If you have a hectic morning schedule like me, that leaves you with little time for a healthy breakfast, and leaves you with the option of only a bowl of cold cereal before you have to run out the door, then put down your spoon and read this….
You probably already know that ready to eat, cold cereal, is not the best breakfast option for you. Not only are most of the cereal options low in nutrients and high in sugar but they are also unlikely to keep you full until lunch, or until after your workout. Porridge (oatmeal) is a much better way to start your day, and to ward off unwanted hunger pangs or weight gain. It has been found that people who eat porridge for breakfast are kept satisfied for much longer than their cold cereal eating counterparts, and can be kept satisfied for up to four hours after they put spoon to mouth!
However, it is not as simple as going out and buying the ready prepared porridge sachets. Although the instant varieties are good tasting, and on the whole better than cold cereal, they often have added sugars and artificial flavors which are not what you want to be putting into your body. Also, even the instant porridge varieties take time to prepare, and if you are anything like me, you just do not have the time to faff around and make up the porridge.
The solution: overnight oats. This is an awesome creation, that is great for your body, and great tasting. All you have to do to make yourself a great breakfast is to fill a mason jar or Tupperware container with grains, toppings, add-ins and a liquid like milk or water. Then you can put the container in the refrigerator overnight and while you’re sleeping, the flavors fuse together so all you have to do is enjoy it the next morning—no cooking required!
Here are some recipes to try:
- Carrot Cake Protein Oatmeal
Per 1.5 cup serving: 265 calories, 5 g fat, 6 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 23 g protein
Makes 2 servings:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened milk of choice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or you could use a mashed banana, applesauce or pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp Stevia (optional)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup protein powder (or additional oats)
- Toppings of choice
In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Divide between 2 small bowls, mugs, Tupperware containers or mason jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least an hour (or more) so the oats soften and absorb the liquid). Top with chopped nuts, cinnamon, low sugar syrup, or vanilla Greek yogurt if desired! Enjoy cold, or if you have a little bit more time, microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Oats
Per 1.1 cup serving: 308 calories, 11.3 g fat, 10 g fiber, 15.5 g sugar, 9.9 g protein
Makes 2 servings:
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 – 4 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup almond milk (or other milk alternative)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or to taste
- Chopped nuts, chocolate chips and/or peanut butter, to serve
Mash the banana in a large bowl or container. Mix in the pumpkin puree, Dark Chocolate Dreams, cocoa powder, chia seeds and vanilla extract. Add the rolled oats, almond milk and maple syrup and mix until completely combined. Taste, and add more maple syrup if desired. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the lid on the container) and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, divide the oats between two bowls. Top with chopped nuts, chocolate chips and/or peanut butter. Enjoy!
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats
Per one cup serving: 319 calories, 14.4 g fat, 8.6 g fiber, 5.1 g sugar, 13.4 g protein
Makes 4 servings:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 2 cups old fashioned or quick whole grain oats
- 2 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk alternative)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 heaping cup all natural peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 stevia packets (optional)
Add strawberries and 2 tsp chia seeds to a small microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Mash with a fork then set aside. Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Add strawberry chia sauce and oatmeal mixture in alternate layers in four glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Serve in the morning with added toppings if required.