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How do you simplify breakfast in just two words?
I am trying to get better about preparing meals ahead of time. As a full-time employee with a 2+ hour commute into the city, meal prep is becoming a priority of mine. I need to capture as many free minutes during the work week as I can. I am just beginning to figure out this whole meal prep thing, and so far, I have breakfast set two to three days of the week with these overnight oats. This quick and easy recipe is my favorite make-ahead breakfast enjoyed from a jar!
I didn’t grow up eating oatmeal, because I’ve never been much a breakfast eater. In fact, I had my first bowl of oatmeal as an adult. For the longest time, I ate the instant oatmeal that comes in a package. All you do is dump the seasoned oatmeal into a bowl with milk or water, heat and serve. It was really easy to pack inside my lunch bag. What I did not like was the list of ingredients that were hard to pronounce on the package. As you know, I try to make food as clean as possible, without artificial preservatives and ingredients. It’s important to me, so I set out to find a more natural way of making quick oats for my morning breakfast. That is when I discovered overnight oats. Oatmeal in which I can control the ingredients and adjust based on my taste.
With just a few minutes of meal prep, overnight oats are a quick, healthy and delicious way to enjoy breakfast on the go all week long. They may be called overnight oats, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them the next day. In fact, overnight oats keep well sealed inside a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to five days, which means you can prepare breakfast on Sunday night to have all week. David and I enjoy a couple of jars a piece during the week.
So what exactly are overnight oats?
Overnight oats consist of just two basic ingredients: old-fashioned rolled oats and a liquid combined together in a 1:1 ratio. The oatmeal soaks in the liquid for at least 8 hours, which makes a basic porridge. The liquid can be any type you like to use, such as water, whole, fat-free milk, or for a rich indulgence by using half and half. But don’t worry, if you are lactose intolerant, even non-dairy milk such as almond milk or soy milk can be used. Just to be sure, I’ve pretty much tried them all and whatever you like is what you should use, there is not enough difference in the texture to tell the difference from one to the
Once you have the basic porridge, you can sweeten and flavor the oatmeal however you like. I prefer to use a natural sweetener, such as honey. Other natural sweeteners that could be used
For flavor, I like to add in cinnamon because it is comforting and warm, with just a bit of vanilla to give it a richer flavor and then I throw in a few fresh blueberries because they are still in season. Other flavors such as citrus zest, fresh fruits, and berries, dried fruits and berries, nut butter, shredded coconut, nuts and seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin). Even granola could be used if you so desire. However, I do not recommend adding anything you would like to remain crunchy until just before eating the overnight oats. Certain ingredients, such as granola would lose their composure. Just a little something to keep in mind, when adding your own toppings.
8-ounce jelly jars, are perfect to make the overnight oats in. You can add all the ingredients, close the lid, give them a nice shake to mix and put them in the refrigerator until needed.
There is one kitchen tool that can help you greatly and I find it worth mentioning. I cannot live without my big mouth canning funnel (Picture 2: lime green thing sticking out of the jar) and it comes in handy when making the oats. Originally I purchased the funnel the first time I canned sweet pickles a couple of years ago and I have not stopped using it since. I use this funnel all the time and really don’t know how I ever filled containers without it. It takes a lot of the mess out of filling the overnight oat jars. I highly recommend one to help fill the oatmeal jars. You can purchase for less than $10.00 from Amazon.com. A great tool to have around!
The overnight oats can be enjoyed cold or warm. I prefer mine warm eaten right out of the jar and waking up to them on Saturday morning while enjoying the view, but unfortunately
What I love most about these overnight oats is that this recipe is hard to mess up. With equal parts old-fashioned oats and a liquid, you can add just about anything to it that your heart desires.
I hope the overnight oats simplify your mornings as much as it has mine. What flavors will you come up with? Comment below!
- Add all the ingredients into an 8-0unce jelly jar or container with a lid. Place the lid on the jar or container, give it a good shake and refrigerate overnight, or up to 5 days.
- Serve cold or remove the lid from the jar microwave on high for 30-seconds. Replace the lid; shake; remove the lid and microwave for 30-seconds more. Remove the jar from the microwave, replace the lid and shake a few more times. Eat directly from the jar or pour into a bowl, if desired.
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