Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are something I have been making for ages.  Not only is it amazingly healthy but it is super easy to make and will keep you full for hours.  There are many ways that you can prepare overnight oats, honestly I can sit here and think of a million different flavor combinations.  This is another wonderful thing about them, you can choose the flavors you like best and you will never get tired of them because you can switch it up all the time.  There is a basic formula I follow for my oats:

– 1/4 cup Rolled Oats (not instant)

– 1 tsp Chia Seeds (black or white is fine)

– 1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

– 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (can use any type of milk)

– Sweetener of choice (I use Truvia)

– Fruit of choice

(See Note at Bottom of Post)***********

Typically for my flavor options I use 1 tbs of sugar free pudding mix.  You can just as easily use applesauce, pumpkin, mashed banana, etc…

Preparing the oats is easy.  Grab a mason jar with a lid (or tupperware) add all of the above ingredients except fruit.  Put the lid on the container and shake vigorously to mix together all the ingredients.  Open the jar and stir in whatever fruit you want to use then close the jar and stick it back into the refrigerator.  That’s all there is too it!  I mean come on now, how easy is that?  As it sits overnight the oats and the chia seeds will soak up all the liquid.  In the morning just open the jar, insert spoon and munch.  I like to top mine with granola or cereal for an extra crunch, but you certainly don’t have too.  Now I know a lot of people don’t like cold oatmeal so if you prefer you can heat the jar (without lid) in the microwave for a little bit and eat them warm.

Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

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Blackberry/Strawberry Lemon

Just use the standard ingredients listed above and add 1 tbs sugar free lemon pudding mix.

 

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Apricot Lemon 

Standard ingredients, 1 tbs sugar free lemon pudding, 2 chopped apricots & you can see I added cheerios to this one.

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Chocolate PB & Banana

Standard ingredients, 1 tbs sugar free chocolate pudding mix, 1 tbs PB2 (or regular peanut butter), sliced banana.

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Pumpkin Pie

Standard ingredients plus, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tbs sugar free butterscotch pudding mix, 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice.  I added granola to this one before eating.

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Raspberry Cheesecake

Standard ingredients, 1 tbs sugar free cheesecake pudding mix, raspberries.

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Raspberry Pistachio

Standard ingredients, 1 tbs sugar free pistachio pudding mix, raspberries.

I plan on trying an Apple Pie variety soon.  This one will include the standard ingredients, 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 tsp apple pie spice and some chopped fresh apple.

Overnight oats are perfect for people who are always rushing in the morning as this is just something you can grab and eat on the go.  I would also recommend this to parents who have school aged children.  It doesn’t create much of a mess and is something fun they can do that will get them involved in making healthy and nutritious breakfast choices.  If you find that this is not enough you can always double the ingredients to make it a larger breakfast.  Sometimes I feel more hungry than others so I will use 1/3 cup of oats instead of a 1/4 cup.  The oats will last a couple of days in the refrigerator so feel free to make a few at one time.

 

******* If you are not using the pudding mix I would reduce the almond milk to 1/3c.  You need a 1/2c for the pudding mix because it gets thick but if you are going to leave out the mix and just use applesauce or pumpkin puree or something almond those lines stick to 1/4c – 1/3c so it wont be too runny.  You could also add more chia seeds to soak up the liquid.

 

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Sunday Cleanup & Food Preparation

Sundays are fantastic days to clean up the leftovers in the fridge and too prep food for a week of healthy lunches.  I understand that week days are busy for everyone, that’s exactly why taking your extra Sunday time for weekly food prep sessions are great.  It may take a couple of hours to do but your body and wallet will thank you for it during the week.  I have been packing my own breakfast and lunch too work for years now.  I cannot stress just how much money this has saved me over the years.  Since my husband and I have been married (1 year in October) I have been packing his lunch as well.  He is amazed by how much money this has actually saved us in this short period of time.

