Breakfast is, as people love to say, the most important meal of the day. It also takes place before I’m fully awake. Basically, I feel way more awesome each day if I eat breakfast. But if breakfast isn’t stupid easy — I’m talking pretty much fireproof — I put it off, start work, and wonder why I’m falling asleep cranky at 10 am.
So oatmeal is a great breakfast. But making it from scratch is more than I’m capable of in the mornings. And instant oatmeal is good in a pinch, but rather lacking overall. The solution is overnight oatmeal.
This is more of a concept than a recipe, but I’ll give you my favorite options and some other ideas.
Basic Overnight Oatmeal
Mix equal parts regular (not instant) oats and non-dairy milk in saucepan or spill-proof, microwave-safe travel container. Then add another 1-2 Tablespoons of non-dairy milk — more if you like thin oatmeal, less if you like it thick. Put in fridge overnight. In morning, heat up. Eat.
It may take you a little testing to figure out how much oatmeal you need for a good breakfast. For me, 1/3 cup oatmeal works pretty well, so long as I add some nuts and fruit. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
- 1/3 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon good cinnamon*
- 1 teaspoon maple sugar or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon almond flour or ground almonds
- 2 Tablespoons dried cherries (you could chop these, but I leave them whole)
Mix all ingredients in a leak-proof container, throw in bag on the way out the door, and microwave at work. 2-3 minutes on high works for most microwaves. Perfect.
*A note on cinnamon — there are actually a ton of varieties of cinnamon. If you’ve never experimented with them, oatmeal is a PERFECT canvas. My personal favorite for this is China Tung Hing cinnamon.
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup oats, not instant
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons rice protein powder or ground nuts
- 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon mini allergen-free chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground flax (optional)
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
To this one, I add a palmful of walnuts right before heating.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Oatmeal
- 1/3 cup steel cut oatmeal
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
- 2/3 cup rice milk
This one takes a little longer to cook in the morning, because of the steel-cut oats, but the texture is great.
The possibilities are endless, honestly. Let us know what you come up with.