When I was younger, I had no use for oatmeal as a breakfast option. Lumpy. Bland. Mushy. No, thank you. Then the overnight oat craze started across the US. I became curious about them because I was bored of my regular breakfast options. I first tried them when I was having breakfast at home (and had other options in case they were terrible). I was pleasantly surprised and they became a regular choice. Years later, this is now my go-to breakfast most days of the week.
And now it is fair to say I love them. I recommended them to many of my patients and have even done programs with Girl Scouts where they make their own. Check out my list of reasons why I talk about them to everyone!
1) The ingredients are in their least processed form. This means they are retaining the maximum amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It also means there isn’t extra fillers, colors and sugars to detract from the healthiness of the meal.
2) They are so darn easy to pull together. All ingredients get mixed into a container with a lid and left overnight to let the flavors and liquids become one.
3) Overnight oats, as the name implies, get prepped the night before. I have also prepared a week worth of overnight oats on Sunday night to have for the week. Meal prep just got so much easier!
4) There are so many ways to put them together with different types of fruit, spices, extracts and yogurt consistencies. This makes them a great option for families who are trying to feed everyone and also take into consideration preferences and dietary restrictions.
5) They can be a great snack or dinner. Many nights after working out, I have enjoyed some overnight oat concoctions to help refuel my muscles and fill my stomach. And, because it isn’t super acidic or fatty, it rarely prompts acid reflux.
6) The have a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to help with fullness, blood sugar control and weight management. The fiber from fruit, oats and seeds (if added) helps keep your gut system happy, too.
7) They are healthy AND taste great. Such a good way to go!
Ready to give them a try? Here is the basic recipe for overnight oats.
¾ cup plain, low fat yogurt (Greek or regular)
¼ cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup fruit
2 tablespoons fat
Spices and flavored to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a resealable container. Store in the fridge overnight and enjoy.
Want some inspiration for combinations? Check out some of my favorites!
*Apple Pie Overnight Oats: ¾ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal, 1 sliced apple, 2 tbsp peanut butter, sprinkle apple pie spice
*PBJ Overnight Oats: Oats: ¾ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal,1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh), 2tbsp peanut butter
*Pina Colada Overnight Oats: Oats: ¾ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal, ½ cup crushed pineapple, 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut shavings
*Speckled Strawberries: Oats: ¾ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 3 tbsp chia seeds, sprinkle cinnamon