This week, I decided to go ahead and add some grains back into my diet. I am *not* choosing wheat, but am going to stick with oatmeal for awhile. I might also try some other grains later like brown rice and quinoa, but limit it to one serving of grains per day. I have been eating eggs and/or yogurt with fruit for breakfast every day; the oatmeal will be a welcome change!
I used to eat oatmeal for breakfast several days a week back when I started this blog. It was an integral part of my eating plan as I lost the first 64 pounds. I've been thinking about adding oatmeal back in, but wondered how I could add some protein to it to make it more filling. This morning, as I was eating my homemade yogurt, I remembered reading online about how to make oatmeal without cooking it. You just soak it overnight in a mixture of yogurt and milk, and then add fruits or cinnamon or whatever you like in the morning. You can eat it cold, straight from the fridge, or warm it up. I think this will be a nice use of my homemade yogurt and since this recipe makes 3 servings, it's an easy grab and go breakfast. I found the recipe here and adapted it slightly.
Basic Overnight Oats
1 cup dry old fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used homemade; regular or Greek is fine)
1/2 cup milk of your choice (skim, low fat, regular, soy, almond, rice milk, etc)
Stir together, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Makes 3 servings.
The original recipe includes vanilla, cinnamon, and honey, but I will leave it to you to decide if you want to add those. I like the idea of a basic plain oatmeal that I can add things to each day as I choose. One day I might add some canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and warm it up; another time, I may mash a banana into it with a spoonful of almond butter. You can sweeten if you like or add any kinds of fruits or nuts. I think a scoop of chocolate protein powder would be good mixed in, too. I topped mine with strawberries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of honey. Yum!
This makes a very filling breakfast without being heavy. Calorie-wise, it depends on what you're using:
1 cup dry oatmeal: 300
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt: 75
1/2 cup 1% milk: 55
Total = 430, divided by 3 servings = 143 calories per serving
This is the calorie count for the basic recipe; add any calories for fruits, nuts, sweeteners, etc that you add.
If you want to lower the calories further, use fat free plain yogurt and unsweetened almond milk to bring your calories to 127 per serving.
I've heard of people making oatmeal smoothies with this stuff by adding more milk and some frozen fruit, but I am not quite that adventurous yet. If you try it, let me know how it is!