Edit: Please note that this post pre-dates my decision to shift to a plant-based diet. Replace the yoghurt with coconut yoghurt. xx
Overnight chia oats is my absolute go-to weekday breakfast. It takes a minute to put together the night before, another minute to cut up the fruits you want the next morning, and you have breakfast! If eating at home is not possible, not a problem, prep it in a jar to grab-and-go the next morning. When I have a particularly busy week, or my sisters want some as well, I make a big container for everyone to scoop out as they want in the morning and it will last us a couple of days. Can it be any more perfect?
Oats are really an awesome way to start your day. It has a unique type of fibre called beta-glucan which acts to lower cholesterol and boost your immune system. It also has a unique antioxidant compound that further improves heart health. Truly a winner in the breakfast stakes! Use rolled oats, not instant, for proper nutritional benefit.
I’m generally dairy-free but the occasional scoop of Greek yoghurt is ok, plus we don’t have good dairy-free alternatives here so until then, dairy Greek yoghurt it is. Full-fat is better simply because it usually means no added sugars (honestly, just check out the labels of “fat-free” stuff – usually packed with sugar!) and some healthy fats is necessary in your diet! Dairy Greek yoghurt makes the exception in my diet because it carries probiotics which is good for the gut. The yoghurt gives the oats its lush creaminess, so if you cannot tolerate dairy do look out for an alternative OR use a nut butter in its place.
Finally, get a superfood boost from the addition of chia seeds! Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, and they also carry some protein, lots of calcium, manganese and magnesium. When soaked in water, they soak it up and become this jelly like bits which makes the overnight oats thicker and almost pudding-like.
What I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to change the flavour and/or toppings so that it never gets boring! Below are some of my favourite versions:
Chocolate: add 1 (or 2) tsp cocoa/cacao powder
Peanut Butter: add 1 tablespoon peanut butter instead of yoghurt
Peanut Butter and Jelly: the above peanut butter oats + a heaping teaspoon of organic, sugar-free jam
Cinnamon: add a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
Vanilla: add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Tropical: top with bananas, mango and passionfruit
Must have toppings: nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts; pumpkin and sunflower seeds; dried fruit such as figs, mulberries and goji berries
The recipe below is my personal preference of the serving portion, and I find it sufficiently filling. You might want another tablespoon or two of the oats, and if you do, just top up with a little more non-dairy milk.
- 3 tablespoon rolled oats
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt, or non-dairy yoghurt of choice
- ½ cup non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1-2 tsp agave or maple syrup (optional, for sweetness)
- The night before, place all the ingredients into a bowl, jar or container, and stir well. Add any additional flavouring, if you want. Cover with cling wrap if in a bowl, close the jar or container, then just leave it in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, prepare the toppings of choice. Take out the oats. If you find it a bit thick, add a little more non-dairy milk and stir. Your oats are now ready to serve with your favourite toppings!
Enjoy! xx, Bee