needed; alternative milks are fine)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2tsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
- 1 very small banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- dash of cinnamon (~1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 cup diced mango (~1/2 an atualfo mango)
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
In the morning, I like to top with a bit of extra fresh fruit, chopped nuts or hemp hearts, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I usually make this without any added sugar or sweetener, because I think we could all do with a little less of that in our lives. Sugar has it's place, but the calories don't give you much in the way of nutrition or lasting power. If you find you need something a little sweeter, mix in 1-2tsp of any sweetener you like.
other flavour ideas
- 1 small banana, sliced
1/2 cup other fruit of choice
- 1 + 1/2 Tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (sliced if fresh)
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- Get creative! Use whatever flavour add-ins you like. Try different fruits, swap the vanilla for almond extract, or use other garnishes like nuts or coconut for added crunch. If you find a really good one post it blow :)
When I'm making these, I like to make a few batches at a time (for efficiency) and usually a few flavours at a time, especially in the spring and summer when berries are in season. I find it easiest to chop my fruit and put all my ingredients out on the counter and then measure, pour and stir all at once. If you have kids, this would be a great recipe to get them involved in making. Put out the ingredients and have your kids prep their base and choose their flavours - it helps increase buy-in to the healthy breakfast thing when they get to be involved in the prep and choose their own flavours!
- Prep the ingredients - chop or slice fruit and set everything out on the counter.
- Measure oats into each jar (remember, double this for hungry guys!)
- Measure yogurt and spoon on top of oats.
- Add chia seeds, ground flax and vanilla to each jar.
- Add fruit
- Add any other add-ins (ex. PB2, cocoa, nuts)
- Pour 1/2 cup skim milk into each jar over the toppings and let it settle into the jar for a minute or so. Add remaining 1/4 cup milk.
- Put the lid tightly on the jar and shake well.
- Let the jars settle for a minute on the counter while you clean up.
- If you find the jars don't look well mixed, take of the lids and give them a stir with a spoon. Sometimes I find certain fruit mixtures don't shake up as well as others.
- Put in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days, and grab and go as needed!
- Optional: Top your oats with extra fresh fruit or milk if desired. Some ingredients will cause the oat mixture to be thicker, so you may want to stir in some milk to thin them out a bit. Just play around with it until you get the recipe the way you like :)
Tip: Less-Messy Mango Cutting
I prefer the little sunshine-yellow Atualfo mangoes for a few reasons:
a. They're a more manageable size for me to get through in one or two sittings.
b. I find them more reliably sweet than their larger counterparts (if you've ever had a un-ripe mango it is a very unsatisfying experience!)
c. I find them less messy to work with - they peel and cut more cleanly than the big guys.
How to peel/cube a mango with little mess and little waste:
- Peel the mango using a sharp vegetable peeler
- Slice the mango in "half" lengthwise as close to the pit as possible
- Repeat this slice in "half" lengthwise on the other side of the pit
- Cube each half
- Using your knife, remove any remaining flesh around the edges of the pit and cube
Note: a sharp peeler and knife really help with this process. Dull utensils = messy and more likely to chop your fingers!
Blueberry Banana flavour:
Mango Raspberry flavour:
- Yes, this breaky has a good amount of sugar from the fruit, but don't let that scare you - the sugar in fruit is packaged in a nutritious way along with fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals!
- The protein and fiber in this slow down digestion and give you a more gradual release of energy, meaning it should stick with you for way longer than a traditional breakfast cereal.
- Lots of calcium for healthy bones!
- The Vitamin C from the fruit helps you to absorb the iron from the oats more effectively.
- Whole foods for the win again
If you need a little more staying power but don't want to add more oats, try adding things like nuts or nut butter - they'll up the calories, protein and fat.
Happy eating (since there's no cooking going on here...)!