Since I started tracking calories, I’ve realised even more the importance of a decent breakfast. A 2200 calorie target means a sizeable breakfast sets you up well for the day and means you’re not chasing calories mid-morning.
Oats are a great way to do this; they’re full of slow-release energy due to their low Glycaemic Index. Even if, like me, you have a desk job, a decent breakfast means you don’t even think about food until noon at the earliest.
The thing I love about this particular breakfast is it can be mostly prepared the night before in a matter of minutes. Mentally this prepares you for the next day, getting you organised, and gives you a head start in the morning.
Overnight Oats Recipe
- 75g rolled oats
- 75g frozen berries (any will do)
- 200ml soya milk (or any plant based milk)
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon of goji berries or raisons
- 1/2 teaspon of cinamon
- small pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons of soya/coconut yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter (I use Pip’n’Nut)
- 1/2 tablespoon of flaxseeds
- a drizzle of maple syrup
I should note: this is a large portion! At 670 calories it’s not a small breakfast. If you’re not too hungry in the mornings you may want to half this to begin with and figure out what proportion works for you.
Between the soya yoghurt, oats, almond butter and hemp seeds, you’ll get plenty of protein here. As mentioned previously, oats are amazing at slowly releasing carbs throughout the morning. You’ll get loads of healthy fats from the seeds and almond butter which will also help you feel satisified. And trust me, this meal will fill you up.
Calories: 670 Carbs: 64g Protein: 29g Fats: 27g
In a container with a lid, add oats, frozen berries, goji berries, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Add your milk and stir well. It should be quite runny; if it isn’t, add some water or a little more milk. Stick it in the fridge overnight, and you’re done until the morning!
By the morning the oats, seeds and berries should’ve soaked up all the milk, and will have turned it a nice red/purple colour. Transfer the oats into a nice bowl (I use Coconut Bowls) and add your toppings. Mine are a suggestion based on honing it over the last few months, but really you can add what you like depending on what you have and what you like.
Add yoghurt (I use Alpro, Coyo or Koko), almond butter and a drizzle of maple syrup; then sprinkle over your hemp and flax seeds. You can top further with cacao nibs and chopped hazelnuts too for added decadence! I’ll often add some chopped fresh fruit like banana or apple if I have it around and it needs clearing up as well.
I’m fortunate that I can get all my oats, seeds and dried fruit from my local zero-waste shop. The frozen berries are the most difficult thing to reduce packaging on, but in my opinion a vital element. Frozen zero-waste stores would be a godsend!
I try to avoid using almond milk where I can these days, due to comparatively large water use, and the lack of supply due to large draughts in California in recent years. I find soy and oat milk strike the best balance of emissions, land use and water. The taste of the particular variety of milk doesn’t matter much, as there’s so much other flavour going on.
Oats are dirt cheap, but with additions I’m aware this is not the most affordable of breakfasts. With that said, most of the ingredients you can buy in bulk, meaning over time it can work out as cheap as your average box of cereal, and a whole lot more nutritious.
You can use other nut butters, as almond as one of the more expensive. I’ve tried this with peanut and it just doesn’t really work as well as a bit’s too gloopy. Cashew butter worked OK too, so experiment away.
And that’s it…
There’s a certain smugness when you open your fridge in the morning and there’s overnight oats waiting for you. When the weather starts getting colder, I’m a big fan of the warm classic that is porridge, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered in the morning. This is a great alternative, and one I often prefer to the heaviness of porridge, any time of the year.
It’s also great on the move if you’ve got a container you can sling in a bag and eat at your destination. I’ve even taken a portion in my backpack on a cycle ride on the Downs to eat halfway. And let me tell you; I had energy for miles!