If there is one breakfast gem a breakfast aficionado can’t get enough of (and if I was forced–God forbid–to pick just one) it would be oatmeal.
That understated elegance of that strangely chewy-mushy-sticky texture. The oft-dismissed blandness. Its versatility–you want it classic with a snow-powder sprinkling of brown sugar and nestled among juicy raisins? Check. Baked until it’s crispy and enticing on its edges but still oh-so-gooey and melty towards its center? At this point, you could basically be eating a brownie. A brownie that’s at most 150 calories/massive portion. Want to blend it with its equally superpower friend, chia, into smoothies? It’s got your energy fix covered for that 8:40 you should really try to get to at least once this semester being the certifiably awesome human you are. Maybe honor the power it truly holds over your baking and brunch life by grinding it up and having yourself a beautifully simple, hearty gluten-free oat flour to use in pancakes and muffins. Or simply leave it in its whole, undisturbed glory in crisps, crumbles, and my personal favorite, and healthy addiction, overnight oats.
Not only are overnight oats a testament to the tastiness, convenience, wholesomeness, and, most importantly, downright deliciousness of my favorite grain, but making and eating them leaves one with an unparalleled sense of productivity and satisfaction. The ingredient list is laughably primitive and as you’re spooning (or pouring it straight from the jar, either works) your concoction into your mouth by the truckload you can swear you’re tasting a myriad of flavors you never put in. It’ll save you precious sleeping/dreaming of more food time in the morning; it’s the perfect grab-‘n’-go. It’ll keep you full for hours, and your cute mason jar and its contents will incite the jealousy and hunger, respectively, of all those unfortunate souls around you who have not been #blessed with the joy that is overnight oats.
Additionally, the versatility of oats–the sponge of the grain world–allow you to experiment, which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest rewards of cooking. Peanut butter banana is a classic, as is blueberry banana (which I’ll detail below), but let your creativity take you where it will–try a brownie modification to have an excuse to eat chocolate first thing in the morning or your other favorite candy.
Using mostly ingredients you can find in the bounty that is Ferris or JJ’s express breakfast, you can whip yourself up some breakfast magic that is infinitely less questionable than those geometric shapes in the dining halls. Here they are:
From left to right: craisins/raisins, walnuts, rolled oats, blueberry Chobani, honey, one ripe banana, almond milk (or any milk of your choice), chia seeds (optional), and some sliced almonds.
Other than the honey, oats, and chia seeds, everything else can be easily found/stolen from your local Ferris grocery store. 😉
You’ll also need some sort of vehicle to contain your overnight oats (and your excitement). Mason jars are a great choice because they’re sturdy and allow you to shake it up vigorously without worrying about making your entire suite hate you for splattering oats all over the kitchen, and make it incredibly easy to eat these on-the-go. Alternatively, you can also use bowls, mugs, or anything your oat-crazed heart desires.
Measure out 1/3 cup of oats and add it, along with 1/3 cup of almond milk and 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt, into your jar/bowl/cup/whatever.
*NOTE*: for this specific overnight oats occasion, I decided I wanted some more liquid-y oats in the morning, so I added a full 1 cup of milk. This is part of beautiful adaptability of these recipes–tailor it to your liking!
If you’d like, add in a dash (around 1-2 tbsp) of chia seeds for extra body and texture:
At this point, mash up half a banana and save the other half for topping in the morning. Banana is by far one of my all-time favorite fruits: scrumptious, filling, good for you, and as versatile as the oats it will complement. Make sure it’s ripe so it adds sweetness and is easily mashable.
Drizzle in some honey (optional, if you like yours more sweet) and make some amorphous design blob if you’re feeling extra adventurous:
Now the best part: SHAKE IT UP! This should be so vigorous that if someone were watching you, they would feel exceedingly awkward. Afterwards, you should be left with one of the most beautiful messes on this Earth:
Refrigerate overnight. Top in the morning to your heart’s desire (I used the other half of my banana, dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon). Rejoice in the morning that your day will be made so much better with these oats staring back at you.
I hope you give this fun breakfast idea a try–I know I can’t get enough! Happy eating
This recipe was adapted from Hungry Healthy Girl:
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if preferred)
- 1/3 cup yogurt (for this recipe, I used Chobani blueberry Greek yogurt)
- 1/3 cup milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my favorite)
- 1/2 of a ripe banana, mashed (reserve the other half for slicing and topping oats before eating)
- 1 tablespoon Chia seeds (optional, but helps to thicken oats)
- 1 packet Stevia or other sweetener (optional)
- toppings of your choice