I have often made overnight oats for those mornings where I know I won't have time (or inclination) to knock up anything decent, and get tempted by muffins and egg baps and so on. So, this year, I decided it was time to introduce Mr Strongman Fitness to the wonders of Overnight Oats. We agreed on a seven day trial, and different interesting flavours each day. So, here are the recipes and our ratings of them (mine from the viewpoint of the person having to make them, his purely as consumer) - make some and see what you think!
The basic recipe for one portion of overnight oats needs a small ramekin or teacup (approx 40g oats). You need:
Giant rolled oats.
Milk (or 'fake' milk - soya, hemp, coconut milk etc)
For each measure of oats, you need double the amount of milk, plus 1tbsp chia seeds. Just measure these into an appropriate pot, leave overnight in the fridge and you're good to grab and go in the morning. You can warm them in the microwave, or I prefer them cold.
The chia seeds are optional, but they do make it have a nice gloopy consistency. You can swap out some of the milk for yoghurt, water, juice, or anything else wet.
It looks like thick porridge, and transports very easily. Limit the washing up by using a jar or tupperware to mix it up in that you can also then transport in the morning.
You can then add flavourings, fruit, nuts and so on to change it up. Here are the options we tried:
Moroccan styley fruity overnight oats
Juice of an orange.
2 Cardamom pods.
1 tsp rosewater.
10 pistachios, roughly chopped.
2 ready to eat dried figs, roughly chopped.
All stirred through the basic mix. I topped it with orange zest and dried rosepetals, as this was day one and I was trying to be impressive (this is the one in the picture, by the way).
My rating: 5/5 - easy to make, looks tasty, smells great - my favourite.
His rating: 1/5 - "tastes like perfume", "what's this weird sh*t with flowers on". Oh dear.
'Carrot cake' overnight oats
1 carrot, grated.
1tsp mixed spice.
Small splash of vanilla extract.
Handful of pecan nuts, rougly chopped.
1 dessertspoon of cream cheese.
This turns out less orange in colour than you might expect, and doesn't taste carrotty at all. The cream cheese gives a suggestion of frosting......
My rating : 4/5 - there is washing up involved, boo, with the grater. Another one that smells fab.
His rating : 4/5 - looks like it should taste healthy, but is yummy. Wolfed the lot down and asked for more.
'Apple crumble' overnight oats
1 apple, grated.
1 tsp cinnamon.
Handful of almonds, roughly chopped.
Dead easy, and the apples don't go brown (which I was worried about). Looks very pretty with red skinned apples in particular.
My rating: 4/5 - washing up again, boo. The best looking one of the lot.
His rating: 5/5 - The apple is still crunchy, and combined with the almonds make this one a winner - his favourite.
'Gingerbread' overnight oats
1 scant teaspoon molasses (or black treacle).
1 tsp ground ginger
4 dates, chopped.
1 chopped ball of ginger from a jar of those ones in syrup.
The easiest way to mix the molasses in is to warm the milk and dissolve it in there. I put the chopped ginger on top, as it looked pretty.
My rating: 3/5 - a bit of a faff with heating up etc.
His rating: 4/5 - needs more ginger (note: Mr Strongman Fitness is a bit of a ginger feind, so I suspect that this amount would be perfectly fine for those with normal tastebuds).
Fruit and nut overnight oats
2 ready to eat dried figs, chopped.
4 dates, chopped.
2 apricots, chopped.
Handful of mixed nuts.
Squeeze of honey (optional).
Crunchy and chewy too. A good basic recipe.
My rating: 5/5 - dead easy.
His rating: 3/5 - 'it's OK'. I suspect the novelty of the overnight oats are wearing off at this point........
Tropical overnight oats
1 banana, mashed.
A chunk of coconut, grated (or dessicated stuff would work fine)
This one smells great, and takes no time at all. As it was the weekend, I also added a dash of rum, but shh, don't tell anyone.
My rating: 5/5 - this is a great one if you have not a lot of time, very fast and no mess.
His rating: 4/5 - but this may be due to the inclusion of the rum.........
'Blueberry muffin' overnight oats
Handful of blueberries.
Handful of almonds, chopped.
Pinch of cinnamon.
Squeeze of honey.
Very easy, especially if you have pre-chopped almonds to hand. I made this with fresh blueberries, but frozen ones would be even better I suspect, as you want them to go a bit mushy really....
My rating: 5/5 - easy, tasty, no washing up.
His rating: 4/5 - he's not a fan of blueberries (which I forgot), so would have preferred something else - he suggested those frozen summer berries you can get in ziplock bags, which is a reasonably decent idea from a non-cook....
So there you have it. High in fibre and protein, low GI, very filling and satisfying, easy to grab-and-go. Approx 300 calories depending on choice of milk (200 minus the chia).
Take the basic mix and add whatever you fancy, so you're in charge of how "healthy" it is (note: peanut butter, choc chip and banana is very tasty.....). Works well for veggies and vegans too, just substitute out the milk.
I may have convinced Mr Strongman Fitness that "healthy" breakfast is not as bad as he thought....