Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and it’s also an important one! It kick-starts your metabolism and helps replenish low blood sugar, providing fuel to your brain and muscles to start the day. Skipping breakfast or grabbing a coffee or a muffin on the go are not the best habits to fall into. Studies have shown that consuming breakfast improves glucose and insulin responses throughout the day and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas prolonged fasting may cause a spike and crash effect on blood sugar. Additionally, the types of food consumed are equally important. Refined carbohydrates in foods such as muffins, white bread and cereal can spike blood sugar levels and are not the best options for providing sustained energy. Replacing these refined food with things such as whole grains, protein and unsaturated fatty acids will provide the proper nutrition to boost your metabolism, keep your blood sugar levels stable and enhance your body’s functioning.
One of my favorite breakfast foods is oatmeal. I love the versatility in that you can add whatever fruits, nuts, seeds or nut butters you desire and create something new each morning. Even though I eat oatmeal pretty much every morning for breakfast, I never get tired of it due to the endless options. I typically like warm breakfasts as its a bit easier on the digestive system and I also find it more comforting. My favorite by far is baked oatmeal. I used to make a different version of baked oatmeal every morning and would set aside a large chunk of time to relax and enjoy it. Now that my school schedule is busy with lots of early mornings I am thankful for the convenience of overnight oats. These are so quick to make at night, and take away all the stress of having to make breakfast in the morning! They are also extremely versatile and are so good! These keep me full for hours, especially because they have the added benefit of chia and flax seed!
I normally just roughly measure the ingredients into a jar, stir and place in the fridge overnight. Here are some guidelines for measurements that you can definitely adjust according to your liking!
- 1/2 cup oats
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla almond milk)
- Topping suggestions: Fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, granola
- In a bowl, mash 1/2 of a banana. You can save the other half for toppings in the morning.
- Add chia seeds, flax seed and cinnamon to mashed banana and mix.
- Add almond milk, oats and vanilla.
- Add to a jar, seal and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, stir the mixture. If it needs more liquid just add a splash more almond milk. Stir in fruit of choice, nut butter, top with nuts, seeds, granola, more nut butter (yum) or whatever you desire!
- If you don’t have banana you can omit it and in the morning add other fruit. Bananas give it the sweetness so you may want to add a tiny bit of maple syrup or honey.
- You can put everything into the jar and mix/shake if you don’t want to use a bowl!
- Apple Cinnamon: Omit the banana, in the morning stir in 1/2 diced apple (I also mix in almond butter). Top with the other 1/2 of the apple, cinnamon, more almond butter (yum) and any nuts/seeds you like, I normally use hemp hearts! Pears work well like this too.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter: Add 1 tsp on cacao powder and 1/2-1 tbsp natural peanut butter. You can add the peanut butter with the rest of ingredients or in the morning. This is good topped with the other half of the banana and more peanut butter!
- Berry: You can add any frozen berries the night before or fresh berries in the morning!
- Tropical: Mango, pineapple and coconut. These can be added either the night before or in the morning.
- Carrot Cake: Add raisins and shredded carrot the night before!
- Pumpkin spice: Add pumpkin puree or pumpkin spice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg!