Breakfast continues to be one of my problem areas when it comes to my recently-overhauled, healthier diet. In this neck of the woods, it’s so easy make a quick stop and pick up inexpensive (and delicious!) breakfast tacos, or drive-thru and grab a cheese-smothered (amazing!) breakfast sandwich, that it’s kinda hard to stay on track. So, to keep myself out of the drive-thru or from reaching for that box of frosted cereal, I’ve been in the market for quick, healthy breakfast ideas.
In my last recipe post, I talked about toast and my love for the versatile, quickie breakfasts that can be made with it. I still love my toast, but I love variety too, so I’m still actively looking for healthful, fast morning meal ideas.
So, if you are unfamiliar with them, allow me to introduce you to one of my new breakfast favorites: overnight oats.
I love a warm, satisfying bowl of oatmeal, but it’s a breakfast meal that’s associated with long, lazy weekend mornings for me. I just have trouble making time to cook and sit down to eat on busy mornings. The glory of overnight oats really is that they “cook” themselves overnight while soaking in milk. Adding any extra goodies, like fresh fruit or nuts, to the oats is all that needs to be fussed with in the morning.
There are all kinds of recipes for overnight oats around the web. All of those other recipes vary greatly as to the type of milk used, toppings, whether to add the toppings at night or in the morning and whether or not to add sugar. I definitely recommend adding your extras in the morning as I’m confident that any added fresh fruit or chopped nuts would become too soggy if soaked in milk for hours. No thank you! I also use a bit of brown sugar here, mostly because I simply enjoy the taste of it in my oatmeal. However, if you prefer, you can leave the sugar out or use a bit of another sweetener.
To tell the truth, I was super skeptical when I placed my first batch of overnight oats in the refrigerator a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea what the consistency would be like compared to oatmeal cooked in a pot or in the microwave. I can tell you that I was so happy with the results! The milk soaks up nicely into the oats leaving them creamy, yet they maintain a bit of texture. Any spices or extracts that are added diffuse throughout the oats and there is wonderful pop of flavor in every bite.
How much I enjoy overnight oats is definitely one of the best, food-born surprises I’ve had in quite a while. It’s a time-saving, healthy meal that is worth adding to your morning recipe arsenal if you hit the ground running so often like I do. I also have the occasional, ridiculously hectic morning where all I have time to do is scurry out the door and by using a resealable jar, like a mason jar, this can be a portable breakfast too.
Yep, “grab and go” is the daybreak motto around here more often than I care to admit! Don’t get me started. I mean I live with small people who like to bicker and lose their shoes…a lot. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yes, oats!
I usually eat them right out of the fridge, and they are great chilled. But, if you prefer to warm your oatmeal, just nuke them for 30-45 seconds, top with your favorite add-ins and then dig in!
Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats printable recipe
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (regular, not quick-cooking)
- 1/2 cup milk or your favorite nut milk
- 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar (or to taste)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4- 1/3 cup chopped, fresh apple
- 1-2 teaspoons of raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons of toasted pecan pieces (optional)