Overnight oatmeal can help you save time and lose weight.
Breakfast is way too important to miss. We all have trouble finding time to eat right, and breakfast is the easiest one to skip. If you are like me, you often rush out the door quickly trying to arrive at work on time. Taking the time to make a nutritious breakfast sometimes is a luxury. If you enjoy oatmeal, you are in for a treat. Overnight oats just may be the easiest make-ahead breakfast in the world. You do not have to sweat in front the stove, and they are very, and best of all, oatmeal is nutritious and filling. Start tonight, and I guarantee you will be hooked. I had never tried overnight oatmeal until recently, and I love it. Now, I can’t get enough of this grain, and by putting it in a jar overnight, I am saving time by not having to cook it. Usually, I am too busy int he morning with exercise and getting ready for work to stop and spend 10-20 minutes cooking. The best part about overnight oats is that you can prep a week’s worth of Mason jars in about 10-minutes on Sunday. As long as you have some Mason jars and you can shake a Mason jar, you will master this task.
How does it work? Basically, all you have to do is follow the steps below, but who needs instructions. You will add the milk, water, oats, and ingredients on Sunday night and let time do the rest of the work. The milk or water gets soaked up by the oats, and as early as the next morning, you have a delicious ready to eat breakfast cereal. It really is that easy.
How long will overnight oats last in the refrigerator? Overnight oats can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. I will caveat that by adding that they’ll continue to soften the longer, they sit. I consider this a bonus and really think that the fourth or fifth day that they are better if you do not mind your oatmeal being creamy. If you prefer your oatmeal firm and chewy, then you will want to batch them every 2-3 days. After the first 2-3 days, they are soft but still have retained some of that chewiness that we love from oatmeal. Toward the end of the 45 days, you will find that the liquid is separated from the oats and it may require some stirring with a spoon before you eat them.
Steps to making overnight oatmeal:
- Step 1: Shop for the ingredients. I know this is the most tasking part of the job. I hate grocery stores, but this time it is worth it. You can put just about anything in overnight oatmeal. Be creative as you go forward, but today stick to the shopping list. To make overnight oats, you will need the following:
- Rolled oats – 1/2 cup per jar
- Milk or a milk substitute. Water will work. 1 cup per jar.
- Fruit – I like apples, bananas, and berries. I recommend a banana-blueberry the first time.
- Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon per jar. Not needed but it adds more nutrients.
- Flax seeds (optional)
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Sweetener (optional)
- Step 2: Add the dry stuff. You need to add 1/2 cup of rolled oats and one tablespoon of chia seeds to the bottom of each jar. The chia is optional, but they add fiber, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids. I use Mason-type jars, but you could just save jars. I prep four at a time because I only have four jars. Spaghetti sauce jars are a perfect size.
- Step 3: Add your spices and dry sweeteners. This is where I add things that add flavor to my oatmeal. I have tried many things, but I really enjoy include cardamon, cinnamon, cocoa powder, clove powder, ginger powder, gingerbread spice, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. I’m absolutely certain if you get creative you will think of more. I also had my sweeteners in this step. I usually do not add sweetener, but if I do I use brown sugar or honey you could use artificial sweeteners, but I just don’t.
- Step 4: Add the liquid. Now pour the liquid into the jar. Just about any liquid will work. The key is adding enough and 1 cup is usually enough but you will Possible choices include water, milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, macadamia milk, oat milk, orange juice, pineapple juice, quinoa milk, rice milk, and soy milk. Check with your employer before eating hemp products. For US military and some police forces, hemp products are forbidden. I do not like fruit juices because that have all the calories but limited additional nutritional benefit.
- Step 5: Prep your toppings and add them. This is where I cut up my fruit and add to the top of the jar. I cut my bananas in half and then cut each half into 1/4 inch slices. You can cut the slices in half if you prefer smaller pieces. I add 1/2 banana per jar. If I add berries, I want them to 1/2 inch size or smaller, so I often have to cut them. You do not need to cut blueberries. Other topping ideas include almonds, apples, blackberries, cashews, cherries, chocolate chips, coconut, flax seeds, greek yogurt, hazelnuts, kiwis, nut butter, peaches, pumpkin seeds, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and yogurt, I like adding a tablespoon of Greek yogurt to the top. If you like any of those suggestions with a little more crunch just add them in the morning.
- Step 6: Refrigerator time. Place the lid on top, if you chose to use a jar and shake your jars. Now, put them in the fridge. Leave them undisturbed overnight, and they will be ready in the morning. You really do not need to do anything to them.
- Step 7: Enjoyment time. Grab a spoon and dig in. The only thing you need to do in the morning is to remove the jar lid and enjoy a hearty breakfast. So, open the fridge, grab the jar, and dig into your morning meal. Keep cold till you eat them, and if you use a jar, they pack well in your insulated bag. When you decide to consume it, you can microwave it or eat it cold. Remember to remove the lid if you choose to heat them.
The bottom line: Overnight oatmeal is a quick and filling recipe that will keep you full all day long. I wrote another article on the nutrition of oatmeal and its ability to help you lose weight in: Oatmeal: Weight Loss Helper or Cause of Weight Gain. When you’re on the go, you will be less likely violate your diet if you have a plan and prep ahead of time. I recommend that you consider this weight loss and time saver tip.