May 24, 2024

Tired of the same old breakfast routine? Overnight oats offer a delicious and healthy solution, and with a secret ingredient, they can be even better!

From New York Bagels to California Sunshine and Overnight Oats

Swapping my usual bagel and cream cheese for something healthier felt like the perfect California welcome. After a hot yoga class, I stumbled upon overnight oats on a smoothie bar menu. Easy enough, I thought! My fridge soon overflowed with Mason jars of oat creations: piña colada, peanut butter cocoa, peppermint mocha – the possibilities were endless!

Next came the health boosters: MCT oil, protein powder, adaptogenic mushrooms… But it was chia seeds that truly transformed my breakfast game.

Mastering the Perfect Overnight Oats

Start with a simple oat and chia seed base, then personalize it with flavors and protein powder (if you use it).

Here’s the basic recipe:

  • Rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Plant-based milk (creamier and higher quality is better) – about 1 ¼ cups per 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or preferred sweetener)

Tips:

  • The milk should just cover the oats and chia seeds for optimal texture.
  • Chia seeds can add a slight bitterness, so adjust your sweetener accordingly.
  • EatingWell suggests Greek yogurt for a non-vegan option.

Bonus Chia Seed Jam:

Make a quick chia jam with frozen raspberries for a burst of sweetness and fruit!

  • In a small bowl, combine ½ cup frozen raspberries, 2 teaspoons chia seeds, and 2 teaspoons maple syrup (adjust to taste).
  • Mash the raspberries and mix for 3-5 minutes until it forms a jam-like consistency.
  • Store in the refrigerator for overnight oats, smoothies, or even a PB&J!

The Powerhouse Chia Seed

Chia seeds are nutritional rockstars!

  • High in fiber for gut health
  • Plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Good source of calcium and iron
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • May improve digestion, blood pressure, and weight loss (according to a 2023 Journal of Functional Foods review)

Chia Seed Facts:

  • One chia seed absorbs up to 10x its weight in liquid, making it a thickening powerhouse.
  • Store whole chia seeds in a cool, dry place (they can even go in the freezer!).
  • Overnight oats with chia seeds last up to a week in the fridge.

The Final Bite

Overnight oats are a customizable breakfast canvas. Adding chia seeds creates a creamy, anti-inflammatory, fiber-rich breakfast or snack. Meal prep a batch for the week, grab a jar on the go, and top it off with your favorite flavors!

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