Ode to Overnight Oats

by on January 13, 2010

As you’ve probably noticed, I like oatmeal. Just a tad, it’s not like I eat it everyday or anything. :)

But yes, I’m a HUGE fan of stove top oats and I’ll eat instant in a pinch, however, overnight oats are even better than instant oats, are easy to prepare and are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast.

Just to clear up a few things – overnight oats are simply plain rolled oats (not instant) that soak up liquid overnight in the fridge. You can use any type and combination of liquid ingredients you like, but my favorite is unsweetened vanilla almond milk and sometimes yogurt.

One week when I knew I’d have some busy mornings with yoga sessions and AM gym visits I planned accordingly and prepped some different overnight oats variations to try.

Traditional Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of raisins
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

I put the above ingredients into bowl, mixed them all together, covered the bowl with cling wrap, and put it in the fridge for the night.

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The next morning I took the bowl of oats from the fridge, gave them a quick stir, and let them sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. I topped the messy mixture with 1/2 of a sliced banana, sprinkled on some cashews, and ate up. It tasted like soggy cereal, only it was chewy, sweet, and quite delicious. I loved the lemon zest. It really added a nice flavor to the bowl.

Since I enjoyed my first overnight creation I decided to give it another go- this time with some different ingredients.

Cool, Creamy Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup honey or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • Dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well, cover, and let sit in the fridge overnight. That’s it! Wake up, top the mixture with you favorite toppings and enjoy.

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Come to find out overnight oats are addicting- especially when topped with fresh cherries and a blob of almond butter.

Another Bowl

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon Sun Warrior vanilla brown rice protein powder (Isaac’s mom gave me a sample of hers so I could try it)
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

I put the above ingredients into bowl, mixed them all together in a transportable tupperware container, and put it in the fridge for the night.

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I took it out of fridge after getting home from the gym, topped it with 1/2 of a sliced banana, and took it to work for a desk breakfast.

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I liked the addition of the protein powder- it helped to soak up some of the liquid and made for a thicker mixture. I didn’t love the combination of lemon zest and raw cacao so next time I’ll either use one or the other as both are fabulous alone.

After having 2 days of filling, convenient and delicious breakfasts I decided to make another bowl for this morning.

Today’s Bowl

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 drops of liquid stevia

I put the above ingredients into bowl, mixed them all together in a transportable tupperware container, and put it in the fridge for the night.

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All packed for work with a clementine and some nuts

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Overall, my 3 day experimentation with overnight oats has been a fun one. At first I didn’t think I would be up for eating cold oats, but I actually liked it straight from the fridge or at room temperature. I’m pumped though because now I have a new breakfast idea for the days I know I’m going to be pressed for time. The best part is that, just like with stove-top oats, the possibilities for mix-ins and toppings are endless so I won’t get bored easily. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge so the process can be streamlined by making a double/triple batch for multiple days! The more I think about it, the more I’m loving this “new to me” breakfast!

Other edibles consumed lately include left over Quinoa Chickpea Confetti Casserole, which I had for dinner and lunch yesterday.

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Just as delicious and flavorful as the first night!

A tofurkey and veggie pita with spicy sabra hummus and honey mustard. <3

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Raw veggies and spicy Sabra.

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A Divine Grape Synergy Kombucha that I purchased from my local Whole Foods with coupons sent to me from Millennium. This was my first time trying the grape flavor and I have to admit it is pretty divine and it’s now made it to one of my top Synergy flavs.

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Enjoy your humpday and let me know if you plan try your hand at overnight oats. I promise the cold factor isn’t that bad. :)

- Brittany

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily January 13, 2010 at 8:55 am

That is an amazing idea! I’ve never heard of overnight oats. My fiance has recently been on a HUGE oatmeal kick that has led to me getting up at 6 in the morning to make him stove top oatmeal for breakfast (since I’m nice like that & like to see him off before work). Some days, though, I really just don’t want to get out of bed…so I think I will try making overnight oats and see how he likes them! : D

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Estela @ Weekly Bite January 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

I truly love overnight oats! So creamy and refreshing :)

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Run Sarah January 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

I tried overnight oats and didn’t like them very much, but you’ve inspired me to re-try them as I find myself pressed for time in the AM lately.

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

I really haven’t like the overnight oats I’ve tried, but your Tuesday batch looks delicious!

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RVA foodie January 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

How about overnight oat groats? Those are a favorite of mine.

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Eating Bird Food January 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I’m going to try those – thanks for the recipe.

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Helen January 13, 2010 at 11:40 am

What is maca powder? I hadn’t heard of it. I like your idea of overnight oats…I guess if you didn’t like them cold you could always heat them up quickly in the microwave.

