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Posts Tagged ‘Overnight Oats’

This morning I had a big ol’ bowl of overnight oats. It has been WAY too hot to make hot oatmeal but cereal and smoothies NEVER fill me like a hearty bowl of loaded oats. I added 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract to my bowl and let it sit overnight. In the morning I stirred in 1/2 cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt and topped the mixture with 1 sliced banana, roasted almonds, dried cranberries, cinnamon and honey. I typically add the milk and yogurt together overnight, but find that this can result in a bowl that is too thick or even chalky. The method I used today left me with a smooth, creamy and cool bowl of oatmeal full of intense vanilla flavor.

(Side Note: I miss chia seeds :(. I ran out a while ago and they can be expensive, so I decided not to buy them until I finish the flax I have on hand…not the same my friends, not the same. I might give in and buy more soon.)

I wasn’t sure how to prepare my overnight oats because every “recipe” I have seen for this version of oatmeal is slightly different. This got me thinking, there are SO many ways to make a hearty oatmeal breakfast. I have prepared oats in more ways than I can even think of:


Cookie Form:Baked in the oven:In nearly empty jars:Loaded with fresh fruit:Loaded with dried fruit:With Chocolate:And even raw:

Oatty-goodness,

Nora

1) What is your favorite way to prepare oatmeal?

2) What is your favorite breakfast when the weather is warm?


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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m READY! I’m ready to take MY LAST TEST and ready to be DONE WITH COLLEGE! I started today feeling quite prepared. Last night as I was waiting for my artichoke to cook, I assembled both breakfast and lunch. I knew I wasn’t going to have much time before my exam, and hate feeling rushed so this was an excellent decision. For breakfast I had overnight oats.

This happy crab bowl contains: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp ground flax, cinnamon, 1/2 a banana, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk. I added 1/3 cup Chobani Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt, crunchy almond butter, Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread, blackberries, more cinnamon and a splash of almond milk in the morning.

I’m debating my overnight oats method. I think next time I’m going to add more liquid and chia seeds. I like using oat bran for warm oats because it adds so much volume, but I think for cold oatmeal it just gives it a pasty consistency. I really liked the roasted/salted almond butter in my oats! I thought it was too salty alone but when you add it to oatmeal it gives the perfect amount of flavor. I’m also starting to rekindle my love for Crofter’s in my oats. The Asia Superfruit Spread is one of my favorites, containing whole pieces of raspberries and yumberries. I really liked the tartness in conjunction with the sweet banana and full-flavored almond butter. I need to get over my green monster streak and get back on the oats band wagon!! In all honesty, I love green monsters and they really hit the spot when I’m in the mood but NOTHING fills me the way oats do.

For lunch today I’m having yet another monster sandwich. I went a little festive, and added avocado for the holiday! Plus I love avocado. I will be packing some variation of sides to enjoy with my sandwich that are yet to be determined, but I’m thinking apple slices, celery and carrot sticks with almond butter for dipping! I like that idea…so be it. This sandwich was made with two slices of whole grain Ezekiel bread, 1/4 of an avocado, hot sauce, 1/4 red bell pepper, 1/2 Roma Tomato, sprouts and turkey. I know I say this everyday, but I am quite pleased with my fridge cleaning abilities!

My exam is probably going to take me the entire three hours, so snacks will be necessary. I stuck a few “emergency” bars from my stash into my bag last night. See how prepared I am? I’m working at the bakery tonight, which I am SO excited for because it is the perfect way to spend some down time before finishing up my paper for Friday. Dinner will be a random lunch box throw together with some Cinco de Mayo flare. Perhaps a sweet potato and black bean burrito? The world may never know.

Happy Hump Day,

Nora

Do you own a lunch box? What do you usually pack in it?

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Do you remember the “3 R’s” from elementary school? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These were pretty much engraved into my brain growing up, and Earth Day yesterday reminded me to get back into environmentally friendly habits.  I’m a recycling fanatic. I carry empty bottles around with me until I can find a recycle bin and when my friends put things in the trash that can be recycled, I tend to go “dumpster diving” and put them in their proper place. This morning I decided to dedicate myself to a better Earth and Reduced clean up, Reused my empty pumpkin butter jar, and Recycled the vessel when I was finished.

