Nutritional Win of the Week: Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Would you like to know what I am perfectly ok with? Food ruts. They make your meal planning and grocery shopping easier. And with a great base recipe, you can explore a world of flavors, ratios of ingredients, and perfect the art of your current food fixation…before you move on to the next.

My adoration for oatmeal runs deep (see a divine, protein-laced baked oatmeal recipe on the blog here) and has led me to a new oatmeal discovery, Overnight Oats. The beauty of overnight oats can really be narrowed down into three key categories: timesaver, nutritious, delicious.

  1. Timesaver: Throw all the ingredients into a bowl (or if you’re feeling very Pinteresty, a mason jar), stir, cover, place in the fridge. The next morning, the oats are ready for you to eat warm or cold and you just earned back the time it normally takes to make your breakfast.
  2. Nutritious: Oatmeal is touted as a breakfast super star. It’s a whole grain that is high in fiber, calcium, and potassium. Add the right mix-ins and up the nutrition as you go!
  3. Delicious: Soaking the oats overnight prevents the dreaded oatmeal glue one may unintentionally create when microwaving oats for breakfast. As this particular “one” has been known to do over and over again. Plus, when you make oats the night before and not when you’re exhausted, you are likely to be a bit more thoughtful with the mix-ins leading to higher levels of deliciousness.

Because I take blogging seriously, or maybe because I really really enjoy Overnight Oats, I have spent the last two weeks experimenting with different flavor combinations to bring you the top 7 winning bowls. The best pro tips I can offer are – add some healthy fats to keep you full and help with nutrient absorption, and make a batch of stewed berries on Sunday to get you through the week. Just take a 1 ½ cups of frozen mixed berries, heat them on low in a sauce pan until they release their juices, turn up to medium low to allow the juice to thicken and you have a mixable, sweet fruit treat to add to your oatmeal without added sugar. And it mixes into all the nooks and crannies better than raw berries.

The base for every bowl is the same:

  • ½ cup oatmeal (not instant!)
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk that you prefer works fine)
  • A very slight pinch of salt

Almond Butter & Jelly

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ cup berries, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Almond extract

Trip to the Tropics

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

Apple Orchard

  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Carrot Cake

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple (or two tablespoons of raisins if you want a more traditional carrot cake)

Very Berry

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup berries of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s frozen Fancy Berry Medley…because…fancy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nuts n’ Honey

  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup sliced banana

Almond Joy

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract