steel cut oats

Another Try at Overnight Oats

I definitely found the right “recipe” for overnight oats. Here it is:

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup water

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon flaxmeal

1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

That’s the base I’ve been using and the last week or so I’ve been trying to experiment with other flavors.

The first experiment was with a 100 calorie black cherry yogurt. I used that instead of the plain Greek yogurt and added some frozen blueberries to it. I liked the flavor and chunks of the black cherry but I really don’t like flavored yogurts. I’ve been eating plain for so long now that the flavored ones taste either too sweet to me or they taste like fake sweeteners and chemicals. Yuck!

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The next try was a chocolate flavored Greek yogurt. I added some peanut butter and topped it with crushed nuts and chia seeds. This second try confirmed that I just prefer to use my good ol’ plain Greek yogurt (my favorite is the Costco brand). So I tried a few things and I’m going back to the basics.

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This time I used the base that is my old stand-by but substituted 1/4 cup of water with pineapple juice and then used 1/4 cup water. I added chopped pineapple and strawberries. Then I topped it with some shredded coconut, chia seeds and crushed nuts.

Yum! I liked the “tropical” flavor. 🙂

I tried using your basic rolled oats when I ran out of the steel cut and I am NOT a fan. The texture was all wrong. It was exactly how I imagined overnight oats to be before I tried them–mushy and like a sludge. For some reason the steel cut oats are just better to me. They are a bit chewy and not mushy at all and I just prefer it.

I’ve been back to work part time for a month and a half and on those days I do overnight oats for breakfast. It’s seriously been a time saver! It saves so much time in the morning when I’m trying to get out of the house. PLUS — I am full all morning long! This recipe is very satisfying and fulfilling and I don’t feel hungry for hours.

On those days, it’s very rushed and busy. My alarm goes off about 5:40 am. (I am so not a morning person. UGH.) Often time Logan has already woken me up, ready to eat. Depending on the time we often nurse in bed. (So glad we finally mastered the “side-lying” position. I just have to make sure I don’t fall back asleep as he eats.) Then he falls back asleep, I put him in his bassinet and get ready for work. Sometimes this isn’t the case and he stays asleep, so I need to pump instead. I’m pretty rushed trying to get everything done and packed for the day–even though I try and prep as much as I can the night before. So having these pre-made breakfasts ready to just take out of the fridge and put in a bowl has been a life saver! And they are delicious!

So after a few different experiments, I’m down to the same ol’ routine that works for me (the plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and steel cut oats) and I love it. I am definitely not sick of this breakfast yet. On days that I am home I have my old standby of eggs. I feel like I have a good balance right now. Once I’m back to work full time, this might change because I probably won’t want to have the oats every day.

What are your favorite FAST breakfast options?

Let’s Talk Oatmeal

When I first started reading blogs they talked a lot about something called “oats in a jar” and “overnight oats.” I admit, I didn’t get it. At all. But it seemed like all the rage on every blog.

Fast forward a few years…I recently bought some steel cut oatmeal and one morning, while Logan was fussy and not really making it easy for me to fix myself breakfast, I realized that the oatmeal I bought took 30 MINUTES to make! What?! I love oatmeal and I’ve tried all different kinds out there, but this was the first time trying this particular kind.

I was frustrated with myself that I bought something that was supposed to make my life a little easier–and ended up with something time consuming. Grrrr. I complained on Twitter and a few people suggested I do overnight oats. So I did some googling and found some recipes.

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This was the first recipe I tried.

Flax and blueberry vanilla overnight oats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rolled oats OR quick oats
  • 2 /3 cup water
  • ½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
  • 1 baby pinch of salt
  • blueberries, pecans, brown sugar, and other goodies for topping

Instructions

  1. In an individual food storage container, add the ingredients in the order listed (except for toppings). Do not stir. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, stir up the mixture; it should be thick and the oats should be completely soft. Add the toppings of your choice. Repeat forever.
  3. The different varieties of oats affect the texture, so if you like a thicker, chewier texture go for rolled oats and if you prefer something softer and creamier, go for quick cooking oats.

Nutrition Facts

Flax and blueberry vanilla overnight oats

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=50083

I used the recipe as a jumping off point. I did:

1/2 cup of steel cut oats

2/3 cup water

1 tablespoon flaxmeal

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

pinch of salt

handful of frozen blueberries

Then I put it all in the fridge overnight and mixed it up in the morning. I topped the mixture with some slivered almonds and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Honestly probably didn’t need the brown sugar since the blueberries were sweet enough but since I used plain Greek yogurt instead of vanilla yogurt, I thought it might lack flavor. Next time I know it doesn’t need the sugar.

It was really tasty. I liked the flavors a lot. The blueberries were sweet enough that it make the dish delicious but not overly sweet. The texture was a little weird. The steel cut oats were really chewy. Not too chewy but chewier than I think regular oatmeal would be. But the upside to that, it wasn’t a bunch of mush like I think regular oatmeal would be. I was also worried that eating cold oatmeal would be gross. It wasn’t.

It was super easy and fast. It was easy to eat while taking care of the baby. It was easy to clean up and not a ton of calories. I liked the convenience of it. I like that I didn’t have to spend 30 minutes cooking the steel cut oats. I think it would be a good breakfast for mornings when I go back to work–either eating at home or taking to work with me to eat it after dropping Logan off at daycare.

I wanted to experiment though and see if I could find the perfect recipe or create my own. I found another recipe and decided to use it as a base to tweak what I did originally. Here is that recipe: OVERNIGHT STEEL CUT OATMEAL (PLUS MIX-IN IDEAS)  (Author: Lovely Little Kitchen.)

Attempt #2

I changed it up a little bit the second time. Here is what I did:

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon flaxmeal

pinch of salt

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup water

handful of frozen blueberries

This time I mixed the liquid with the steel cut oats before adding the other ingredients. Let it sit overnight, mixed it all together and added some slivered almonds to the top for texture.

Verdict: I liked the texture a little better with more liquid and mixing it in before refrigerating it.

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Flavor was still great. I don’t know that I noticed a different flavor using almond milk. To save calories I may just stick with water.

Attempt #3

I realized that I was eating more than one serving. 1/4 cup of steel cut oats is actually a serving, not 1/2 cup like several recipes I saw used. The upside to eating more, I didn’t need a snack mid-morning. But I didn’t want that to become a habit. So this time I made a little bit less to make sure that I was eating one serving and keeping my calories in the right range.

I looked around for other recipes. This one sounded delicious to me.

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon flaxmeal

1 tablespoon peanut butter

The above was 314 calories. Then I topped it with sliced banana and a little agave and slivered almonds the next day. That added around 125 calories more.

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Verdict: I think I figured out the right portions of everything! The oats were the perfect chewiness and everything tasted great. I will try this “recipe” with the blueberries. I liked the peanut butter and banana flavor–it was very rich, but it was also higher in calories and tasted a bit decadent. Peanut butter is just a little too much for me I think.

I like the addition of the almonds–I think it adds texture that a dish like this needs (same with the blueberries). I’m glad I spent the time practicing and figuring out the right recipe for this. It will be a great option for breakfasts going forward, at least a few days a week.

Do you have an overnight oats recipe that you love? Link it here!