Overnight Oats - Do's and Don'ts
Overnight oats have become a popular breakfast choice. They are easy, portable, and healthy. Packed with all sorts of different combinations of grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, how can you go wrong? I wanted to get in on this and after consulting with Pinterest I was armed with a half dozen recipes. Each recipe started with a standard base of rolled oats and a liquid of your choice. These measurements varied slightly but generally kept with the 1:1 ratio. I prefer the taste and texture of steel cut oats and used them. They are more dense so when substituting them for rolled oats I used half as much. Steel cut oats also tend to need a longer soak and end up a bit chewier than rolled oats. When choosing an oat, know rolled and steel cut oats are nearly identical in their nutritional values with steel cut having a slightly more advantageous score on the glycemic index.
Next comes the fun part of adding in all the tasty fruit, nut, and seed combinations, and this is where I found a HUGE problem. Some recipes were calling for the addition of so much stuff that your calorie count was well over 600. Now, I'm not saying all the stuff in the jar was unhealthy but what I am saying is that 600 calories for many people is 1/3 to 1/4 of their totally daily calorie allowance and if your goal is to lose weight, the only way to do that is to create a calorie deficit. You must burn more calories than you eat, there is no way around it and no other way to lose weight, period! So, keeping this fact in mind, it doesn't matter if every bite you take throughout the day is of natural, unprocessed, "clean", healthy, food, if you are eating more calories than you are burning you will gain weight.
Using the recipes I found as a guide, I was able to pare down the calories while still being able to enjoy an easy and portable overnight oat breakfast. Some things to keep an eye out for that can really add a ton of calories are nut butters, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners. While they are all healthy foods, they are calorie rich and need to be used in moderation. Remember, even agave syrup and honey carry as many calories as white sugar. I found using half a banana sliced in my egg slicer provided just enough sweetness for me. Another tip is to add a splash of vanilla or a dash of cinnamon to enhance the flavor without increasing your calorie count.
Combine all the ingredients and let sit in your refrigerator over night.
¼ cup – Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats - kcal 170 - sugar 0g
1 tsp ground flax seed - kcals 12 - sugar 0g
1 tsp chia seed - kcals 24 - sugar 0g
2 Tbsp. PB2 powdered peanut butter - kcals 45 - sugar 1g
½ cup Silk light original almond milk - kcals 20 - sugar 2.5g
½ medium (7”-8” long) banana - kcals 55 - sugar 10g
Total Calories = 326
Total Sugar = 13.5