Overnight Oats

So many people skip breakfast. Too many, in fact. We've all heard it a million times--breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But mornings are so hard! Especially if you're like me and you are a night owl. I'm not at all a morning person. I am grumpy, surly, and I'm always running late because it is so hard for me to wake up to an alarm. I barely have time to make coffee, let alone breakfast! That's where my overnight oats come into play.

I tried the premade kind you can get at the store. But it was so tiny and so expensive! There's no fucking way I can justify that kind of cost in my budget. I looked up a ton of different recipes for overnight oats and the following is how I make my own overnight oats.

First thing I always do is mise en place. I get my half-pint Mason jars and lay all of the ingredients out on the counter. I pour a quarter cup of slow-oats into each jar. You can't use quick oats. If you're using Quaker, they are the "Old-fashioned Oats" variety. To that, I add a half tablespoon of chia seeds, half a tablespoon of ground flax seed, a tablespoon of granola, a tablespoon of sliced almonds, a tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut, and a tablespoon of dried fruit. I usually add raisins or chopped dried apples to mine, but my husband like dried mango or apricot in his. Really, you could add anything. You could even skip the dried fruit and add a small handful of berries in the morning. Sometimes, we'll cut up bananas into our overnight oats right before we eat.

At that point, it's all done. It literally just took me about ten or fifteen minutes to make breakfast for two people for six days. I put the lids and rings back on the jars and stack them in my cabinet.

Each night, after dinner is done--we eat around 9 pm--I pull out our breakfast jars, along with some wide-mouth pint jars. Because I added so much to my oats, there's not enough room in the half-pints for the milk and something sweet. If you have room in your pantry to store them in pint jars, go for it and save yourself from this step. My kitchen is tiny, though. I don't even have a pantry. My cabinets are so small, none of them can even fit a normal sized box of cereal and close the door. So, yeah...space is crucial for me. 

With the oats in the wide mouth pint jar, I add milk until the oats are covered by double because they will swell up overnight. It's a bit over a cup of milk. If you don't add enough milk, they might rise above the level of milk. That would suck. If, in the morning, you feel like there is too much milk in there, remove the lid and microwave it for 30 seconds. I like mine pretty soggy, though, so I fill my jar almost all the way with milk.

In the winter, a cold breakfast isn't always appealing, though. If I decide I want hot oatmeal, but already made my overnight oats the previous evening, it's a super easy fix. I put it into a larger, microwave safe bowl, add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, then heat it for one minute, stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Hot overnight oats call for maple syrup, but that's next...

In the morning, I add something sweet. I might add some local organic honey, organic maple syrup, or a big spoonful of my homemade strawberry preserves. My husband prefers apricot preserves or orange marmalade in his oats. Once I add my sweetness, I usually close it up and take it with me to work. My husband walks around the apartment and eats his oats while he's getting ready and playing with the cat. (He's so much more of a morning person than I am.)

There are countless variations for this super simple, healthy, and filling meal. I really love my overnight oats. I think it will be a very long time before I get sick of eating them.

What's your quick, go-to breakfast?