In my Lemon-Dill Tuna Salad recipe that I posted last Friday, I talked about how lunch is my least favorite meal of the day to deal with. Which is true. But the hardest meal for me, like me personally, is breakfast.
I’ve never been a breakfast-hater, even when I was in high school and middle school and it was cool to hate breakfast. If breakfast doesn’t happen for me, I become beastly around 10:00. Hanger is real, people.
But the problem for me, particularly on weekdays, is that I have a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old that still need a little nudging/assistance in the morning, a 2-year-old who needs a lot of nudging/assistance in the morning, and two dogs who are adults but who will act like the 2-year-old forever and ever. So by the time everyone else’s needs have been at least semi-adequately met, we’re rushing out the door and I haven’t had time to make myself a healthy breakfast. My big kids go to school on the other side of town (actually, it’s not even in the same town), so then I often find myself running errands while we’re out and then I’m getting hungry and grumpy and the fast food breakfast places are calling out to me.
My best solution has been to have something I can grab and eat while I’m combing hair, packing lunches, or signing last-minute papers. But those frozen breakfast sandwiches are spendy and I don’t love them that much.
Overnight refrigerator oatmeal is kind of making its rounds around the interwebs, so I decided to give it a shot. And I loved it. It’s a little different from cooked oats–it’s (obviously) not cooked and lacks that kind of cohesive consistency of cooked oatmeal. But it doesn’t bother me, and when I pair it with a few slices of precooked bacon (I use that Hormel precooked bacon that’s 70 calories for 4 slices), it keeps me full until lunchtime. One thing I love about it is that you can totally customize it however you want to–you just need equal amounts of oats and liquid, then you can round it out however you want. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, peanut butter, chocolate, nuts, seeds, however you like it, you can make it work! I’ve had a lot of fun the last few weeks playing around with different combinations and finding things that we love.
You’re going to need 2 cups oats (regular or quick-cooking, but not steel-cut or instant), 2 cups of milk (I use 1%, but you can use whatever kind you like; I’m not hip enough to like almond milk, but lots of people use it and seem to like it), vanilla extract, cinnamon, a tiny bit of salt, raspberries, almonds, almond extract, 2 tablespoons of sweetener (I’m using brown sugar here. My favorite non-sugar sweetener is called Z-Sweet and it is the only artificial sweetener I’ve found that doesn’t taste like artificial sweetener. Yes, I do know that artificial sweeteners are gateway drugs to Satan’s kingdom. I also know that Z-Sweet is ridiculously, ridiculously expensive. At $18 a bag, you may have to consider selling kidneys on the black market to fund it. That said, I only use it for stuff like this; I don’t bake with it, I just sprinkle it on top of berries, in oatmeal, etc., and this two-pack has lasted me for over a year–in fact, I’m still on my first bag.)
In a medium bowl, combine the oats,
extracts, brown sugar,
ground cinnamon, and the salt (if using).
Gently add the raspberries,
then divide evenly among 4 8-ounce jars or containers.
Refrigerate overnight (and up to 3 days–the consistency actually gets better with time). In the morning, stir it up and top with sliced almonds and serve cold. Makes 4 servings.
Overnight Raspberry-Almond Refrigerator Oatmeal
Wonderfully delicious and great to whip up ahead of time for those busy mornings!
- 2 cups oats (regular or quick-cooking, but not steel-cut or instant)
- 2 cups milk (I used and calculated the nutrition with 1%, but you can use whatever milk you like, including things like unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or your favorite sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 6-ounce package raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, milk, extracts, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and the salt (if using).
- Gently add the raspberries, then divide evenly among 4 8-ounce jars or containers. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with sliced almonds and serve cold.