Growing up, I ate breakfast everyday. That’s good, right? After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Raise your hands in the air if you agree! And what was it I ate every day as a kid? Brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts…hey wait! Where are those hands? C’mon guys, I never said it was healthy!
Now, my taste for breakfast food hasn’t changed that much. My brain still tells me chocolate frosted donuts with sprinkles on top are delicious. It’s just that my stomach is tired of being bombarded with sugary concoctions devoid of things called nutrients and then being hungry two hours later. Of course I like the taste of things like Monkey Bread, muffins, pastries, etc. etc. But when you eat healthier options for a while and discover how good those yummy nutrients make you feel, the idea of actually eating Pop Tarts makes me cringe.
So what is it I eat? Oh, it depends on what I’m in the mood for. Usually I just have some type of high fiber cereal (especially if it’s on sale). When I get up in the morning, I’m usually rushing off to class or just don’t feel like starting the day with making a mess in the kitchen.
But a girl can’t live off of shredded wheats forever now, can she? So when I heard about Overnight Oatmeal, I decided to try it out for myself. It’s really easy to put together, and if you get tired of one flavor, it just takes a bit of creativity to come up with another. Plus it’s much, much healthier than Pop Tarts.
Most of us have probably heard about the benefits of oatmeal ever since we were little and our moms were trying to make us eat it. But somehow lower cholesterol doesn’t have the same draw to kids as colorful Lucky Charm marshmallows. Greek yogurt is an incredible source of protein (1 serving has more grams of protein than some “protein” bars!) and probiotics to help your digestive system get or stay healthy. There’s more, but you can always Google it to learn more. I’m going to move on because I have the attention span of a two-year – whoa! There’s a squirrel outside my window! Oh sorry. Back to the recipe…
The core components of Overnight Oatmeal are oatmeal (I prefer old-fashioned), milk, and Greek yogurt. I almost always add chia seeds because they thicken it up a bit and add protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and a lot of different minerals. Plus they make you feel full longer. Can I get an Amen?
Whatever else I add in depends on what mood I’m in. Sometimes I want something chocolate (who would’ve guessed), peanut buttery, fruity, nutty, or just Plain Jane. This is awesome because it’s so diverse!
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt (flavor depends on what you feel like)
- ¼ cup milk or milk substitute
- 1 Tbs chia seeds
- Sweetener of choice
- Add ins: fruit, nuts, nut butters, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, pumpkin filling, dried fruit….be creative!
- Mix all of your ingredients together and put in a storage container of your choice.
- Leave in refrigerator overnight (or at least a few hours).
Some Ideas for Add-ins:
- Choco-Banana: Add cocoa powder to your mixture with some sliced bananas. You may need to add a little more milk to compensate for the cocoa.
- Strawberry Brown Sugar: As the name implies, use brown sugar as your sweetener with some sliced strawberries. My strawberries seem to always go bad before I can eat them all, so I buy frozen strawberries and add them in. They defrost overnight.
- Peanut Butter Cinnamon: Add some ground cinnamon and a spoonful of peanut butter (crunchy or creamy). You’ll end up with swirls of Peanut Butter the next morning.
- Blueberry Almond: Add blueberries (fresh or frozen) with sliced almonds.
- Whatever is in your pantry. Convenience is the best ingredient for creativity!
Feel free to share any other ideas!