Normally I will try and make a few different meat selections on Sunday night and then throughout the week the only thing I have to prepare are vegetables for dinner.  Our lunches normally consist of sandwiches and salads.  I know that many may think this gets old but there are so many ways of constructing a salad or sandwich that it can always seem like a totally different meal.  I am lucky, in that I work in an office with a microwave and refrigerator so it’s easy for me to pack things that need to stay cool and things that need to be heated up.  My husband on the other hand is a farmer and can only take something that fits within his work cooler.  I have learned during this very hot summer that pre-arranging sandwiches was not going to work.  I learned this after my husbands first lunch turned into a soggy mess.  Since then I have been packing everything in it’s own ziplock bag to keep them everything seperate and this has seemed to work splendidly.  I have even  been able to send things like chicken nachos with my success.

My first suggestion to everyone is to invest in at least one good lunchbox container.  My personal favorite is my Laptop Lunchbox.  I don’t know if you have ever heard of this brand but I can promise you that it is absolutely perfect.  It comes with several different containers that all fit within the large box.  These mini containers are also great for portion control.  Do yourself a favor and check them out if you havn’t.  This box is a great place to start for preparing and taking your own lunches to work.

Here is a quick list of some of the things I made today to prepare for this week:

– Chopped lettuce for salads

– Spicy Roasted Tofu

– Sliced mixed fruit

– Pot Roast

– Mashed Potatoes

– Zucchinni Casserole

– Avocado Tuna Salad

For dinner tonight I finished the other half of my roasted acorn squash and had a side salad with some of the tofu I made earlier and a dollop of greek yogurt.  Over the course of the next few days I will try and compile some photos of my lunches so I can show you exactly how I prepare for the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Acorn Squash

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One of my absolute favorite foods is squash.  I love it in all forms.  You just can’t beat a good acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash.  Knowing it’s summer and that yellow squash will be available in abundance I tend to lean toward squash of the fall or winter variety.  There are a ton of health benefits to squash, a simple Google search will tell you all you need to know.  I usually always prepare my squash in the oven.  For me, roasting is the best method.

Acorn squash is fantastic, do you know why?  It creates it’s on little bowl that you can stuff with almost anything you like.  One of my favorite things to put inside is peanut or almond butter.  Today’s specific squash was stuffed with Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter.  I plan on making a couscous mixture to stuff inside the other half and I will be sure to post that when it happens.

Prepping, preparing and making this is so easy and will literally only take around 50 minutes total.  Only 5 minutes, I may add, will be of work.  The other 45 minutes is baking time.

PB Stuffed Acorn Squash

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is preheating simply slice your acorn squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds and strings (reserving the seeds if you would like to use them).  Slice a tiny sliver off the bottom side of each half, so it will sit flat inside your baking dish.  Spray each half with cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray) but you can use olive, canola or any other type you have on hand.  Sprinkle each half with a little sea salt and cinnamon.  Once your oven is preheated simply set the pan inside the oven and set a timer for 45 minutes.  You will know that your squash is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork.  Once out of the oven, scoop peanut or almond butter into the center and let it get all melty.  At this point I always top it with a dash more sea salt and cinnamon but feel free to leave that out if you wish.

This can be a great side dish for dinner (leaving out the peanut butter) or a dinner all it’s own when stuffed with whatever concoction you prefer.  This would also be a wonderful way to get your children to try new veggies as we all know that almost all kids will eat something that has peanut butter smothered on it.

 

Introduction

I have been trying to wrap my head around blogging for a long time now.  Parts of me have wanted to create and operate my own blog for some time.  I have, however, had my doubts.  Putting yourself out there is never easy and it is not the most comfortable thing in the world.  Being an introverted type person I’m used to keeping my ideas and opinions to myself, tightly wound up deep inside my own mind.  I do feel that I have a good way of speaking and communicating my thoughts and I have a passion for helping people.  Those two things have inspired and pushed me to create this blog.

I’m passionate about a lot of things.  Mostly about health, fitness and people.  This blog will be my way of sharing healthy recipes, cooking ideas and general life thoughts.