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Eating Bird Food January 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Maca powder is a super food made from maca root. I’ve heard some people describe the flavor malty or similar to butterscotch. Personally, I think it has a unique flavor that is a bit sweet, but also bitter. It definitely took some getting used to- at least for me!

And here are some of the benefits:

* Increases energy, stamina and endurance
* Enhances libido / stimulates fertility
* Supports the immune system
* Reduces chronic fatigue
* Regulates and supports the endocrine system

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Lauren @ Reading and Running January 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I’m glad you made your overnight oats with almond milk instead of yogurt because I just cannot do yogurt. I want to love it, but I don’t! Yuck. So now I’m inspired to try overnight oats since I know it can be done w/o the yogurt!

And can you tell me what Kombucha tastes like? I always see it (on blogs) and at Whole Foods and I want to try it but I’m scared to wast $4 on something I won’t like. Does it have a real strong tea taste or does it taste like the flavor, I’m always tempted by the strawberry.

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Eating Bird Food January 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm

It doesn’t have a strong tea taste- to me it’s more of a vinegar smell/taste. It took some getting used to but I love it now! I’d definitely recommend trying it. I think the health benefits are worth the hefty price tag every once in a while.

Check out my post on Kombucha here.

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Rose January 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm

your food always looks SO good.

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Justine January 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I think after hearing all of this hype I cannot avoid making them now! I think I will try them thursday night/friday morning and then maybe I can have time to yoga in the morning after my little walk! I would try it with yogurt too though, I love yogurt very much!

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caronae January 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I’ve tried overnight oats before, but disliked them. Maybe now I’ll give them another try though!

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Just Audrey January 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Yum! I must try overnight oats soon! I love the idea that they’re just ready to go in the morning.

Also, I’m a huge kombucha fan. I admit to thinking it was a bit strange at first but the taste really does grow on you. I haven’t tried that flavor yet, but I can’t wait to! My only wish is that were cheaper–$3-$4 is a lot to pay for a poor unemployed college student like me. I would love to learn to make my own.

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BroccoliHut January 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Delicious combinations! I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow…

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

What is the secret to overnight oats? I’ve tried twice, and when I check on the oats in the a.m., they look just like they did the night before. Is it because I’ve been using quick oats?

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Eating Bird Food January 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm

You definitely have to use old fashioned oats! I hope that helps with your next batch!

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Whitney @ Lettuce Love January 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I love the quinoa confetti! Looks delish :)

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Abby (Abby's VeGaN Eats) January 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I have yet to try overnight oats.. thanks for your version! Looks great.. as does the quinoa.. my fav grain!! :)

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Gracie @ Girl Meets Health January 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I loveeee me some oats, but I’ve never tried overnight oats! Even though I’ve been following foodie blogs forever now, haha. Now that I’m a blogger myself, I almost feel like I *have* to try overnight oats :P And considering I have to go to work early every morning now, I think it’s a good time to start!

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Lauren January 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm

There should be an Oatmeal Hall of Fame. I love all of your overnight oat ideas. I just made some the other day and almost forgot how nice the change in texture is. I love how chewy they are! ;)

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman January 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

This is the perfect post for me. I’m totally sick of my typical oatmeal, so I’m definitely going to try this. It sounds a bit different than my typical bowl. This weekend, I’m going to stock up on the ingredients. Thanks!

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Danielle (Coffee Run) January 13, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I love oatmeal but it does take a good portion of time to cook. Overnight oats are different but delicious all the same (not to mention quick!)

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Molly January 14, 2010 at 12:09 am

Thanks Brittany for all the variations of overnight oats. I need to try the Almond milk you mention, but I think I’ll try this tonight with my regular skim. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Abbey January 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

first time commenter here.
I just stumbled accross your blog and I really enjoy it! With overnight oats, I find that they are immensely tastier when they contain some nut butter (even as little as 1 teaspoon really does make a difference!)

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Jessica January 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

If you own one of those small crock pots, like the kind for dips and such, you can take steel cut oats and water and stick that in the crock pot overnight. Creamy, delicious and wonderful. I stir in some raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar in the morning.
http://www.mccanns.ie/p_SteelCut.html

(The link is for my favorite oats)

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Lindsay January 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Just got my sun warrior in mail. Yea! And I love my chocolate banana overnight oats. I even put some guar gum in there to make them EXTRA thick. LOVE it.

P.S.
Great kombucha flavor. My favorite is trilogy!

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Meghan@traveleatlove January 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm

I enjoy cold overnight oats, but I often add a bit more milk and microwave them for the same effect as stovetop oats. Very yummy and helps the dried fruit get all warm and juicy again!

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Glenda Brill January 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

I have just discovered another Health Nut like myself. I love your website and your recipes as I am into eating healthy myself. I thought I was the only crazy person whom store oatmeal overnight to eat the next day. I have been doing that for years, but I never eat it cold.

