Thursday, September 29, 2011

Overnight Oats: Healthy and Quick

Chocolate for breakfast?

Yes, please.

Did I mention it's healthy and super quick to make? Bonus points.

Good morning my beautiful Chocolate Overnight Oats breakfast!


I'm a big fan of oatmeal in the morning for all the above reasons. It's quick, healthy, delicious, and you can add new things to it all the time (ie. bananas, peanut butter, strawberries, blue berries).

I randomly stumbled upon a post by Oh She Glows that described the nutritional difference between four types of oatmeal - Instant Oats, Quick-cooking Oats, Rolled Oats, and Steel-cut Oats.

Here's a review from her blog:

Instant Oats have been cooked, dried and rolled and are the most processed way to eat oats. Instant oats are very thin and need only hot liquid to soften. They are ready in about 60 seconds. While they are the most convenient (although some might argue that overnight oats are the most convenient!), they often have a lot of added salt, sugar, and other strange ingredients.

Quick-cooking oats are simply rolled oats that have been cut into smaller pieces. They cook in about 3-4 minutes.

Rolled oats are also known as Old-Fashioned Oats. They have been steamed, pressed with a roller, and dried. Cooking time is between 5-10 minutes. These are the oats that I use in my oatmeal recipes and in some baking recipes.

Steel-cut oats are also known as pinhead oats (pinhead…ha), coarse-cut oats, Irish oats, or Scotch oats. They are oat groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) that have been cut into 2-3 pieces rather than being steamed and rolled. Steel-cut oats are coarse in texture and remain chewy even after cooking and re-heating. They generally take about 20-25 minutes to cook, although there is a quick-cook overnight method too.

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So what kind of oatmeal have I been eating for the past year or so? Instant oats.


I loved that darn variety pack (especially the banana bread flavor)! But just like my love for Brixx pizza was ruined by finding out that pizzas are over 1200 calories, my love for this oatmeal is out the window too.

However, I don't have time to make oatmeal in the morning, especially after a morning workout. I need something quick and satisfying.

Here's where overnight oats come into play.

All you have to do is scoop some Old Fashioned Oats and milk into a bowl the night before, cover it up with some plastic wrap, and in the morning you're breakfast is ready!

This morning, I tried Julie's Chocolaty Overnight Oats recipe.



Chocolaty Overnight Oats recipe


Ingredients

1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 c. almond milk (regular milk will also work)
1 heaping spoonful dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 packet or 1 tsp. sweetener (such as Stevia, Splenda or sugar), optional
½ banana, sliced

Directions


Combine oatmeal, sweetener, and milk in a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir up oatmeal mixture. Top with frozen banana slices, stir, and enjoy! Note: You may stir in more milk in the morning until your desired consistency is achieved.

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I didn't have any chia seeds, so no need to include them if you don't already have them :) Also, I went a little too heavy on the "heaping spoonful" of cocoa powder. I love chocolate, but I think this morning fixed any chocolate cravings I'll have for a month. I think next time I'll go lighter on the cocoa and add some peanut butter.

Here are a few more yummy looking oatmeal recipes I can't wait to make!

Chocolate Peanut Butter by Kath Eats Real Food


Cinnamon Peanut Butter Swirl Steel-Cut Oatmeal by Oh She Glows


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Glazed Steel-Cut Oatmeal by Oh She Glows

Apple Pie Overnight Oats by Clean Eating Chelsey


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Want to read more about oatmeal? Check out these interesting oatmeal articles:

10 Fun Ways to Cook with Oatmeal
How to Make Overnight Oats and Oatmeal Ideas
Make Ahead Steel-cut Oatmeal Recipes

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Question

Do you like oatmeal for breakfast?! Do you try new recipes with it??

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