Late nights studying. Early mornings driving to the hospital. Maybe an espresso before you head out. Or not, if you spent too much time steaming your scrubs. Breakfast is usually the last thing on your mind until you hear your stomach rumbling during rounds and wish you had grabbed a banana for a quick bite earlier. A quick filling breakfast is just what you need and unfortunately, many people end up skipping this meal. It turns out, the meal that we pay the least amount of attention to, may be the most important meal of the day. A perfect way to get in your morning nutrients includes making these creamy overnight oats!
Skipping breakfast has been associated with overall lower diet quality, leading to individuals consuming almost half their daily calories from snacks. One study showed that British children under the age of 10 years, ate over half of the daily recommended dose of sugar at breakfast. First off, not only is the act of even eating breakfast important, but the actual content of what you eat is worth paying attention to. This concept is nothing new and a famous nutritionist and author, Adelle Davis, in the 1960s even said “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.
Trends surrounding breakfast are turning away from the traditional cereals and orange juice and towards convenience foods (sandwiches, protein packs, breakfast bars). This is likely due to more people not eating breakfast at home and more on the go or at work. A survey in 2015 even showed that 40% of millennials didn’t like eating cereal since they had to clean up afterwards.
Why Eat a Healthy Breakfast?
- May have a link to decreased risk of heart disease
- Leads to more stable blood sugar control throughout the day
- Improves concentration and memory and for children, performance on exams
- Keeps energy levels up and get essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Less likely to snack throughout the day
Try this overnight oats recipe below to jumpstart your way to a habit of eating breakfast every day! It is one of my go to recipes and I love making variations to it whether it be chocolate based, peanut butter, or even cinnamon apple.
- Spence C. Breakfast: The most important meal of the day? Int J Gastron Food Sci. 2017;8:1-6. doi:10.1016/J.IJGFS.2017.01.003.
Base Recipe for Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats!)
- 3/4 cup milk (almond milk, coconut, or regular milk)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Toppings/Mix ins (your choice): handful of fruits (blueberries, strawberries etc), nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds), flax seeds, honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract
- Optional for extra creaminess: 1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- Mix all ingredients together in a jar or container. Add your favorite toppings and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours
- Enjoy in the morning for a quick and stress free breakfast option!
-After you have made overnight oats a few times, you will figure out the consistency that works for you. A good rule of thumb to follow is 2:1 for milk:oats if you prefer it more porridge like or 1:1 if you want it a firmer texture.
-Chia seeds absorb liquid so take that into account if not using them! You may realize that you need to adjust the ratios of oats to milk.
-No need to microwave these oats! Grab it out of the fridge and start your day with a no-effort breakfast.
-They will last for a week so you can meal prep and put your overnight oats together on Sundays.