However I always heat mine up, I never eat it cold. I think I will try eating it cold, it might taste more like oatmeal pudding instead, but it is a nice idea and will save time when rushing in the morning.

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unepetitefemme January 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Well, I have officially tried over night oats with a few modifications:
nonfat milk instead of non-dairy
no ‘add-ins’ (fruit, powders, etc….as I have none!)

Eaten with just a sprinkle of cinnamon and less that a touch of french grey sea salt, my overnight oats were wonderfully filling (and wonderfully chewy!).
My new weekend treat, thank you for sharing Miss Brittany!

:)

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Justine January 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I have meant to get back here since saturday- I have officially tried the overnight oaties, and loved them so much! I made them with milk, but after seeing that others have used yogurt, that is def. on for this weekend! Thank you to everyone who had this idea. :)

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Justine January 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm

And it looks like I did get back. Twice, now. This week has been crazy and I am a complete goober. :)

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Cheryl February 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

For the overnight oats, do you just put non-cooked oats in the mixture overnight? I have never heard of this! Is that all?!

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Eating Bird Food February 11, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Cheryl – Yup, just non cooked, old fashioned oats! I hope you enjoy them.

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Pam April 26, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’ve never tried overnight oats with milk, but have used apple juice to soak the oats in overnight, and it is delicious. When I’ve used apple juice, I like to mix in some grated apple, nuts, cinnamon, etc. I’m definitely going to try soaking with milk and see how it is too! Thanks for the recipes!

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Jill June 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Made the the Monday Overnight Oats, LOVED THEM!!! Super yummy! Loved the texture! Thank you!

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Amber K June 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

The overnight oats look fantastic! I know you posted this awhile ago, but I was googling recipes for overnight oats and your blog came up! I love that you like your oatmeal thick and chewy too. All I see on blogs are soupy messes of “oatmeal.”

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Dana Marie August 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Hi – I notice you use Maca, I recently learned about this and was wondering if you feel its said benefits?

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Eating Bird Food August 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Hi Dana, To be honest I don’t think I use maca powder regularly enough to notice if I’m experiencing any of the benefits it’s touted for.

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Maddie August 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Great blog! I love your overnight oat recipes. It’s the perfect breakfast when I’m crunched for time in the morning.

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Sandy August 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I was looking for overnight oat recipes as I always rushing the morning & have no time to prepare breakfast. Thanks for sharing!

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Eating Bird Food August 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I hope you enjoy the recipes Sandy!

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Laura September 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

Alrighty, so I made overnight oats last night to see if it is a viable option for breakfast in the morning. Mine consisted of oats, soy milk, honey, cinnamon, and dried cranberries….pretty good although I am pretty sure I over did the honey so I will need to adjust that next time. Overall, defiantly an option for breakfast

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doctorsirena October 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm

This does not sound that different from a standard European breakfast of muesli, but is probably new to most Americans. If you like overnight oats, you would probably like Bircher Muesli (Google to find many recipes). There are many variations on the original, but generally it is muesli (mixture of oats and maybe some other rolled grains and bran, dried fruit and nuts mixed with fruit juice (generally orange and lemon), yogurt, milk (could use soymilk) and soaked overnight. Add fresh fruit before serving and sweeten with honey – I like some combination of apples, cherries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple. It is really delicious and keeps for a few days, so it is easy to make up a big bowl. You don’t need to buy a packaged muesli to use – can make your own with just thick cut oats, dried fruits and nuts.

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Harriet November 20, 2010 at 4:53 am

I have been eating overnight oats for ages and I love them! In my house we call it Bircher muesli-I believe it is named after a doctor from Switzerland… But don’t quote me on that! We sometimes soak our oats in half water half freshly squeezed orange juice and add a grated apple, walnuts and raisins in the morning. So delicious!

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sy January 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

Just found your blog and thanks for the inspiration! You make overnight oats look so appetising and easy. I’ll never head to work hungry again! :D

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Chrissy February 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

WOW… You and I are totally on the same page about oatmeal and how to really jazz it up! I do it everyday, but have yet to try PB in it… that will be next. A really amazing concoction you may want to try is Oats, vanilla almond milk, pumpkin spice, scoop of canned pumpkin, dried cranberries. I bet you will LOVE IT!

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Eating Bird Food February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

That sounds like an amazing combo Chrissy. Thanks for sharing!

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kim March 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Just stumbled on to your blog and am so glad i did, i was wondering what i was going to do in the hot months for breakfast. I knew i couldn’t do my usual bowl of hot oats, now i can do overnight oats. Thanks for all the idea’s!

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Eating Bird Food March 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

So glad you enjoyed them Kim!!

