Enjoy your oats shaken, not stirred! Three easy steps: 1. Shake 2. Sleep 3. Go! These ready-to-eat overnight oat jars are great for packed lunches, if you’re in a rush in the morning or even for camping!
You may remember that back in May I met with a nutritionist, one of the breakfast meals she introduced me to was overnight oats. Overnight oats are a fun and delicious way to enjoy breakfast. Either add fruit, yogurt, nuts or other tasty ingredients with your favorite milk and oats in a mason jar. They’re the ultimate big-batch food – they can easily double, triple or quadruple in scale. They also get better the longer they sit. Mix together at night and let steep in the fridge until morning. When you wake up you’ll have a scrumptious breakfast waiting for you.
There is however, a bit of an art to making overnight oats, here are some mistakes to avoid so that you can make your own perfect overnight oats:
Mistake #1: Not Adding Enough Liquid
Overnight oats taste great if they’re seasoned, sweetened and mixed well. They can be delicious, creamy spoonable porridges, but if the oats to liquid ratio is off the grains can absorb all of the liquid and be like cement in a jar. Cement is not yummy at 7am. Be sure to double the liquid per serving of oats, ie: 1 cup of liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc) to 1/2 cup of oats.
Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Kind of Oats
I love the hearty texture of steel-cut oats, but they’re too firm to use for overnight oats. Steel-cut is better simmered slowly. On the other hand, instant oats will disintegrate completely in the liquid. Old-fashioned regular or thick rolled oats are best for overnight oats. My favourite is Trader Joes Gluten Free and Wheat Free Rolled Oats.
Mistake #3: Adding Mix-Ins Too Soon
If you would like a little crunch to your oats don’t add nuts or seeds until just before eating. Most fresh fruit should be added just prior to digging in, too. Banana can go either way; if you add it before refrigerating, make sure it’s ripe, and mash it to help it better incorporate into the porridge. One exception: Chia seeds. These super seeds need time to absorb liquid. Chia seeds also help to thicken the overnight oats, so increase the amount of liquid accordingly.
Mistake #4: Under-Sweetening
Cold food needs more seasoning than hot, so no matter what you put in your overnight oats, be sure to add a little more than you would to hot oatmeal. A pinch of salt imperative, without salt, oats just taste like glue. You can use brown or raw sugar, maple syrup or honey to sweeten your oats.
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, follow this recipes or find inspiration to make your own creation—the choice is up to you!
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used Trader Joes)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter (I used PB2)
- 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I used Boomer Nutrition Vanilla Protein Powder)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 medium banana
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (soy or almond)
- In a bowl, soften a banana with a fork.
- In the same order as listed above, combine ingredients in a small 250ml mason jar or container. (See here for the ones I use)
- Shake rigorously until combined. Make sure ingredients are well mixed together after shaking.
- Refrigerate overnight, pack and go. Your oats are ready 🙂
- Note: You can also combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix, it’s just not as fun.
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