Tofu scrambles and breakfast sandwiches are my ideal meals with which to start the day, but the hot August mornings call for lighter fare. For the past few weeks, breakfast has been avocado toast and overnight oats.
I was a little late to hop on the overnight oats bandwagon. The first time I had it, I really didn’t like the fact that it was cold. Cold oatmeal? Uh, no thanks!
I find not liking foods a bit of a personal challenge, so if I don’t like something, I’ll look for ways to prepare it so that I do. It’s something I work on with my health coaching clients, and I like to lead by example.
To be honest, it took me a long time to warm up to cooked oatmeal (no pun intended), so it wasn’t much of a surprise that overnight oats wasn’t my thing. It reminded me of eating paste, although I don’t think I ever actually ate paste as a child. (Or as an adult.) To make it palatable, I like to add lots of nuts and seeds for texture as well as fruit for a more pleasing taste. So that seemed like the logical thing to do with overnight oats, too.
For this overnight oats recipe, I used mixed berries. The allure of the piles of juicy, fresh berries always draws me in when I walk into my local whole foods, and I can never pick just one. Here, I’ve used a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, but you can use whatever suits your fancy. I’ve also used slivered almonds and cacao nibs, but again, feel free to switch it up according to your tastes.
I’ve slightly cheated with this recipe, because it’s not really overnight oats, is it? It’s actually more of an overnight oats and chia pudding hybrid. I really like adding chia seeds to my oats, as it helps to give the dish a little weight. I had the same issue with chia pudding the first time I had it that I had with oats: It was a little pasty. But again, adding lots of fruit and nuts really helps.
I’ve found that most recipes for overnight oats and chia puddings make very small servings. How is half a cup of anything supposed to fill me up? I’m usually hangry by lunchtime with that kind of portion. This recipe makes two large servings, and I’ve found that it’s filling enough to get me through to my midday meal.
Waking up to breakfast already been prepared is a great way to start the day. If your mornings are hectic, mix the berries, nuts, and cacao nibs in with the oats and chia the night before. If you have a little time, you can wait until the morning and serve it parfait-style.
Stored in an air-tight container, overnight oats will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Overnight Oats with Mixed Berries and Chia
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
- 3 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
- 2 cups mixed berries
- 2 tablespoon cocao nibs
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
Mix together the almond milk, chia seeds, rolled oats and maple syrup in a large jar or bowl with a lid. Mix in the berries, cacao nibs, and slivered almonds. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast in the morning!