Easy Overnight Oats
Launching this blog has been quite a process. From idea development, to figuring out how on earth web-hosting works, to actually taking the time to test some of my favourite recipes to make sure that they are delicious and easy for others to make... It's also a little bit scary, sharing my little space on the internet, something that I've been working on with others. But today is the day that I get to share my 'baby' with all of you. I'm hoping to share my passion with each of my followers, and I hope that over time I can inspire you to cook real food at home more often, to experiment in the kitchen and not be afraid of making mistakes, and to learn more about how the food that you eat can keep your body healthy and strong. So here it goes, recipe number 1...
Easy Overnight Oats
I figured that I should share this first because it's probably my number 1 breakfast option at the moment. Please comment if you give it a go, let me know what you think, and share any tasty additions that you try out. Most of us know that it's important to have something to eat for breakfast to kick-start our day, but often don't have the time to prepare something tasty, sustaining, and full of good nutrients that our bodies need, before we rush out of the house in the morning. It's pretty fitting that I start this blog off with a recipe that is one of my favourite go-to breakfasts for many different reasons. It's simple, quick and easy to make, and if you know that you're going to have a busy week you can make big batch to last you a whole week. It's filling, and provides you with sustained energy to get through the morning. It also tastes really good :) There is such a variety of different combinations and added extras you can add tailor the recipe to your own tastes and preferences. Each of the main ingredients is pretty easy to find in the shops, affordable, and boasts a number of potential health benefits when included as part of a balanced diet. Here are a few awesome facts about some of the ingredients used in this recipe.
Most of the health benefits associated with oats have been attributed to high fibre, phytonutrient, vitamin, and mineral contents. Beta-glucan is an important soluble fibre that is found in oats, which has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels thanks to its ability to bind to excess cholesterol in the gut and thus preventing its absorption. Recent research has shown that oats contain a unique phenolic compound known as avenanthramide (AVE), which may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that provide positive health benefits. Oat products tend to have a low GI and cause a low blood glucose response when consumed, and thus provide more sustained energy over time as well as effective management of blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
Almonds are nutrient dense foods thanks to their unsaturated fatty acid content. They also contain high-quality plant-based protein, fibre, vitamins B7 (biotin), E and B2 (riboflavin), manganese, copper, phytosterols, and a number of beneficial phenolic compounds. By virtue of their unique composition, nuts have been proven to be beneficial when consumed regularly as part of a well-balanced diet. The fibre and other prebiotic components found in almonds have been shown to improve gut health through the promotion of beneficial microflora growth. Studies have associated nut consumption with a possible reduced incidence of heart disease, and limited evidence suggests that they have beneficial effects on inflammation, hypertension, and blood cholesterol levels. More information detailing the benefits of almonds can be found here, here, here, and here.
Ok enough information, here's the recipe. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Healthy Life (Jessica Sepel)
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 cup brewed Rooibos tea
1 tsp chia seeds
1 Granny Smith apple or pear, grated
1/3 cup raw nuts (almonds, pecans), roughly chopped
1/4 cup seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
2 Tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
1 Tbsp desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
To serve: fresh/frozen berries, banana, figs, raw nuts, cinnamon, chopped mint, lemon juice, orange segments...
The night before, mix together the oats, Rooibos tea and chia seeds in a small bowl or jar and store in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, mix the remaining ingredients with the oat mixture in a large bowl. Serve with fresh/frozen berries, sliced banana, figs, raw nuts, extra cinnamon, chopped mint, lemon juice, or orange segments. The possibilities here are pretty endless :)
I find that this recipe is sufficient for two people, but most recipes that I've encountered use twice the amount of oats specified here. If you try this recipe and find that the serving size is not big enough to fill you up and get you through the morning, increase the amount of oats to 2/3 cup or 1 cup. Double or triple the recipe if you want to make enough Overnight Oats to last you the whole week.
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 Liu Z, Lin X, Huang G, Zhang W, Rao P, Ni L. Prebiotic effects of almonds and almond skins on intestinal microbiota in healthy adult humans. Anaerobe. 2014 Apr;26:1-6.
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