I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes on my weird little wellness odyssey. But there’s probably no area that’s been made over more thoroughly than my morning routine.
This is a generous term for what I had been doing in the past. As a freelancer who works mostly from home, I’ve found it hard to keep any sort of routine. That’s not to say that I sleep in until 11am every day—quite the opposite. Without an office or any healthy boundaries that would help define the ever-aspirational goal of “work-life balance,” it’s not uncommon for me to come downstairs from my sleeping loft, sit down at my desk while the coffee is brewing, look up five hours later and realize that I’m still in my underwear and the coffee is still sitting on the counter.
I’m never ravenous in the morning. But I need to eat a little something in order to make it until noon without sticking my face in one of the five Tupperware containers of leftovers in my fridge at any given moment.
Because I cook for a living and usually some part of my day is spent in the kitchen, I consider myself off-duty in the morning. Like most people, I reach for the most convenient, least time consuming option available for breakfast, which is usually a Kind bar, or one of its organic contemporaries – something that just involves ripping open the plastic and going to town. But as I discovered during the first month of my health journey, the problem with my beloved breakfast bars was the sugar.
My initial quick fix was single serving green smoothies. During busy weeks though, even cleaning one measly Cuisinart mini prep bowl was enough to bring my best healthy breakfast intentions to their knees. After this happened a few weeks in a row, I knew I needed to change my tactics. And thus, my love affair with overnight oatmeal was born.
To be honest, I found the idea of raw oatmeal at first to be a little off putting. The containers of it at Juice Press were one of the few items in the fridge that I didn’t feel like would taste like deliciously over-priced mush.
But once I tried the system of mixing oats with milk and letting them “develop” in the fridge overnight, I realized how delicious the end result can be. Then I started adding mashed banana and chia seeds to my overnight oatmeal recipe and the texture became even more silky and pudding-like. The oats still have some bite to them, and along with the chia seeds, which plump up after a few hours in the fridge, you get this killer weekday porridge that tastes good cold or hot.
My favorite part about getting in the overnight oatmeal habit is that you can make as many servings as you want for the week ahead and portion them individually. So In honor of my dear blog friend Christina Lane’s virtual baby shower, I made the recipe below serve two, as she is the queen of tiny desserts, dinners and breakfasts for you and your plus one. I’m so thrilled that her next food chapter will need to include an extra spoon.
If you’ve been in a breakfast rut and are in search of a make ahead idea from a fellow lazy cook, look no further. This overnight oatmeal recipe is perfect to whip together in advance of a busy week, especially the kind that may or may not include bringing a new child into the world.
Happy baby shower Christina!
Maple-Chia Overnight Oatmeal with Almond Butter
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond milk, banana, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Fold in the oats and chia seeds. Divide between 2 small bowls, ramekins or mason jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Top with sliced bananas, slivered almonds and some extra maple syrup, or enjoy as is. For a warm oatmeal, pop the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Find out what other people made for Christina’s virtual baby shower!
Fizzy Grapefruit Margaritas from Well Plated
Earl Grey Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream from Country Cleaver
Mini Bourbon and Bacon Tater Tot Casseroles from Climbing Grier Mountain
Maple-Chia Overnight Oatmeal from Feed Me Phoebe
Lemon Cake for Two from Keep It Sweet Desserts
Mini Raspberry Pavlovas from The Baker Chick
Almond Berry Cake Parfaits for Two from Edible Perspective
Peanut Butter Bourbon Blondies from The Frosted Vegan
Mixed Berry Mascarpone Scones from Bluebonnet Baker
Greek Yogurt Funfetti Cupcakes for Two from The Housewife in Training Files
Bourbon Barbeque Sliders with Bleu Cheese from Saucy Pear
Steak Fajita Tacos for Two from The Sweetphi Blog
Mango Madeleines from Stetted
Citrus Salad with Mint, Honey, and Lime from Rachel Cooks
Parfaits for Two from Order in the Kitchen
Peanut Butter Chocolate Mouse with Coconut Whipped Cream from Joyful Healthy Eats
French Breakfast Puffs from Stephie Cooks
Blueberry Vanilla Cream Hand Pies from Eats Well With Others
Banana Pudding Cheesecake from The Domestic Rebel
Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network #SensationalSides below
Weelicious: Mushroom Barley
Virtually Homemade: Easy Yellow Rice
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Mujadara with Roasted Tomatoes and Greens
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Indian Spiced Quinoa Pilaf with Peas
The Heritage Cook: White and Wild Rice Pilaf
The Mom 100: Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Artichoke Hearts and Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Wild Mushroom, Sweet Pepper & Leek Risotto
Red or Green: Spicy Barley Risotto
Taste with the Eyes: Brown Rice Noodles paired with Tamarind Fish
The Cultural Dish: Three Ways to Make Risotto
Creative Culinary: Rice and Egg Bowl with Salmon and Peas
Swing Eats: Stir-Fried Quinoa with Chinese Vegetables
FN Dish: 5 Quirky Grain Switch-Ups You Gotta Try