Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and unfortunately, usually the most skipped meal.
Busy schedules, early mornings (late nights), or just no idea of what to have for breakfast are common excuses I often hear.
I don't know about you, but breakfast is my favorite meal and I never miss it. In fact, I look forward to it!
What if I told you that there is a new trendy breakfast food that can leave you feeling fuller longer, shed inches off of your waistline, cause your body to absorb more nutrients, protect your heart and get you to make better dietary decisions for the rest of your day? Would you make it a point to eat breakfast then?
This amazing "NEW" trendy breakfast food is...... (drumroll please)..... Overnight oats!
Have you heard of them? If not, it's a fast, easy (& delicious) way to have a full nutritious breakfast without a lot of prep.
Not only can they be prepped in under a minute before bed, but they're affordable and allow for plenty of combinations for every palate and dietary lifestyle. What could be better than that?
Since hearing about this, I wanted to try them for myself and see if it was all that it was cracked up to be. Well, IT IS!
I tried it on a morning where I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to prep a big breakfast and boy, was it a lifesaver!
Since experimenting with different recipes and techniques, I found out some tips along the way that I wanted to share with you in case you want to jump on the bandwagon and try it out for yourself.
Read on for my tips and tricks (& recipes) for the BEST overnight oats you've ever had!
TIPS FOR THE BEST OVERNIGHT OATS (& RECIPES)
1. ADD ENOUGH LIQUID
While oatmeal consistency is mostly a personal preference, not adding enough liquid to your overnight oats can result in a thick, pasty substance. Keep in mind that overnight oats absorb the liquid around them. If you want a more spoonable breakfast, be sure to double the liquid per each serving of oats in a 2:1 ratio.
2. DON'T ADD TOO MUCH LIQUID
We know some people call overnight oats "soaked oats," but there's always two sides to every coin. Adding too much liquid can quickly turn your hearty breakfast into, well, soup. Bottom line: You'll likely find the perfect balance after a couple tries; don't give up!
3. USE ALMOND MILK
While you may be partial to water in your regular oatmeal, it's not as delicious as milk in overnight oat recipes (although some opt for lemon water). At their best, they're rich, velvety jars filled with a complexity of flavor. Water is not only lacking in the latter, but also texture. Almond milk does a much better job of creating a creamy, porridge-y meal.
4. CHOOSE BETWEEN ROLLED OR STEEL CUT OATS
Rolled or steel cut? Here's how to choose: If you prefer not to taste your oats, go with rolled. They will soak up the liquid for a smoother, silkier texture. Steel-cut oats, on the other hand, have a more chewy, hearty texture and require longer to soak. While rolled and steel cut oats contain nearly identical nutritional profiles, steel cut oats contain resistant starch that breaks down slower, keeping you fuller longer.
5. SHRINK THE PORTION SIZE
Here's why portion control is so key when it comes to weight loss: weight equals calories consumed minus calories expended. If your goal is to shrink your waist, the only way to do so is to create a calorie deficit. Even if every single bite you take is raw, unprocessed, and nourishing, unused energy turns into two things: bile and flab. To be safe, aim for a one cup serving.
6. WAIT TO ADD TOPPINGS...
If you're hoping to save time by adding your overnight oats toppings before refrigeration, you might be slightly disappointed. As you know, in order for the raw oats to soften and become pleasantly edible, they need to be able to absorb the liquid they're combined with. Toppings can not only prevent this process but throw off the liquid to oat ratio. Plus, who wants soggy nuts or fruit?
It can be overwhelming when some overnight oats recipes tell us to top our oats with everything under the sun. But once you add nut butter, protein powder, chia seeds, bananas and maple syrup to your already nutritionally dense oats, you could be ingesting one-third to one-half of a day's worth of calories in one sitting. YIKES!
As a general rule, stick with one protein, one to two fruits, a natural sweetener and a seasoning (e.g. nonfat greek yogurt, honey, blueberries, cinnamon, etc).
12. USE FRESH FRUIT
Not to burst anyone's bubble, but dried fruit is basically candy. Yes, it can be healthy in moderation, but more often than not, they're sugar traps. Opt for fresh fruit instead. Its natural sugar concentration is lower and it isn't coated in even more sugar by manufacturers.
13. STIR IN NUT BUTTERS
Adding a tablespoon of nut butter to your oats can increase satiety, boost heart health, fight inflammation, promote metabolism and much more. Almond butter, for instance, contains the muscle-building amino acid L-arginine, which according to Mayo Clinic researchers, is a flat belly miracle worker. And a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming 1 ounce of peanut butter at least five days a week can lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30 percent!
14. CONSUME WITHIN 24 HOURS
It may be tempting to prep breakfast for the whole week in one night, but overnight oats are best consumed within 24 hours of assembling them. At this point, they're soggy, but not too soggy. You might be able to make two days worth if you go easy on the milk or yogurt that the oats are soaking up.
15. PAIR WITH A CUP OF OOLONG TEA
To take your already nutrient-dense breakfast up a notch, be sure to also have a cup of Oolong tea with your morning meal. Not only will this help aid in digestion, but it will also help regulate your insulin spikes throughout the day so you can make healthier meal choices. Three to five minutes is all you need to brew up a delicious cup to take with you on-the-go or sit and enjoy with your overnight oats. The added bonus of the caffeine will also help to perk you up and give you a much needed energy boost without a crash later on.
With these tips, I hope you can have many successful mornings where you are not only on-time as you rush out the door, but also have a full belly to give you the energy you need throughout the day.
This breakfast is also so great for kids to eat in the car on the way to school, or they can even take them for a super easy and filling lunch!
Be sure to check out a few of my favorite recipes for overnight oats below:
This recipe is a great base for any toppings you'd like to choose! It's great with apples, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, blackberries, almonds, walnuts, or a dollop of nut butter. The options are endless so pick what you like and throw it in right before enjoying!
This Greek yogurt Strawberry Chia recipe is sweetened with maple syrup, vanilla extract, and fresh, ripe strawberries. The result? Strawberries and creme made for the morning.
Peanut butter and banana make for perfectly simple overnight oats. Try this Peanut Butter Banana recipe, topped with crushed peanuts, sliced bananas, and a peanut butter drizzle for an indulgent breakfast you'll want every day.
A healthy, pie-flavored breakfast option? We're not complaining. Greek yogurt adds a bump of protein and applesauce adds a touch of sweetness to these Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats. YUM!
Every now and then though, you may like to indulge in a fruity (slightly sugary) breakfast and this Banana Bread Overnight Oats recipe is great for that. You’ve got protein with the chia seeds and Greek yogurt. Plus the oats are hearty and filling! A great combo!
Enjoy these recipes and the easy, convenience of breakfast in a jar when you're in a hurry in the morning. Let me know which recipe you and your family like best!
Also, I want to try many more recipes, so if you have any favorites to share, please do so in the comments below!!
Yours in Health & Happiness,
P.S. Be sure to make your breakfast well-rounded by drinking a cup of our Wu-Long tea each day. It will help to regulate insulin spikes, curb cravings throughout the day and give you a little boost of energy to jumpstart your day.
Get your 100% Pure, Premium Oolong Tea from Okuma Nutritionals to ensure you aren't brewing pesticides into your cup!