I will be honest. The first time that I tried overnight oats, I was not impressed. I really wanted to like them because I knew that I could make a batch and have breakfast for a few days, which is huge for someone who likes to sleep in like I do! I don’t remember what recipe I followed, but I don’t think that really mattered – I just wasn’t feeling cold, soggy oats flavored like yogurt. That was until I found the two secret ingredients that for me made my overnight oats less blah and more YUM! Cinnamon and chia seeds.
I think I was scrolling on Facebook when I came across The Yummy Life, a website with lots of great recipes, but specifically two great articles abut making overnight oatmeal. The author talks about all of the benefits of chia seeds in her articles, but here’s the basics – they are a source of fiber, healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids) and protein and pack a whole lotta punch! They also absorb liquid and help pump up your overnight oats so that they aren’t so soupy. If you like them that way, add more liquid and you’re good to go! I personally prefer my oats less soupy and more sticky.
The nice thing about her article is that she gives you room to experiment. And experiment I did! The first recipe I tried was the banana peanut butter recipe. I used fat free vanilla Greek yogurt, fat free milk, old fashioned oats, chia seeds, JIF powdered peanut butter, half a banana sliced and honey. Being honest again… I still was not a fan. But I really wanted to try the apple cinnamon recipe, so I gave that a shot. I used the same ingredients as above except instead of the banana and peanut butter I added unsweetened applesauce and the cinnamon as recommended. It was PHENOMENAL! It was a bit too much cinnamon for me, but that was when I realized that cinnamon was my key ingredient. The next time around, I cut the cinnamon in half and used zero calorie sweetener instead of honey, and it was even better! I tried the banana peanut butter recipe again, and instead of the powdered peanut butter I used Kroger’s Roasted Peanut & Honey peanut butter (YUMMMM), plus added cinnamon, and OH WOW. I was in heaven.
There are tons of websites out there with recipes for these little creations. My coworker prefers to do her overnight oats in layers, I mix mine all together. There’s something for everyone out there! So get out there and experiment – don’t be afraid to try something different, and don’t give up on your first try. You might just need your own secret ingredient to make it work for you!