Wellbody Recipe: Overnight Oatmeal

by | Jan 18, 2016

Say goodbye to hectic mornings that shortchange breakfast when you try these overnight oatmeal sensations: Chocolate chia, carrot cake and blueberry cashew are just a few of the delicious and healthy combos.

And here’s the science behind healthy oatmeal.

Loaded with a type of dietary fiber that helps lower cholesterol, oats can lower the risk of heart disease, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Oats may also help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and lower the risk of colorectal cancer, according to research in The British Medical Journal.

Bonus: Oats are inexpensive and easy to cook. Better yet, skip the cooking! Let time and liquid do the work. (A nutritional benefit of soaking oats overnight is that the process can cut down on naturally occurring phytic acid, a substance that reduces the absorption of some minerals.)

Before bed, whip up a batch of overnight oats in less than three minutes, store it in your refrigerator and it will be ready to eat (or grab and go) in the morning.

The basic recipe calls for stirring together equal amounts of oats and liquid—milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt or warm water—all good.  If you like your oatmeal less dense, add more liquid.

Options: Add a pinch of cinnamon or other spice. Add a handful of fruit (berries, cherries, minced apple, mango, crushed pineapple, diced tangerine segments). Add a spoonful of chia seed and or flax powder. Add vanilla extract, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, nuts, pumpkin seeds, fruit spreads.

The Internet abounds with luscious photos of gussied-up overnight oats, sprinkled with slivered nuts, layered like parfaits, glistening with cherry juice, chia seeds and pillowy Greek yogurt.

Here are some overnight oat combos: strawberry rhubarb, cherry almond, blueberry lemon, cocoa nib and pomegranate, mango and banana, pumpkin persimmon, chocolate cherry.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

With no added sugar, this naturally sweet, deluxe morning porridge packs a couple servings of fruits and veggies between the banana, shredded carrots, dates and raisins. And, thanks to cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut, it actually tastes like carrot cake!

1 C oats
1 1/2 C liquid (milk, coconut milk, yogurt, water or any combination)
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
½ mashed banana
2/3 C. shredded carrot
1 T coconut unsweetened coconut flakes (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1 T golden raisins (plus extra for garnish)
2 t chia seeds
1 or 2 dates, diced
1 T diced pineapple (optional)
2 t. pumpkin seeds (plus extra for sprinkling)
zest of ½ orange or lemon (optional)
½ t. lemon juice or 1 T. orange juice (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator. Enjoy hot or cold in the morning. Splash with a little more milk or yogurt and garnish with coconut, pumpkin seeds and raisins to taste.