February 3, 2011 by buttermilkbaker
I’m addicted to oats. There I said it. I love them in hot oatmeal, I love them in chocolate chip cookies. I love them in granola form, bar form, muffin form. When it comes to oats, I do not discriminate. But there’s a new species of oats in town, and I’m lovin’ it. Everyone, please welcome overnight oats (OO).
(P.S. Just to clarify, I am not addicted to snow. So that can stop now. Kthanks.) A peek out the window:
Now OO are by no means a new thing. What are they exactly? At their most basic, OO are oats + some sort of liquid, fridged overnight. Usually the oats are mixed with yogurt (to give them heft, kind of like a yogurt parfait when you let it sit for a while) or milk (for a lighter mix) or even water (bland but easy and voluminous). The appeal of OO to me stems from the multitudinous options I have in possible flavors and textures. I can add whatever fruit/nut/sweetener/spice/nut butter combo I want. Ohhh the power!
I have to say, however, that I sadly cannot take credit for this lovely (brilliant) idea. I’ve seen it on many of my fave blogs, which is where (like so many other things I do) I got my inspiration. I can, however, take credit for my own spins on the almighty OO. I can and I will.
You see, I get restless at night. Between reading online articles, writing responses to said articles, flipping through powerpoint slides, and unabashed blog-surfing, I get an itch to do something creative. Something exciting. Something…naughty?
For instance, the other night: a lone pear, forgotten and bruised, caught my attention from across the room. It would be a shame to see that pear go to waste, I thought, but simply eating it plain seemed boring and unappealing. Sauteeing the pear in a bit of butter and honey sounded more enticing…add a sprinkle of ginger + nutmeg to the mix? I was already on my feet gathering the ingredients.
So I sauteed up said pear in a teaspoon of Smart Balance Light, a squeeze of honey and a few dashes of ginger and nutmeg. Let it go for about 8 minutes (until fragrant) and took it off the heat. Meanwhile…I prepared the vehicle for these buttery beauties: a bowl of overnight oats.
Into a bowl went 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 container Vanilla Siggi’s, a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened dried coconut and some water to make it nice and gloppy. You want gloppy for OO, so that the oats can reach their full absorbent potential. You’d be surprised at how much glop oats can sop up!
When the pears were done, I heaped their gooey (gloppy + gooey = yum) remains into the bowl and stirred it all up. Topped with a layer of cling wrap so as to prevent any film or skin from forming on the top of my OO concoction and into the fridge they went.
The next morning, I added some sliced banana, a sprinkle of sliced almonds, and a spoonful of chia seeds to round it all out. Deeeelicious!
The richness of the pears permeated the entire bowl overnight and really elevated the yogurt & oat combination, which can be pretty bland on its own (as you can imagine). The wonderful thing about OO is that the creamy, tangy yogurt is tempered by the nutty oats, creating a lovely subtle flavor base for whatever add-ins your heart desires. The texture is also one of my favorites: the gloppiness turns to creaminess and yet the oats retain their bite so that you still feel like your chomping on something hearty (at least old fashioned ones do).
All mixed up:
Disclaimer: something you have to keep in mind is that these oats will in fact be cold. The Boy is completely and thoroughly disgusted by this thought. If the idea of eating chilled oats doesn’t sound appealing, then OO is not the breakfast treat for you.
Glad that’s settled.
Now for last night, exhibit B. This time I got even crazier than usual. What did I do? I did 1/4 oats AND 1/4 cup granola. And not just any granola, either–my new Pumpkin Flax Omega-3 granola from Costco. IT IS SO GOOD. So so good, I can’t even tell you. Well I guess I can. It’s good. And it’s cheap, and it’s not even that bad for you! 260 cals for 3/4 cup…for granola, that’s pretty darn fantastic.
Also in the mix: 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut, 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 banana. I’m omitting the yogurt this time because I really just want a sweet, dense bowl of OO unadulterated by the tanginess of Siggi’s. I mean, I like Siggi’s (although I like Fage better), but not that much.
To make up for lack of yogurty heft, I felt I had to add a little something extra to this bowl. So I got even more creative. I took the other 1/2 of my banana, sliced it up, added about 1 tsp of PB and AB to a cup and poured a splash of almond milk over the top. I nuked said mixture for about 20 seconds and smooshed it all together before pouring over the top of my OO.
I mean. Do I even have to tell you how good this was?
I LOVED THE BANANA+PB+AB SAUCY TOPPING. I will forevermore pour this over ice cream, froyo, cereal, granola, yogurt, my spoon…you name it.
So that’s that for overnight oats. It’s a little unconventional, yes, but if you’re in an oats rut, I highly recommend it. And if you’re anything like me, it’s a great way to channel your evening antsy-ness and let your creative juices fLoW.
Upcoming post: 3 large or 6 small meals a day? What do you guys do/think?