When I discovered the awesomeness of overnight oats sometime near the beginning of my trudge towards my Masters degree, it was game-changing. I was still vegetarian at the time (a whole other post) and I didn't really eat eggs or dairy (I know. How the times have changed), so breakfasts were pretty lame. Think plain oatmeal, peanut butter-banana toast, or maybe a tofu scramble if I had time. But when I made my first overnight oats that were 1. delicious 2. portable and 3. crazy quick to make I knew I was on to something worth experimenting with. After all, I was in school full-time and working 20 hours so that left very little time to cook (which I find ironic because I was working toward my Masters in Nutrition...). I digress. The truth is, though, that I'm not very good at writing down recipes. I kind of just throw everything together and hope it works out (I'm a bit more controlled when it comes to baking, but not much). So that's why it's taken me almost 5 years to come up with a 'overnight oats formula'. But I finally did and here it is!
The great thing about overnight oats (aka bircher muesli or soaked oatmeal) is that they are completely customizable to your tastes and/or what's on hand in the fridge and pantry. Which, in our kitchen, means there are probably 1000 different possible combinations. One of my favorites, though, is blueberries, almonds, coconut, and chia seeds. This is the flavor combo that I've used for this post, but feel free to be creative and daring! I often use The Flavor Bible to come up with interesting ideas:
- Raspberry, mint, coconut butter, ginger
- Figs, reduced balsamic, walnuts, vanilla, marscapone
- Cherries, dark chocolate, chili pepper
- Kiwi, coconut milk, pineapple, mango, macademia nut
So many options! What's your favorite?
// Overnight Oats: A Formula // - serves 1
If you're a busy student like I was or find it hard to fit in breakfast during the busy work week, overnight oats are for you. They're so simple and easy not to mention delicious and filling. And there is really no limit to the number of different flavor combos you can create for overnight oats. Try experimenting with different fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butters, milks, spices, and even rolled grains like rye, barley, or spelt. The options are endless!
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking or steel cut)
1/3 cup fresh fruit
1/4 cup mix-ins (dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc...)
1 teaspoon sweetener or 1 large date chopped
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk of your choice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract or other extract
1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar and mix well. Cover and place in fridge overnight. That's it!