I started writing this post weeks ago and never actually got it posted…. I started classes again a few weeks ago (boy, that 2 week summer vacation flew right by!) and I am now commuting to campus, which is roughly 25-30 minutes away (without traffic). Which means I don’t have time to eat breakfast at home in the mornings, at least not if I want a decent parking spot. I have class until 1:50 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from 8am – 11:50 on Tuesday. I also work from roughly 12pm-5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I don’t get to go home for lunch either. Thus, I have started actually doing some meal prep for the week on Sunday. I’m pretty bad at planning out meals because I’ll usually plan something and once it comes time to eat it, I’m really not in the mood for it at all. But I’ll try to stick with it this time. (Also let me know if you’re interested in a post about my weekly meal prep??)
The mornings have been all about overnight oats. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal for breakfast because it’s so versatile. You can change the flavor up so easily, plus it’s super quick and easy to make, especially if you grind up the oats prior to cooking them. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to actually cook oatmeal in the morning anymore, so I’ve switched it over to overnight oats, which I’ve actually been enjoying quite a bit. I thought I would hate eating cold oats, but they’re actually really refreshing on these crazy hot and humid mornings. And if you want a warm breakfast, you can just pop the whole jar in the microwave for a minute or so!
When I’ve made overnight oats in the past, I’ve used chia seeds to thicken everything up, but those are a no-go with braces because those suckers just get stuck in every little space available! You could just grind up some chia seeds into a powder, but the only appliance we have to do so currently has years of coffee dust in it, so I’ve switched over to using ground flax seeds. The ground flax seeds still thicken it up pretty nicely and still get you plenty of omega-3s, which is perfect for getting me to actually focus in class. Plus, I’m not the biggest fan of the texture of soaked chia seeds as they get all slimy, so flax seeds are a good substitute!
So anyway, this recipe is super quick and easy to whip up the night before and you can switch up the fruit however you want! Another favorite of mine is doing 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries instead of the strawberries. Sometimes I’ll add 1/2 teaspoon of maca powder as well. As far as the milk goes, I like to use unsweetened cashew milk, but you can use whatever you want, really. Vanilla milks will result in a sweeter breakfast, while unsweetened milk will result in a more dark chocolate-type flavor. As far as the maple syrup goes, I usually stick to just 1 teaspoon because I can’t handle sugary things in the morning, but 2 teaspoons will give less of a dark chocolate flavor. If using vanilla almond milk I usually won’t add any sweetener at all. When actually eating my oats in the morning, I always pair it with a banana to make for a more filling meal, but you can also mash the banana into the oats and add a bit more milk, or just skip the banana all together.
This is also a pretty basic formula for overnight oats that I use every time, just switching up what powders, spices, and fruit I add in. I have loads of other flavors that I make, so those might make it onto the blog eventually!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats
- 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats (certified gluten free if necessary) (grind them up a bit for less chewiness!)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds
- 1/4 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tsp. Raw Cacao Powder, or Cocoa Powder
- 1-2 Tsp. Pure Maple Syrup
- 5-6 Fresh or Frozen Chopped/Sliced Strawberries (or 1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries)
- 1 Banana (Optional)
This recipe is easiest if you add the milk into the jar first, assuming you use a mason jar with the convenient little measurements on the side, then add the other ingredients. Add the oats, flax, vanilla, maple syrup and cacao powder and give it a good stir. The cacao powder usually takes a bit of effort to get it evenly distributed, so you can close the jar and shake it up to make things easier. Add in the fruit of choice and give it another stir. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next morning! Top with sliced banana before serving or munch on it on the side. If you’re not a fan of cold oats, just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so before serving.