Simple Food: Overnight Oats
Healthy, delicious breakfast prepared in advance? Yes please!
High in fibre, low Gi and therefore full of slow burn energy, overnight oats are a great way to start your day.
It’s also a recipe where you can control the flavour and texture in lots of ways to suit you and your family’s tastes. Be adventurous and try some different ideas.
Oats: This is really the only ingredient that’s non-negotiable. Standard, plain, super-cheap rolled oats are perfect. I also make my own museli, which works perfectly in place of plain oats and also has plenty of add-ins already included for interest so you don’t have to consider as many toppings (great for the time-poor!)
Milk: Your liquid component can be water, but it’s much creamier with milk. Any variety of milk is fine, and you can also consider plant-based milks like almond, coconut or cashew.
Chia Seeds (optional): An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and also containing fibre, iron, and calcium, chia seeds help give the oats a pudding-like texture, making them great to include.
Greek yogurt (optional): Adds a tangy flavour and creamy texture as well as some extra protein. I make my own, or select a good brand with low/no sugar. You can also use a vegan yoghurt if you like.
Vanilla extract (optional): Gives it sweetness without any sweetener.
Sweetener (optional): A drizzle of honey or maple syrup can add a touch of sweetness for those who need it.
Toppings: This is where you can get creative. Consider adding fresh fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, nut butters, nuts, shredded coconut, seeds and spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom). Your limit is only your imagination and a quick search on the internet will reveal a multitude of ideas if you happen to get stuck. I've found it a fun way to test all sorts of oddments in the health food aisle or bulk food store... goji berries, açai powder, paleo nut and seed mixes, LSA, trail or protein fruit and nut mixes. All work great!
Add equal portions of oats/museli and your milk to a single-serve glass or ceramic container with a lid. I use soup mugs I found at a department store (pictured) or a glass pyrex-type bowl with a lid. I’ve also seen them often made up attractively in recycled glass jars. I use 1/4 cup for myself and 1/3 cup for my much bigger hubby, but you can adjust to the quantity that suits you.
Stir in about a 1/2 a tablespoon of chia seeds, a tiny drizzle of vanilla, a splash of your sweetener and a good dollop/dessertspoon or two of yoghurt. It’s not rocket science, use your tastebuds to adjust as required.
Once it’s all mixed up, stick in the fridge overnight. They will last 4-5 days or as long as your milk, so you can prep your working week ahead.
Add your toppings when you’re ready to serve.
*Hot tip* If the weather is cold and I don’t want a chilled breakfast, I leave out the yoghurt from the base recipe. When I’m ready to eat, I heat the servings in the microwave for a minute, then add the yoghurt and topping when ready to serve.