For months, overnight oats recipes have been popping up in my online feeds. Food-related pop-ups are probably the only type of pop-up or banner ad that doesn’t annoy me. There have been so many, in fact, that I feel like online big brother is saying, “We’ll get her with this one for sure. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but she’ll cave.”
I caved. Darn foodie marketers get me every time. Browsing through the various flavours of overnight oats actually made my stomach grumble and mouth water. I finally gave it a try and, well, clearly it passed the taste bud test as it’s the focus of this week’s column.
“Everyone’s favourite breakfast dish can be prepared in a moment’s time with just a few ingredients and minimum effort.” — Marcus Samuelsson
For as long as I can remember I’ve gotten the mantra, “make sure you eat your breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.” I have to eat breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything special, my body just craves something of substance to start my day. It’s typically toast topped with almond butter and strawberries or yogurt topped with fruit and what we call “crunchy bits” (granola). The point is, for my body to function properly, I need breakfast to kickstart the day. “Hangry” is not a nice feeling.
Like most people these days, life is busy, so grabbing something quick is the answer. Well, let me tell you, you can’t get any quicker than overnight oats. You literally wake up and presto — it’s done.
“I love sleep because it’s like a time machine to breakfast.” — author unknown
There is a difference from your typical stovetop or microwave oats. For one, you don’t have to cook them. Say what, now? Yes, you heard me. No cooking involved. Mind blown. I know! I wish I could use one (or five) emojis to show my expression.
You seriously just take out a bowl, throw in bunch of stuff, stir it up, put the contents into a Mason jar, cover it, put it in the fridge overnight, and Bob’s your uncle. I really don’t think it can get any easier. You could make breakfast for a family of four in 10 minutes.
If you search “overnight oats” online, you’ll come up with hundreds of recipes. It’s like walking into to Berg’s Ice Cream, there are that many flavours to choose from. Well, maybe not hundreds — a lot of them have similarities — but everyone seems to put their own spin on a few classics. Speaking of classics, there’s the classic overnight oats which involves Greek yogurt, unsweetened milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, rolled oats, salt and chia seeds. Think of that as your base. Then, think about all the different ingredients you can add for additional flavour. It’s like bedazzling your oats.
Ideas? I thought you’d never ask. There’s chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, banana blueberry, almond strawberry, lemon cheesecake, vanilla almond, triple berry. Ah… There are too many to list, but you get what I’m throwing down here, right?
Plus, overnight oats are extremely versatile if you have special dietary needs. If you don’t eat gluten, then just use gluten-free oats. For vegans, consider plant-based milk, yogurt and maple syrup for sweetener. If you’re looking for sugar-free, drop the sweetener and use mashed banana. Yep, bananas are so sweet you could consider it a dessert.
Overnight oats are creamier, denser and filled with an abundance of flavour. Just think of all the ingredients melding together during sleepy time. It’s the perfect breakfast for those with a busy schedule looking for a healthy choice rather than a greasy sausage-and-egg sandwich at the drive-thru.
Think about it: 10 minutes prep time the night before, program the coffee maker for a fresh morning brew — it’s like a breakfast drive-thru in your own home.
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti
I’m already excited about what to make tonight for tomorrow’s breakfast. Overnight oats is definitely fit to eat.
Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @ErinSulley Instagram @erinsulley