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Ranny March 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

FINALLY! I have tried the overnight oats (8 months this took). I have never been so excited to get up and eat breakfast b/f in my life. That good. Love the consistency and the possible combos are endless. My boys love them too and it is a great way for me to fill them with all kinds of goodness to start off their day. Thanks!!!!

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Eating Bird Food March 25, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hooray! I’m so glad you enjoyed the overnight oats Ranny!!

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KathyG May 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

I followed you over from YHLove a while back. I enjoy that you make healthy meals with everyday things. :-)

I love overnight oats! Have you tried them with yogurt? I put in 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1/2 cup greek yogurt. When I take out to eat, I add 1 teasp of brown sugar and some walnuts or almonds. It’s one of the very few things that keeps me from being hungry before lunch. So sometimes I eat it for lunch too, and it holds me from snacking in the afternoon.

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Courtney July 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

I tried to make the overnight oats last night and they didn’t turn out as well as your picture. The oats hadn’t absorbed a lot of the milk when I took it out of the fridge this morning. How long should it sit in the fridge? I put mine in around 9:30pm and took it out around 7:45 am. Also, do you think it works better with milk or water?

Thanks (and can’t wait for try number 2!)

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Tiffany September 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Your food looks so beautifully made keep up the good work

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Eat With Heart January 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

I LOVE overnight oats! For some reason my family have a heard time digesting cooked oats but ever since I started making overnight oats its been fine. So, we eat them 3 times a week or so. Great recipes and a fabulous website you have :)

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Clean Eating 101 February 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Love the Oatmeal ideas
Thank you for all your time, effort, energy :) Love sharing and encouraging my friends to visit your site

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eva @TheHealthyParty March 26, 2012 at 4:39 am

yummm I definitely have to try this

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green products May 29, 2012 at 6:59 am

We personally love kombucha tea. It is the best since and prefer many different types but berry passion is one of my favorites. Did you hear about that kombucha app? I think it looks very impressive, I’m going to buy it.

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skinnysimplerecipes June 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm

First I was a bit hesitant about having cold otmeal for breakfast. I gave it a try though and I love it!! I wake up in the morning, leave it at room tempreture until I’am ready to eat.

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bethanydockrill June 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I LOVE overnight oats mixed with chia! Also love adding some almond essence sometimes to go with the almond milk. whichever way- what a delicious breakfast!

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Amy July 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I have heard that overnight oats are good with just oats and unsweetened applesauce, but I haven’t tried it yet, because I am not sure how of each ingredient is needed. Based on your post, I bet a 1/2 cup of each would work though.

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judy bingham July 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I can eat uncooked cold old-fashioned oats every morning and never tire of it. But . . . here’s my current combination. 1/2 c. oats, 1/2 cold water microwave for 45 seconds, stir and add, chopped chia seeds, sliced almonds, or any other raw nut, dried cranberries or blueberries and finish with a big glob of unsweetened applesauce. Sometimes I put the sliced almonds on top as it looks prettier that way. Stir it all up and dive in. I’ve eaten cold oatmeal for more than 60 years. I love oatmeal any way except instant. Yea! for Old-Fashioned Oats

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judy bingham July 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Love oats!

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Jordon September 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm

When I was little I always looked forward to breakfast as I got to eat oatmeal every morning.

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Jonathan October 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I boil the liquid for oatmeal, then add the oats and when it foams, I remove the pan to the spot on the stove above the pilot light and cover it. It is WARM and ready to eat the next morning. Also works with those finicky steel-cut oats that take forever to cook.

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Brittany Mullins October 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to try this idea for steel cut oats, it sounds lovely.

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NJ January 3, 2013 at 6:12 am

it’s 6:08AM and i’m half way through my first ever Traditional Overnight Oats before starting the day with a little GTL (had to say it even though there definitely won’t be any tanning and likely no laundry).

your recipie’s delish! looking forward to trying the others (this week!)

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Jessica February 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I started to make the overnight oats with milk, yogurt, oats, chia seed, and 1 scoop of the vanilla sun warrior brown rice protein powder. Slice up a banana in it the next morning, fantastic!

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IanW April 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

I have been an avid user of oats for a long time. My preference is to use them raw straight into the cereal bowl. No overnight soaking required. Then topped with a banana, frozen blueberries and whatever fresh fruit is in season – right now it is plums. With a generous splash of skim milk you have a nutty and crunchy ( my wife says chewy) low GI start to the day.

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The Doctor September 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Your cool, creamy overnight oats are brilliant! I’ve been having a green smoothie each day for breakfast and taking the overnight oats to work for lunch. I feel great. Thank you!

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Ashley February 19, 2014 at 3:32 am

Have you tried this with steel cut oats? Does it work? I have bobs red milk instant steel cut oats.

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Eating Bird Food February 19, 2014 at 7:23 am

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