Almost every other health/wellness/weight loss article in the history of the internet keeps emphasizing how important the first meal of the day is. I’ve been paying no heed to those article and have been skipping breakfast for years. Not good, I know, but I’ve always had valid (or so I say) excuses: first it was “I leave the house too early” (5am), then it became “I wake up too late and too close to lunch” (10am), and on weekends, it’s “my brothers ate all the bacon/longganisa/tapa/tocino.”
I’ve been trying to change my delinquent ways and have made an effort to have healthy breakfasts as much as I can. And that’s where overnight oats come in.
My health-freak friend J introduced them to me. The genius of it is that you’re making your breakfast while you sleep. Before hitting the sack, you soak some oats in milk and yogurt. In the morning, you have a hearty, healthy and delicious breakfast waiting for you.
Overnight Oats basic recipe (if you can even call it that)
1/3 cup rolled/old fashioned oats (not instant)
1/3 cup fresh milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (regular works, too)
- Mix all ingredients together
- Add any flavorings and toppings, if preferred. Dried fruit is good to include in the soak to rehydrate them, and to serve as a natural sweetener for the oats. To infuse the oats with their flavor, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg should be added prior to the soak as well.
- Cover and refrigerate
- Have a good night’s sleep
The other great thing about this is that sky’s the limit for your flavor options. You can pretty much add anything you fancy to the oats: fruits, nuts, jams, chocolate chips, peanut butter, whatever. So even if you are having oats everyday, you’re not necessarily stuck with the same breakfast seven days a week. Just make sure that you don’t negate the oats’ health benefits by going overboard with the toppings.
I like this method of making oats versus instant oats cooked in the microwave. With rolled oats, you get less of a mushy texture: it actually still feels like oats in your mouth. The yogurt and the milk also results in a creamier mixture, instead of the pasty mess of microwaved oats.
Below are some of my favorite flavor combinations for overnight oats:
- Dried strawberries and blueberries, honey, cinnamon
- Almond butter, almonds, pinch of brown sugar
- Mangoes, candied walnuts, pinch of brown sugar
- Almond butter, bananas, maple syrup
- Peanut butter
- Cookie butter, candied walnuts, cinnamon
It’s a testament to how good these oats are
(or to how pathetic my life is) that I actually look forward to breakfast in the morning if I made this the night before. I also feel better about my day knowing that I started it right with a healthy meal, instead of leaving for work with an empty stomach and attacking the first carb that I come across at the office. And, when it comes down to it, these oats are just delicious.
So really, there’s no excuse for me to be skipping breakfast anymore (except for maybe my yogurt going bad) when it’s this easy and this good. Especially when I can have those addictive candied walnuts with it.