Saturday, February 15, 2014

Overnight Oats

I know I'm a little late to the game, but overnight oats have been on my radar for awhile. I've been looking for a healthy breakfast option that will keep me full until lunch time; something that's easy and quick to make yet still offers a lot of nutrition. I was previously eating toast and almond butter for breakfast and later switched to instant oatmeal packets. Toast was okay but I often found myself snacking before lunch time. Instant oatmeal kept me full, but lately I haven't been able to get the consistency correct and it was driving me nuts. So the search for a new breakfast option began.

I've seen a lot of pictures of overnight oats on Instagram and Pinterest, so I decided to try them. Overnight oats are really simple to make, just add all of your ingredients in any type of container, stir, and refrigerate overnight. Mason jars are good to use because you can simply shake everything up, minimizing any potential messes. I made up several recipes after some research to experiment with different flavors and textures. I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit of a picky eater so there are a lot of flavor combinations I don't like. A lot of people like to add chia seeds to their oats as they offer nutritional benefits and create a thicker texture, but I don't like the gummy consistency of chia seeds so I left them out.

Here's a list of the different recipes I tried and a few notes about my likes and dislikes about them.

Trial 1:
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup soy milk
16 chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- No flavor
- Not thick enough
- Chocolate chips tasted good, but were hard to eat because they were cold

Trial 2:
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup soy milk + 2 tablespoons in the morning
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Way too much vanilla, it tasted really alcohol-y
- The cinnamon helped mask the vanilla

Trial 3:
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1/2 tablespoon almond butter
-Good flavor without being overpowering

I've been eating overnight oats for a week or so now, and have been sticking to the recipe from my third trial. I found a flavor and consistency that I enjoy and I've been looking forward to breakfast, so for now this is working for me. I'll probably experiment with different flavor combinations soon to keep my mornings more interesting :)