Last week’s recipe featuring steel-cut oats is a winner, but requires time and a relaxing pace. This is not always an option on a typical work day morning when everyone is moving in different directions trying to get out the door and get to work or school on time. While you could (and I encourage you to) make a big batch of Ultimate Porridge over the weekend and reheat it throughout the week, I have latched onto another oatmeal recipe that will whip up in less than two minutes and promises everyone a nutritious breakfast to start their day.
Overnight oats to the rescue!
Having seen this idea surface many times over the last two years, I never imagined cold oatmeal would be good. But, the fact that it kept showing up everywhere–on blogs, in magazines, on Instagram–meant I could no longer ignore it. The comfort of knowing I had a double batch of homemade almond milk primed and ready made it easy to say yes to testing this recipe. And these helpful tips from Bon Appetit also convinced me this idea was too easy and too good not to try.
This “refrigerator porridge” requires little to no effort and no pots or pans or heat. Just a blender, a mason jar and a mixologist’s arm for a bit of shaking. An overnight stay in the refrigerator promises surprises, sparks of joy and smiles the next morning.
I quickly made my first batch of overnight oats one night last week and didn’t say anything to David because I was skeptical. I either wanted to reveal a winner of a new breakfast treat or keep this failure a secret. Sometimes the theory of “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” works, especially when I try these unusual recipes that have the possibility of being a big flop.
Once I tested it the next morning, I beckoned him to the kitchen and gave him a bite. “Yum,” he said, “It’s good, but I bet it would be even better warmed up.” And we have a winner, folks. While he prefers it warmed up in the microwave for about :30 seconds to a minute, I like it right from the fridge.
For those who travel to work, put the oats in a small mason jar and it can accompany you on the journey. And for those of you who don’t eat breakfast because you “don’t have time,” these overnight oats quash that excuse, too. Or maybe you prefer this as a mid-day or mid-afternoon when you need to lift your spirits and energy with a quick snack that will sustain you until the next meal.
The inherently versatile canvas of oatmeal means you can add different toppings every day to change it up and keep it exciting. A dash of cinnamon or a few shavings of nutmeg, a teaspoon of matcha or maca powder or a dollop of fresh fruit spread or jam. Top with fresh fruit or dried fruit, seeds and toasted nuts for even more staying power, texture, flavor and nutrition.
This easy overnight oats approach to a weekday breakfast will make you appreciate the lazy weekends that much more.
- 1 1/2 cups almond coconut, hemp or nut/seed milk of choice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or other spice or combination of spices such as maca, matcha, cacao or cocoa powder, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, etc.
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Toppings: toasted or raw seeds and nuts dried fruit, fresh fruit, unsweetened shredded coconut
In a blender, add the nut milk, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract and spices and blend for about :30 seconds, until everything is in incorporated.
In a quart size mason jar, add the oats and chia seeds. Pour the milk mixture in the jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake.
Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, stir the oats and serve them to your hungry tribe. Top with dried or fresh fruit, toasted or raw seeds and/or nuts and whatever else makes you happy. Refrigerate any leftovers and repeat often.