How to make overnight oats.
I know, I know!!!! You probably already know how…but there’s a pie crust on the bottom!
One of my most pinned recipes (terrible pictures and all) is this overnight oats recipe.
Overnight oats have a warm place in my heart.
1) Because they’re cold. I (read: my stomach) tends to like cold things over hot things in the morning.
2) Because overnight oats were the first food I tried when I started a healthier lifestyle.
It’s hard to pinpoint the tipping point for adopting a different approach to eating. I think it’s usually a whole bunch of new habits that develop over a a period of time. Then all of the sudden you realize, “I eat differently now.” No longer do I binge on raisinets and goldfish. The urge and desire may be there, but you’re bigger than it. Along this path to eat differently, you realize you feel better because you are eating better. No longer are you eating to fill a void or because of mindless munchies or because of that test/work you have next week that you totally “just can’t even” about.
For me, at some point I started approaching food in an all-or-nothing sort of way. Food was either all good or all bad. Growing up, food was always something to celebrate in our house, something to enjoy, and in my opinion, we ate well. I grew up picking vegetables from the garden on the side of our house, weekly homemade dinners, occasional Mexican food outings, spoonfuls of cookie dough from my grandma and so much salmon (my dad LOVES salmon).
But somewhere along the way, because of the pressures of high school & college/a parent getting sick/feeling that you just don’t fit anywhere, food became a way to control the ugliness in life. At the time, it was easier to use food to deal with my feeling rather than actually dealing with my feelings. And along the way I lost touch with how to enjoy food. I loved eating, but hated eating, but was just so confused why I couldn’t enjoy food.
If you’ve ever struggled with any kind of disordered eating, you may relate. That’s why posts like these really hit home….because I know how it feels. Or now, I know how it felt.
Overnight oats was one of the foods that made me realize how delicious healthy eating could be and how it was possible to be excited about healthy food. It was one of the foods that healed my broken relationship with food. I realized food could be delicious and healthy…sounds simple but I’d never really made that connection before. I mean, it’s a creamy pudding for breakfast that’s filled with whole grains, calcium, iron, omega-3’s, and protein. It’s the best of both worlds: tasty & nutritious.
So if there is one food that began to change my perspective on eating, it was overnight oats. The first time I tried them, it was the beginning of my tipping point towards a new outlook on food.
I love them. I really do. They were the food that helped me fall back in love with food. They taught me to love again. That may sound dramatic, but I’ve thought about it a lot and I owe a thank you to overnight oats (or at least a blog post with pictures better than these).
It wasn’t like I ate a mug of overnight oats and suddenly had this awesome relationship with food, it was a slow change over 3 years that lead me to where I am today. I’m in a place where I love food, I can enjoy food and don’t use food for comfort. I still tend to gravitate towards sweet, carby, sugary snacks after dinner, but that’s because I’m human and cravings are normal (and should be celebrated on occasion) and if I don’t eat something after dinner I won’t have the energy to workout before I eat breakfast in the morning (I tend to be an early morning exerciser). Rather than reaching for pre-made cookies/cake, now I tend to fill these sweet, sugar cravings with healthier options. It might still be a cookie(s), but they’re made in a healthier way. Like the cookies from the cookie eCookbook or these banana bread cookie sandwiches.
Many people have made overnight oats. I bet 87% of you have made them. But to this version I added a graham cracker crust to mix in some festive holiday spirit. It’s not the holiday’s without a graham cracker crust on something.
I was so over cooking last week and this weekend, which I need to get out of my system before the holiday of food (i.e. thanksgiving).
I ate out Wednesday for lunch and then Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner. Then Saturday morning I went for a farmers market breakfast and Sunday morning I brunched. And then last night we had a 4 cheese Amy’s pizza that I topped with more cheese, chicken sausage, tomatoes and arugula. I was all I DON’T WANT TO COOK!!!(!!!).
I needed a break from the kitchen. Sometimes I have no ideas. ZERO. But after all that eating out with wonderful people at fun restaurants with creative food ideas and pretty atmospheres, I feel inspired to cook again. I’d post all next weeks meals to instagram, but since the sun goes down at 5:15 pm now it’s kinda hard to take pretty photos without natural light, but I will attempt it. I have this huge love-hate relationship with daylight savings time. I just asked Andrew what he has a love-hate relationship with. This is what he said, “apples, because sometimes they’re too sweet and I feel like I’m eating a jolly rancher.” What?
This is who I married. The same person who texted me this week, “I bought a new car.” To which I said, “For reals?” To which he said, “Yep. It’s awesome.” But it’s all good, because he can do this side smile that makes me go weak at the knees.
If you’ve been making overnight oats for ages and this recipe is so beginning of 2011, I totally get it. But humor me and add the graham cracker crust and I hope you feel like you’re eating a pie (of sorts). And now that there are Christmas commercials on the TV, pie things are totally fair game.
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I used 2%)
- 2/3 cup milk of choice (I used 2%)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 banana thinly sliced
- couple dashes cinnamon
- 2 graham cracker sheets, crushed into a coarse flour
- 1-2 dates, pitted (I used 1 large one)
- garnish: graham cracker crumbles (optional)
- The night before, combine all ingredients for the overnight oats in a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, place date in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes. Allow date to sit for 2 minutes before draining off the water. Using the back of a fork, mash the date until smooth. Add crushed graham crackers and mashed date to a bowl and stir until a dough forms. Press dough into the bottom of a glass. Pour cold overnight oats over the graham cracker crust and add a graham cracker crumble to the top. Eat! No cooking required!