Overnight Oats Make Ahead Breakfast
There’s no denying that overnight oats had their “moment” on food blogs thanks to Pinterest. They’re actually how I first discovered food blogs. But I never brought myself to try them simply because I’m not a big oatmeal fan. I always hated it growing up, but over the past year or so it’s one of the foods (like tuna or black coffee) I’ve tried to train myself to like for the health benefits. I started off easing into oats by just adding a scoop to my morning or post work out protein smoothie (blueberries + oats + unsweetened almond milk + protein powder = my go to perfection). Eventually I ended up trying to sneak in oats anyway I could, without having to taste them of course! My favorite is throwing a cup in my nutribullet, giving a few quick pluses, and using them like a breadcrumb for burgers or chicken. Naturally I had to give overnight oats a try if it meant sneaking in oats without the strong taste. Bonus: no morning meal prep required.
Oats are great because they’re packed full of soluble fiber and protein (gluten free for those with CD!). Soluble fiber works to slow down digestion time, promote a feeling of satiety (fullness), and suppress your appetite. Triple win! Protein in oats are unique for being a cereal. First, they don’t contain gluten, a protein found in other grain cereals (wheat, barley, and rye). Instead, their major protein is avenalin, like those found in legumes. This makes oat protein more similar to soy protein, which is equal to that found in meat, milk, and egg protein. A nice plus for those looking for a little extra oomph and still getting to skip on animal products. Great for a Meatless Monday option!
Okay so now for the real reason you all came here. A quick and easy make ahead breakfast option to save you some extra time in the morning.
I used Ball jars, but any container with a lid will work just fine. I really recommend picking up some mason jars though. I found these pack of 12 1 pint (2 cups) freezer safe Ball jars for $10 at Big Lots. Such a good deal!
From left to right… PB&J, chocolate covered banana, and layered mixed berry parfait. Cinnamon apple is not pictured because my boyfriend was a little hungry and in a rush for work. But I’m taking his word it was good!
PB&J: drop in 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and 4 tbsp PB2 powder to your jar. Place lid & shake to combine. Cut strawberries and fill jar. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning! Makes one jar (1 pint/ 2 cups). Tip: letting the strawberries sit overnight allows the natural sugar to really come out and naturally sweeten this dish up! Try using whichever fruit you enjoy for different versions of a PB&J. For some extra sweetness, throw in some natural fruit preserves.
Chocolate covered banana: layer in 1 cup rolled oats, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, and 1 cup almond milk. Top with a sliced banana. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning! Makes one jar (1 pint/2 cups). Tip: I heated this one up in the microwave for one minute, stirred to combine, and enjoyed with a cup of dark roast black coffee.
Layered mixed berry parfait (pictured twice): combine 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and 6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk in a bowl. Chop berries. Alternate between layering berries and mixture until jar is full. Roughly two to three layers of each. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy the next morning! Makes two jars (2 pints/4 cups). Tip: Seriously good! Try using you favorite fruits! I love mixed berries and I had a bag on hand. Next time I plan on trying a more tropical fruit for summer with mangos and peaches!
Cinnamon apple (not pictured): layer 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 tbsp honey ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Makes one jar (1 pint). Tip: Aaron says these are better heated up in the microwave for a quick minute.
These can last a few days in the fridge depending on the fruit added. They should be able to carry you through the week though. You may need to top off with a dash of unsweetened almond milk in the morning. Some taste better nooked for a minute. Experiment! Feel free to get creative and adapt these! Enjoy and don’t forget to share your adaptions with me 🙂