Last night as I was munching on my Dr.Kracker’s I knew that something was missing in my life, and that something was sunflower seeds. I use to put them on everything, and snack on the shelled version like a baseball player. I knew I was going to want the buttery seeds in the morning and thought it was a perfect occasion to use the empty pumpkin butter jar sitting in my fridge to make Overnight Muesli. Remember the Muesli I bought a while ago? I’ve only used it a grand total of….I think 3 times. I’m not sure why, it’s just not something I tend to crave in the morning. It is best used as overnight oats, and although I do sometimes think about my breakfast the night before this has never popped into my head. Last night, into my cute little jar went 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and  1/4 cup Greek yogurt. This morning I added cinnamon, 1 TBS chia seeds, 1/4 cup of almond milk and 1/2 sliced banana. I was surprised that I was able to fit this all into the jar but I did and it worked!

I loved the flavors. The raisins in the muesli get so plum overnight and the oats are the perfect soft consistency. I love the sunflower seeds and almond slices to give it a slight crunch. The pumpkin and banana flavors work perfectly with the mix. I especially like the contrast of pumpkin with the raisin. Pumpkin bread anyone? That is what it reminded me of.

Life Fun: I realize many times I am simply blogging about my food, so I decided to add a few little quips about my life. Not that I lead a very exciting life but every now and then I like to share, so here it goes. I have a nail polish collection. It’s almost as bad as my nut butter, jam, cereal and fun bowls/plates collection…almost. There was a time in my life that it would have been rare to see my naked nails because I was constantly changing colors. And by colors I mean variations of navy, dark purple, dark red, gray…I have fun colors too but nearly all of them are some color that resemble black upon first glance, although I do not actually own a black nail polish. I have been a little too busy to keep up with this habit, but I ALWAYS have my toes painted. Last night I decided it was necessary for a change. I went from Russian Navy to Mad As A Hatter. I actually picked up this new color yesterday because a) name sounded fun and b) I like shiny things.EW FEET! Well how else was I supposed to show you? The bottles are deceiving.

HAPPY WEEKEND,

Nora

What are your little “obsessions”?

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I am a planner. I have mile long to do lists with check marks on the sign, two calendars and every Sunday make a “plan of action” for the week noting what work/activities I have to do each day complete with a time line. Granted, you can’t always plan everything, but when I know I will be in a crunch for time I prepare my meals ahead of time….even breakfast.

Last night I had a late night with friends and knew that I would probably be sleeping in and not have time to make a proper breakfast. I am not one to grab a granola bar and fruit in the morning; it just doesn’t satisfy me. I also have an extremely busy day running around the bakery, so I needed something fast and filling. Last night I prepared: pumpkin overnight oats.

The Base:  1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves.

Toppings: 1 sliced banana , 1 TBS almond butter, Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread (black currant and pomegranate) and Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola.

This bowl was so filling, and has prepared me for a full day at work. I love adding chia seeds to my oats. I forgot to add them yesterday and noticed a difference in heartiness and volume. They add crunch and a fluffy consistency to the bowl, and make it more satisfying. It is so easy to eat right, it just takes a bit of planning. 

I don’t have much time today to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having, but after work I am making my 1.5 hour drive home. I’ll be back just in time for dinner with my parents!! PERFECT way to end the day!

Enjoy The Sunshine,

Nora

What is your favorite way to spend time when the weather is nice?

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I have been dying to “experience” chia seeds ever since I started reading about them on blogs. I think I may have entered every single chia giveaway in the blogsphere in hopes of obtaining some of these babies. Well, I was tired of waiting and finally made my purchase! What is so special about chia seeds you ask? Well according to the handout next to the display:

“They are loaded with omega-3 fay acids, and hey have among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food–even more than fresh blueberries. And they do good things for the body like keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control”…”Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of Aztec warriors; they even played a role in religious ceremonies. Supposedly, 1 BS of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions.”….”Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid and don’t require grinding (whole flax seed is hard to digest).”

2 TBS of Chia Seeds have approximately 7 g of fiber, 4g of protein, 205mg calcium and 5g of omega-3’s. They have a nutty flavor, and because they are easily digested whole, they can be sprinkled on yogurt or salads. They are also a nice addition to baked goods when ground.

I have seen chia seeds added to oats and yogurt, creating a voluminous mix. I couldn’t decide (theme lately?) so I added them all together to make: Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. I have oddly been craving carrot cake, and decided i would be a nice base to try my Artisana Coconut Butter with.

In the mix: 1/3 cup instant oats, 1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 large carrot shredded (reserve some for topping), 1/2 TBS chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge over night. In the morning top with: reserved shredded carrot, 1 TBS Organic Jumbo Raisins, 1 TBS Chopped Walnut, 1 TBS Artisana Coconut Butter.

