Sunday, December 14, 2014

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

If you have been on Pinterest in the past two years, you have heard of overnight oats.  I have seen tons of pins about them, and even pinned quite a few of them myself.  But to be totally honest, I was a little skeptical.  Oats that don't get cooked?  Oatmeal that is eaten cold?  Gross.  Then again, millions of people were pinning the recipe.  It couldn't be all bad.  I finally got the guts to try out a few recipes last month.

Here's the basic idea of overnight oats: you mix up oats with the milk of your choice (I use vanilla almond milk) and usually some Greek yogurt too.  My favorite recipe also calls for chia seeds to thicken it up a bit.  Then unless you want flavorless oatmeal, you add some sort of flavoring.  I've tried bananas, blueberries, almond, and apples, among other flavors.  That's it: you're done.  Put the container in the fridge, and by morning, your overnight oats have turned into breakfast.

I like to consider it more of a breakfast pudding; especially with the chia seeds, it has more a pudding consistency than oatmeal; plus it makes it totally acceptable to be eating it cold.  I was grossed out at the thought of cold oatmeal, but it's really so good.  It's also fine at room temperature, which was good because I can throw a container of it in my lunchbox and eat it at work before lunch without needing to heat it up.  In fact, I've never actually heated it, but I am sure that's good too.

Let's talk about this recipe in particular.  It really does have all the food flavors of a banana bread: bananas, cinnamon, maple syrup, even a hint of nuts from the milk.  Sooooo delicious.  I have never even added the pecans in the morning (mostly because I forget), but I imagine they would be a very welcome addition.  Besides tasting great, it's quite filling, with all the protein you get from the yogurt, the chia seeds, the oats, the almond milk.... you get it.  And how easy is it!?  Mix everything together and put it in the fridge.  Basically the easiest breakfast you can imagine.

So, yes, I am a believer of overnight oats.  I've made it many times in the past few weeks, and after many recipe trials, I can honestly say that there is really only one that is good enough to share with you.  The flavor, texture, and consistency of the banana bread overnight oats were far superior to the other recipes I tried - but if you have a favorite overnight oats recipe, let me know, because this is my new thing!  In the meantime, try this one; you'll be a believer too, I know it!


banana bread overnight oats
from the Wheatless Kitchen

1/3 cup whole oats (gluten-free if you so choose)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 banana, halved
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
pecans for topping


1) In a container, combine the oats, yogurt, milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup, and half of the banana, mashed.  Stir to combine.

2) Let sit in the refrigerator overnight to thicken.

3) Top with pecans and the other half of the banana.  Serve and enjoy!

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