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Overnight Oats

 

Did you make a New Year's resolution to eat healthier?  Prep food ahead of time?  Make and eat breakfast each day?  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - hand's down.  You need fuel to catapult you through your day (and this isn’t just a cup of coffee) and this easy breakfast will do just that. Oatmeal is a carbohydrate and protein-rich source that provides calories and energy.  It has a low glycemic index which aids in burning fat while exercising too - bonus!  It also has a high soluble fiber, which is heart healthy, and oatmeal contains both calcium and potassium which can aid in reducing blood pressure.  I also add some superfood chia seeds and ground flax meal for more protein and fiber.  Food is medicine. 

Taking a few minutes on Sunday to prep the base of the oatmeal will set you up for success.  From there - it will take you less than a minute each evening to customize your overnight oats.  They are totally portable and are ready when you are in the morning.  Kids also love making these little breakfast cups and when involved - they are most likely willing to eat their creations.  You never know - their flavor combinations may just win over picky palates and get their day started off on the right foot too.  I'll share some of my favorite varieties but you are only limited by your own imagination. 

This isn't going to be a typical recipe.  I'll share the base for 5 servings and provide suggestions for mix-ins and toppings.  

Ingredients for the base:

2.5 cups of gluten free rolled oats (I like Bob's Redmill)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds (white or black are fine)
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 scant teaspoon ground nutmeg

Whisk all the ingredients (base) and place in an airtight container or ziploc baggie.  Always shake or stir before you use to incorporate the ingredients.

Directions:

Each night, spoon out 1/2 cup of your oatmeal base and mix with 1/2 cup of your choice of milk (I prefer unsweetened cashew or almond milk) use whichever you prefer.  Children also like to use chocolate cashew milk too.  Give that a good stir.  That is your base overnight oats.

Before you refrigerate - here are some mix-ins that you can add into your cereal the night before:

1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon of maple syrup 
Sliced bananas
1 teaspoon of nut butter  Splash of vanilla extract  1 tablespoon of dried fruit like raisins, golden berries etc. 

Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, add a splash of additional milk if needed to loosen the oats up.  Give that a good stir and then consider the following toppings:

Nuts (walnut pieces, pistachios, peanuts, almonds, cashews)
Seeds 
Sliced bananas, mangoes, pineapple slices, strawberries, blueberries, golden berries, apples, Medjool dates, pears... 
MORE nut butter
If you need it sweeter - a splash of maple syrup or agave
Mini chocolate chips
Cacao nibs Toasted Coconut flakes

More flax seed meal

Bran

Limitless!  My kids love making a chocolate/peanut butter combination.  Using cacao powder in the oat mixture the night before then adding peanut butter in the morning with mini chocolate chips.

Adding some raw cacao powder and some maple syrup for sweetness helps to curb a sweet craving.  In the morning I love adding nut butter and bananas on top.

I hope you enjoy these breakfast ideas.  If you prefer warm oats - you can microwave for 25 seconds to take the chill out too.  Happy 2016!




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