The Verdict: Holy thickness!! I actually added some water (few tablespoons) to the mix after. Next time I’m going to add more liquid than yogurt. I LOVED the addition of chia seeds. They absorb liquid, and expand (a bit like tapioca?) to provide a nutty little crunch to every spoonful. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the coconut butter. When I opened the jar it looked like paste and looked a bit gritty. I heated it for a few seconds with a splash of soy milk in the microwave and could SMELL the intense coconut! It was amazing, and I most certainly licked the bowl I warmed it in! I loved this combination, and hey, getting a veggie in the morning isn’t bad either! I wanted to add banana to the mix but didn’t have any good and ripe ones on hand. I think next time I make these I am going to add 1/2 a banana whipped into the oats and slice the other half for topping.

Chia Me,

Nora

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite use?

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I’m on the road again, this time traveling to NYC with my family for some BIG EAST BASKETBALL! GO SYRACUSE! (I have to pause for a moment and admit that I am not a huge sports fanatic, but Syracuse IS Basketball!) Since we are leaving at 8am, I did some prep work last night for breakfast and snacks. I made good use of a small Chinese food container, and made overnight oats for on the go with: 1/3 cup steel-cut oats, 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cinnamon. My brother will never understand me and kept questioning me as I was putting everything together, “Why are you planning breakfast when you can get better food at Dunkin Donuts?” Hmmm, well Andrew, Loaded Overnight Oats versus Doughnuts…not that I have anything against doughnuts, I just happen to like my almond butter and filling steel-cut oats a bit more than a greasy-two-bite doughnut that leaves me hungry an hour later. But that’s just me. Actually, I’m the only person in my family that really eats breakfast :(. It’s my favorite meal of the day, so you can imagine my disappointment. ANYWAYS, I added a Justin’s Almond Butter packet (good choice for on the go), 1/2 sliced banana and 1-2 TBS Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread.

Crofter's Asia Superfruit Spread

Overnight Oats That Travel

I decided to have another “food-venture”  by adding Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread to my overnight oats. I guess that means I am traveling with food and through food today. Their Asia spread contains Raspberries, Yumberries, Morello Cherries and Red Grapes. I’m actually surprised that I didn’t try this spread first. Who wouldn’t want to crack open a jar that contained something as fun sounding as yumberries?! My taste buds were tingling, it was such an unexpected tartness that I loved! I’ve never had a yumberry before but now know where the phrase “YUM” comes from, they were delicious! This would be amazing on a sice of whole grain sourdough bread with a bit of goat cheese!!

I also packed Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola into individual containers, two Greek yogurt cups, steel-cut oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Jam, Amond Butter, Larabars, Clif Mini’s. Bananas and Apples. I’m not one to skip breakfast, even when the people I am traveling with opt out, so I thought it would be important to pack some healthy breakfast and snack options. Plus, I absolutely refuse to pay $10 for a bowl of granola, fruit and yogurt at a restaurant.

Healthy Travels,

Nora

How do you eat when you are away from home? Do you eat every meal at resturants or do you bring your own? Do you ever skip meals and snack through out the day?

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Lately, I feel as if I have been bitten by the travel bug. I constantly think of the foreign lands I want to adventure to, the sights I want to see and the food I have been dying to experience. I have read about European cheeses, French wine, distinguished Italian flavors and Greek cuisine but feel that I can not truly define their essence until I have  traveled and immersed myself in their societies. One day I will plan this dream trip, but until then, I will just have to let it influence the foods that I try locally. This morning, I took a little inspiration from Europe, integrating Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread into my overnight oats.

Crofter's Superfruit Europe

Overnight Oats

In the bowl: 1/3 cup steel-cut oats, soaked in 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt and cinnamon overnight. In the morning add 1 TBS  Almond Butter, 1-2 TBS Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread and 1/2 of a large banana.

The Europe spread was amazing! It is composed of black currents and pomegranate blended with morello cherries and red grapes. The black currents are the star of this spread. After mixing my bowl together I continuously found whole currents, and each bite provided an explosion of  tart/sweet, decadent, and concentrated current favor. I love this in my cold oats, but think it would be even more amazing heated over ice cream, or pancakes!

Traveling Through Food,

Nora

Do you enjoy trying global cuisines and “traveling through food”? What is your favorite?

**REMINDER, CHOBANI CONTEST ENDS TONIGHT AT 10pm!!**

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