I know that overnight oats have already invaded the blogosphere and that they're a confirmed hit, but I'm still a newbie. Thanks to my colleague Brooke at Faulkner who finally motivated me to try them with this great blog post by The Yummy Life, which also includes a nice summary on chia seeds (just added to my daily diet!). In the winter, I eat oatmeal almost every morning but switch off to yogurt fruit smoothies in the spring/summer, so I loved this option of chilled oatmeal. Normally, cold mush wouldn't tempt me but overnight oats incorporates yogurt and yummy toppings. The Yummy Life post presents 6 different flavors and of course I targeted the chocolate one: banana cocoa. Click here to see the recipe that I followed almost to a T. My only change was to use Splenda instead of honey; because I used a dark bitter cocoa, I would have had to add too many calories if sweetening with honey. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. There is much ongoing research on the flavonoids in cocoa and dark chocolate including its potential disease-fighting effects in type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure. Add cocoa to high-protein Greek yogurt, potassium-rich and energy-boosting bananas, and satiating oats and chia seeds and you've got the perfect jumpstart to a healthy day.
The verdict? I loved how easy it was to make. I used an old jelly jar, adding the ingredients and shaking it up. That's pretty much it. I thought the mixture might swell overnight but it didn't, though the oats softened nicely. I enjoyed the textures and flavors: faint crunch from the chia seeds, chewiness from the oats, bitter depth from the cocoa, sweet softness from the bananas and yogurt. I also loved the portion size. It was absolutely perfect for breakfast...my stomach was happy but not bloated. The only slight disappointment was that with all the hype, these oats tasted simply like chocolate yogurt with stuff mixed in. Nothing too distinctive or new. Still, this recipe will be added to my superstar breakfast list because it's soo easy to make, effortless to pack for an office breakfast, and soo nutritious!
Nutrition info per serving: 230 calories, 4 g fat, 14 g protein, 7 g fiber, 30% calcium, 32% iron