Overnight Oats, is it a trend?
There is a store in my neighborhood that is located right before the subway entrance that is closest to my home. The store is called "Gather," and most of their food, which includes Overnight Oats as a breakfast choice, is very healthy. This is unusual in our age of fast food. Fast food, I believe, is most often the opposite of healthy.
If one is rushing to go to work in the morning, or to an appointment in the city, Gather is a good place to stop and grab food to go when you have not prepared and eaten breakfast at home. As mentioned, one of Gathering's offerings for breakfast is a cup of Overnight Oats. These days, eating on the subway is against the rules. But if you need to break the rules, this is an easy, non-messy item to scarf down. Easy to do while the attention of the other riders is on their ever present smart phones.
My local coffee shop which features a menu of healthy foods, inspired me to make my own version of Overnight Oats.
I did the math and decided that the approximately $6.00+ for this convenient breakfast is really not worth the money. Another argument for making your own overnight oats and not buying a quick fix is that the plastic cup in which it is served for take-out is not environmentally friendly.
So, since it is the beginning of a new year, hello January 2019, I found that it was a good time to resolve to make my own batch of Overnight Oats for breakfast. After all, a half gallon of Good Karma unsweetened flax milk only cost me $3.39.
Plan ahead and make some Overnight Oats for tomorrow's breakfast.
Making Overnight Oats for an easy peasy breakfast was exactly what I did last night. However, I almost forgot to make it. Even though earlier that evening, I walked all the way to the Park Slope Food Coop and purchased the above-mentioned carton of Flax Milk to use for this recipe. A 30 minute walk each way. The good news is that I made my 10,000 steps for the day.
The rituals of evenings' preparations for the next day made me think of the book "Assymetry," by Lisa Halliday. One of the main characters in the first part of the novel who is loosely based upon Philip Roth, is described as someone who has 100 things to do immediately before bedtime. I can't think of that many before bed tasks that I have to do, though I envied the glass of chocolate almond milk this fictional character would ritualistically drink before sleep.
My own habits just include things like loading and running the dishwasher; putting the compost garbage into the outside trash can; washing out the small compost bucket in the kitchen; flossing and brushing my teeth; sometimes using natural tear eyedrops; changing into bed clothes; throwing laundry into the hamper; cozying up with a book and reading a bit before covering up lights from the dvr, humidifier, and router which live next to the smallish flat tv screen in my bedroom (I wanted the screen to make less of a presence). Hardly 100 things, but I do understand how the older we get, the longer it takes to do what we want or need to get done.
Arianna Huffington is a big believer in getting enough sleep. She insists that she get to sleep by midnight and calls it "getting to bed before the train leaves the station." While I aspire to this, I am definitely a night owl, not a lark, and often stay up later than midnight.
Last night after tidying up the kitchen and going upstairs to get ready for bed, I was just going to make that last train out of the station. That is, until I remembered that I wanted to prepare Overnight Oats for next day's breakfast. So downstairs I went and took the extra time to make this recipe. Luckily, prep only takes about five minutes.
In the morning, I was most pleased with my efforts. The recipe I used says that maple syrup, honey or brown sugar are optional, if upon tasting, you prefer more sweetness. But I chopped up a couple of medjool dates for the dried fruit portion of the recipe. After the dates marinated all night in the oats and milk, my Overnight Oats were perfectly sweet.
I hope you will try this recipe, and Enjoy!
The milk in this recipe will soften the oats overnight, so the oats become tender and creamy in time for breakfast the next morning. The dried fruit that soaks in this mixture will add sweetness to your meal. In the morning dress up your overnight oats with seeds and nuts to add some crunch to the creamy oats. Use your imagination as to what to add, because anything goes here, so follow your bliss.
- ½ cup rolled oats. Some people do use steel cut oats which gives crunchiness, rather than a creamy mouth feel.
- ¼ cup dried fruit, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp chia, flax, poppy or sesame seeds
- 1 cup milk or unsweetened dairy alternative, such as almond, oat, or flax milk. Or use part yogurt and part milk or dairy alternative. Another alternative is to use all yogurt (but not a Greek yogurt as it needs moisture for the oats).
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (optional-I did not use salt)
- maple syrup, honey or brown sugar (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped or sliced nuts, toasted if desired. You can use your imagination, and add your own favorites like raisins or toasted coconut flakes. Or add some chopped up fresh fruit, or whole berries.
Mix oats, dried fruit, seeds, milk and salt in a pint jar or 2-cup airtight resealable container. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or up to 5 days.
Uncover, stir well, and taste. If you prefer more sweetness, stir in some sweetener. Top with the nuts just before eating.
Tip: The soaked oat mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If a cold oat cereal does not appeal, try popping it in the microwave with the lid off for just a minute or two, to warm it up a bit.