Now picture this: you pressed snooze on your alarm clock one too many times and you’re running late to work. The last thing on your mind is getting a nutritious and balanced breakfast. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone! Nearly 40% of Canadians skip breakfast each and every single day. Unsurprisingly, a lack of time was identified as one of the biggest culprits (1). Luckily for you, we have the solution: overnight oats. A fast, easy and nutritious breakfast that only requires 5 minutes of prep the night before and a grab-and-go in the morning! Who knew meal prep could be so easy?
Overnight Oats 101
Overnight oats are a no-bake, hassle-free version of oatmeal. You simply place your rolled oats in a liquid base such as milk, add spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), chia seeds and some added protein – a natural nut or seed butter does the trick! Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try adding in some applesauce or pure maple syrup. Next, mix all the ingredients in a jar and let it rest overnight (minimum of 4-6 hours). In the morning, you’ll have a creamy, delicious and nutrient-packed breakfast just waiting for you!
The best part is they are completely customizable! From almonds to strawberries, you can top your overnight oats with a variety of your favourite foods! Enjoy your overnight oats chilled, straight from the fridge or heat them up in the microwave – perfect for those chilly winter mornings. My favourite part about overnight oats is that they keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days. So you can prepare your oats on Sunday night and breakfast is ready to go for your whole workweek!
What are the health benefits?
Oats are one of the most versatile and nutritious whole grain around. They are chalk-full of soluble fibre, which keeps you feeling full for longer, can lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and help control your blood sugar levels (2). The liquid base of milk is high in calcium, which contributes to strong bones and teeth. (Quick tip: if you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute the liquid base for a milk alternative such as almond milk or soymilk). Chia seeds are technically an optional add-in, but you’ll see that I include them in all of my overnight oat recipes. Firstly, they add that extra nutrition boost – hello fibre and healthy omega-3 fats! Secondly, as they absorb the liquid and expand, it offers a more creamy and delicious final result.
Whether you’re into PB&J, chocolate or apple cinnamon, we’ve got the recipe for you! Check out the following high-protein, high-fibre, quick and delicious overnight oat recipes!
Looking for more nutritious and balanced breakfast ideas? Register for a One-on-One Nutrition Coaching consultation with one of our Registered Dietitians.
Written in collaboration with nutrition volunteer, Samantha Nesrallah, RD, MPH