I don’t like to think about breakfast.
I’m always rushing in the morning between writing, working out, and trying to convince myself I can get ready in under a half hour. I don’t have time to worry about what’s for breakfast.
So, I worry the night before.
Turns out the secret to a perfect morning is preparing everything at night. Have you heard that one before?
Overnight oats are the best thing to happen to my weekday mornings since sliced bread (I save the bread for the weekends). They’re ready when I wake up, I can pack them in my purse, and I switch up the flavor every week so I don’t get bored.
They’re creamy, chewy, sweet and satiating. I’ve eaten them nearly every morning for the better part of year.
And I want you to eat them, too, so I’m not the only one with the tupperware of mushy stuff at her desk in the morning.
Can we declare overnight oats the next Great American Breakfast? I think we’d all be better for it.
Here’s how to make them: stir together ⅓ cup Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats with 1 tablespoon chocolate protein powder, ½ tablespoon cocoa powder and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (you don’t need much!). Add 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt. The yogurt makes the oats extra creamy, but you can leave it out if you’re vegan or dairy isn’t your thing.
Use any protein powder you like. I use organic Tone It Up protein in chocolate. Does it have to be organic? I have no idea.
Disclaimer: protein powder is not good.
I eat it because it keeps me fuller for longer, and it lends extra flavor (chocolate! vanilla! cinnamon!) to the oats. To make this without protein powder, add more oats or yogurt so that it still fills you up.
Of course, I am not one to sacrifice flavor for diet reasons, so all of the other ingredients in this recipe are designed to combat the powdery, artificial taste of most protein powders. The bitter cocoa powder and vanilla extract add depth of flavor, while the sea salt and tangy yogurt balance the sweetness.
A few overnight oats variations
I top it with fresh strawberries, sliced bananas or even cubes of mango. Chocolate mango is an excellent, surprising combination.
A tablespoon of peanut or almond butter is an absolute must, either stirred in at the end or added right to the mix. If you prefer a little crunch, use whole nuts instead.
Switch it up according to your tastes- try vanilla oats with fresh blueberries or plain oats with tons of cinnamon.
Spend your mental and creative energy at night dreaming up the perfect breakfast, then wake up the next morning and don’t worry about a thing.