HEALTHY IN A HURRY: Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are probably a foreign concept to many of you. After all, most of my friends can’t even stand cooked oatmeal, (a mushy brown bowl of bleagh to many, but I say otherwise), who would even dare to consider the prospect of eating oatmeal…*gasp* cold, straight from the fridge?

Well, whaddya know? I gave it a try 2 years ago, and fell in love with it. I’m only sharing it with you all now, since it never once crossed my mind that other people might like to partake in this healthy discovery!

It is by no means a replacement for a lovely bowl of hot oatmeal, these two are world’s apart, but this is delightful for breakfast on a hot stuffy morning. In fact, in tastes best after a workout!
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The possibilities are endless with Overnight Oats. After many rounds of experimenting with various recipes, I’ve finally found a basic recipe that guarantees me the right texture and taste. The picture above is what it looks like at night, before the oats soak up the liquid.

The photo below is what it looks like the next day!

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I like to add a little splash of ice cold milk on top to wet the oatmeal more, before I give it a good stir. The texture should be like the photo below, thick and creamy, like chinese porridge or congee.

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Sometimes, when I have a nearly empty jar of peanut butter, I make my overnight oats in that peanut butter jar instead. It is the bomb. There is nothing better than reaching into the bottom of the peanut butter jar to dig out the last few spoonfuls of rich peanut butter. It takes breakfast to a whole new level.

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Overnight oats are, unfortunately, extremely un-photogenic. It’s hard to make a jar of oat mush look good, but I assure you, contrary to its looks, it tastes divine!

photo (83)I even made a batch in a Bear jar today! Yum yum in my tum tum.
It’s actually quite ugly in this jar, makes the poor bear look like it has a disease.

I shall not hold you back any longer, without further ado, the recipe:

Basic Overnight Oats
1/3 cup baby oats
2/3 cup milk of choice
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp peanut butter (the more the merrier)
1 mashed ripe banana (at least half a cup worth, it’s fine to have more)

Directions
1. Simply combine the above ingredients, with PB at the bottom, followed by the mashed banana, baby oats, chia seeds and milk. Give the mixture a good stir and leave it in the fridge!

That’s all there is really. You can spread the PB around the base of the jar/container so you won’t eat an entire glob, but otherwise, you can’t really go wrong with overnight oats.

You don’t even have to follow the order I gave, that’s just my personal preference, which I feel gives the best mix.

Now, here comes the fun part…making it your own. (The basic recipe is just a plain canvas for you to decorate, go on…unleash the artist in you!)

Mix it up!

Here are some of my ideas for add ons or exchanges:
1) Use chocolate milk instead of plain milk, and you’ll get a decadent chocolatey dessert for breakfast
2) Add on more fruits of your choice to the basic recipe (berries, apples, mangoes, anything!)
3) Use nutella instead of PB to up the decadence.
4) Top your overnight oats with your favorite cereal/granola in the morning
5) Add a tablespoonful or two of milo powder/black sesame powder/matcha powder/coffee powder to flavor your oats just the way you like it.
6) Add dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg for a more festive feel.
7) Add honey to make it sweeter, if you find the sweetness of the banana not enough for you
8) Throw in some nuts and dried fruits for some crunch and chewiness. Texture explosion!
9) Top your overnight oats with another spoonful of nut butter (yes, generosity never killed anyone) for an even nuttier delight
10) To make it more like a dessert, top it with M&Ms, cookies, chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate bar for a treat.

These are just a few of my suggestions, but feel free to go crazy and add anything you want. You aren’t limited to one choice… you can mix and match. For example, if you have some serious chocolate cravings, go ahead and add some hazelnuts, nutella and chocolate milk into the mix, and voila! A nice bowl of chocolate dessert for breakfast. Go wild, have fun!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! There’s nothing more convenient than grabbing a jar of deliciousness on your way to school. It’s the perfect start to the day.

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