Make mornings quick ‘n easy with overnight oats

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Mornings. They come early don’t they? I love the peace and quiet, the cooler temperature, and the fresh start of a new day. But it’s just so, well, early.

Some of you may remember that I’m not really a morning person. So you can guess that the last thing I want to do when I wake up is cook breakfast. I’m always looking for an easy out when it comes to the first meal of the day.

In the past, I’ve relied on items that can be prepared the night before, like hard-boiled eggs, homemade granola bars, egg casseroles and the like. But just recently I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.

I’m kind of new to the Pinterest phenomena, a recent convert. Facebook was enough for me to keep up with, so I never bothered with Pinterest. Until recently. And now, well, I “pin” something new just about every day.

For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a photo-sharing web and mobile app that serves as a kind of digital corkboard. You can “pin” images and videos that interest you to your own pinboards. My boards include fashion, travel and, of course, food. I have found that Pinterest is a handy way to store ideas, interests and obsessions for easy access. Plus, it doesn’t take up any wall space in my kitchen.

One thing I saw frequently in my online Pinterest perusal was breakfast in a jar. Oats, yogurt and fruit layered in a mason or canning jar stored overnight in the fridge. Voila! Breakfast is ready and waiting before I even open my eyes in the morning. This is my kind of breakfast.

Well, the running joke with Pinterest users is you know you’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest when you start eating everything from salad to dessert out of a mason jar. And there is some truth to that, but I was willing to try out this easy breakfast idea.

This recipe calls for Greek yogurt, which has become very popular in the past few years. You may be wondering what makes Greek yogurt so different from the regular yogurt we’ve been eating all this time? Greek yogurt is sometimes called strained yogurt because it is strained of the liquid whey. Since the extra liquid and lactose are drained off, the resulting yogurt is thick, rich and creamy. It also can be easier to digest for those with a slight lactose intolerance because of the breakdown in the milk sugars.

Another plus to Greek yogurt is the higher protein content. A one-cup serving of Greek yogurt can contain 20 grams of protein. Getting the right amount of protein is important, especially as we age. For adults over age 65, the protein needs increase to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day.

I’ve enjoyed making this magical breakfast in a jar for several weeks now and appreciate that it is easy, delicious and keeps me full until lunchtime. It is fun to change up the fruit and topping combinations, and play around with flavors. Plus I don’t have to cook anything in the morning!

 


vboVery Berry Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup regular (not instant) oats
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk (almond, coconut, cow, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh mixed berries (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry)

Assembly:

Add oats to your container of choice and pour in milk. Layer Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and mixed fruit and berries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in the morning! Top with toasted nuts for extra crunch.

Variations: There are lots of variations possible, and the sky is the limit! Some ideas include substituting bananas, blueberries, or other fruits for the mixed berries. You can also substitute peanut butter or Nutella in place of Greek yogurt. Honey, maple syrup, jam and agave are all sweetener add-ins. For some crunch, add toasted nuts, flax seeds, toasted coconut or chia seeds just before eating.

 

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Betty Williams