Saturday, March 24, 2012

Overnight Oats (No-Cook Oatmeal)

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!


Diandra said...

I love oatmeal for breakfast... since it has been rather cool in the mornings, I have used cooked oatmeal the last few weeks, but once it gest warmer, I may try this as well.

Katie Ann said...

I have gotten out of the habit of eating oatmeal every morning in the last few weeks due to the weather warming up, but eating it cold in the morning sounds really good, almost like rice pudding. I got protein with mine by dumping a big scoop of fat free cottage cheese on top, and sometimes nuts. Occasionally I'd use powdered egg whites by mixing them in and microwaving the bowl for two minutes, stir, microwave for two more minutes. It comes out pretty solid and "set," very much like bread pudding.

Jac said...

Just a thought on the brown rice - maybe give this a read, and do some investigating of your own: We always assume that the whole-grain version is better, but it may not be the case here.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I use oatmeal as the basis for my meals, almost every day. I eat it throughout the day, as I "need" volume in order to stick to my calories. It comes to over a gallon, but I make it a bit "loose" in texture by using considerably more fluid than the recipe suggests.

I use egg whites for my protein. Sometimes I use as many as 9 or 10 if that is my only source of protein for the day. I place the egg whites in the blender with the fluid (for me, water and almond milk). By blending the eggwhites, the oatmeal comes out creamier. If I don't use the blender the eggwhites cook separately and that is kind of gross, though it does not change anything else.
In order to add to the fiber content and natural sweetness without too many additional calories, I often use a fairly large amount of carrots, either blended or grated. While the oatmeal cooks, so do the carrots. Of course, you can add anything else you wish. I often include low fat ricotta and all the other things that most people use.
Thanks for the mention of the 35 calorie Almond Milk. I did not realize it existed but I've been using it ever since I saw the mention on your blog. Saved me hundreds of calories, since previously I was using the 90 calories one.

Karen said...

Looks really good...much better than the Slim Fast I had this morning!

Elaine said...

When I lived in Croatia, my in-laws ate their oatmeal uncooked in the mornings, with just unrefined sugar and milk. No soaking.

It took me some time to develop a taste for uncooked oatmeal, but now I think it's delicious!

Anonymous said...

Mmm, I bet this would be good with grated apple in it, too. Here is a link for a recipe that is similar, the biggest difference being that the concoction is left on the counter to soak overnight, , the advantage being that the warm environment helps the lactic acid producing bacteria to pre-digest the grains, much like sauerkraut.

Caron said...

I have been adding a tablespoon of ground fraxseed to my oatmeal along with almond milk and canned pumpkin and cinnamon. It's really good. :)

emason said...

Hi - I'm a lurker....check out this blog: She has an entire section devoted to overnight oats and outmeal, in general.

Anonymous said...

You might like this blog, she is a big fan of oats!:)

Anonymous said...

Oops! Someone beat me to the suggestion! Sorry!!

Lyn said...

I *love* Kath's blog!! She and I started blogging about the same time and I have read her for years. She has some awesome oatmeal ideas over there! I have a link to her blog in my blogroll to the left :) Thanks for the suggestion and I hope readers will go check her out!