As the weather is getting colder I find myself fancying something a bit heavier and heartier than the smoothie bowls I have been enjoying all summer, so I thought I would go back to an old favourite of mine. Overnight Oats!
I love this recipe so much so that I must have had it for breakfast pretty much everyday for about 5 years up until I treated myself to my VitaMix Blender last summer! it's super tasty with all the sweetness coming from natural fruit sugars, low in fat, cheap, easy to make, convenient when you are in a hurry and portable! (Perfect for prepping to take with you on long days out of the house) The list of benefits could go on. Using the mashed bananas was a game changer for me, its a healthy refined-sugar free way of making this breakfast sweet and nutritious, bananas are a great source of potassium. The oats are a whole-grain which contains lots of fibre helping you feel full and satisfied. Topping with a good portion of berries adds volume for minimal calories and provides loads of antioxidants. I usually would make this in the evening while cleaning up after my evening meal, and leave it sealed in a tub in the fridge overnight, this gives time for the liquids to soak into the oats so that they soften up and take on more of a cooked oatmeal texture. I used to make it fresh every evening but you can always multiply the recipe by 3 and make up a batch, it will last fine for up to 3 days in the fridge. Then the next morning, you can grab the tub out of the fridge before you go out and take it with you until you are ready to "Break Your Fast", which is usually around midday for me (I'll go into more detail on the benefits of intermittent fasting in a future blog!). This can win you some more time in bed to catch up on that all important rest. as you don't need to get up so early to make time for making and eating breakfast before you go out of the door, and helps you avoid reaching for poor quality convenience foods on the way when you are short for time. Now you have a healthy, sugar-free, low fat, high protein vegan breakfast ready whenever you are. If you fancy it warm you can always heat it up for a few minutes on a hob to get that traditional oatmeal experience, but its fine to eat cold or at room temperature and I usually prefer it that way as it is less stodgy and I don't get that post-meal crash or lethargic feeling eating it this way!
Ingredients: 1 banana (the softer and riper the better, ones with brown spots are the best) 75g Oats (any type will do but steel cut is the best) 100ml unsweetened soya milk (or other milk of your choice but keep an eye on the fat content, nut milks and cow milk are mostly fat) 20g Raisins (or sultanas) 1/4 tsp cinnamon 50g frozen berries 30g of cooked black beans* (optional, if you want to increase the protein content)
1) Peel the banana and throw it in a bowl, use the back of a fork to mash it up into a runny paste.
2) Add the oats, cinnamon and milk, give it a good stir to get the banana paste all mixed in, if it looks to dry and you prefer it with more liquid you can add some water until it is the desired consistency. Remember the oats will soak up some of the liquid the longer you leave it, and the berries will defrost.
3) Add the remaining toppings: raisins, berries, beans (if you are feeling adventurous and want to up the protein content) and mix it all up.
4) Store it in a sealed container and place in the fridge overnight. (you can eat it right away but I find at least 1 hour of soaking time is the best to get a softer, thicker texture, its a bit more like muesli if you eat it straight away)
5) Don't forget to grab it on your way out the door the next day. as long as it stays sealed it will last out of the fridge in a bag or in the car for the whole day if you need to so don't worry about keeping it cold. 6) Eat it cold or heat it up, its your choice! Heres the nutritional breakdowns for 1 serving of the recipe without the beans (on the left) and another breakdown on the right if you want to see what it looks like with the beans added:
I hope you enjoy this super convenient recipe, it's been a staple of mine for years and definitely makes it a whole lot easier to eat clean and healthy whenever you need to be out of the house and away from your kitchen! Let me know if you try it!