Overnight Oats have a special place in my heart. I have always enjoyed cold cereals, but have found that if I buy them, I will eat the entire box in only a few days– and I never feel full for very long…whoops! Overnight Oats fulfil my need for a cold, delicious breakfast that is so nutritious.

It is also super easy to make, which is always a plus in my book!

Good for the heart

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According to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing, oats are known to be a healthy food for the heart due mainly to their high beta-glucan (soluble fiber) content. In addition, they contain more than 20 unique polyphenols, avenanthramides, which have shown strong antioxidant activity.

The polyphenols of oats have also recently been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-itching activity, which may provide additional protection against coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and skin irritation.

It doesn’t take a lot

Only half cup of old fashioned oatmeal provides 150 calories of energy & 4 grams of fiber! It’s a slow digesting, blood-sugar friendly carbohydrate too–which makes it even better. By adding Greek style yoghurt to your oatmeal, you also get a big punch of protein. All these nutrients combined are a recipe for satisfying your hunger and keeping it at bay until your next meal.

So many variations!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to making this ready to eat breakfast. I usually make 3-4 servings at a time. I line up moderately sized Tupperware or Mason Jars and begin the process. Start by adding ½ cup of old fashioned oats and a pinch of salt. Then add 4-6 ounces of Greek Yogurt of choice.

Some people prefer the tangy taste of plain yogurt, while others prefer a tamer flavored yogurt (vanilla mixes well with other add-ins, but you may also choose to use other flavors). Next add ½ cup of milk of choice. I tend to lean towards unsweetened almond milk, but any milk will do.

At this point, you have several options. The first is to stop here – put the lid on, shake, and sit in the fridge until morning. Otherwise, depending on the flavor of yogurt you used, you may also want to add some sweetener (1 packet of stevia or 1 tbsp. of other sweetener).

In addition, you can add ½ cup of fruit of choice, 1 tbsp. of chia seeds or ground flax seed, 1 tbsp. of nuts, or even a few dashes of cinnamon. Did I mention that the possibilities are endless?!

A time-saver

Since you are making several servings in advance, you will also have some extra time in the mornings to sleep longer, take a few minutes of meditation or whatever else you please!

If you wake up and decide you would prefer a hot bowl of oatmeal, you can always heat up your Overnight Oats for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. I’ve listed a few of my favorite go-to recipes, but feel free to create your own & share in the comments!

overnight oatmeal recipe_2

Recipe ideas…

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oats”: Use a strawberry flavored Greek yogurt, ½ cup of fresh sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp. of mini chocolate chips.

Calories per Serving: 420

Fat (g): 9

Carbs (g): 69

Protein (g): 19

Banana Nut Oats”: Use a vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. crushed walnuts or pecans, and ½ cup of fresh banana slices.

Calories per Serving: 407

Fat (g): 10

Carbs (g): 63

Protein (g): 21

Raspberries N Cream Oats”: Use a raspberry flavored Greek yogurt and add ½ cup of fresh raspberries.

Calories per Serving: 326

Fat (g): 6

Carbs (g): 54

Protein (g): 19

Apples ‘n’ Cinnamon Oats”: Use a vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, add 1/4 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice. Use ½ cup of diced apple, and add 1 tbsp. of walnuts if desired.

Calories per Serving Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)

367 9 55 20

For the above nutrition calculations, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and the 5.3 ounce nonfat Chobani Greek yogurt in the recipes.

Connect with Expert Brook Bentley

References:

Nutr Rev. 2009 Dec;67(12):731-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00256.x

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-oatmeal-morning-4112.html

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/5-reasons-why-oatmeal-breakfast-super-food.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54

 

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