30-Days of Clean Eating — W3: Overnight Oats

Clean Overnight Oats - 3 Ways (GF,V). From www.fernsandpeonies.com

Congratulations! We made it to the halfway point. Did I cheat this week? Absolutely. But for the most part, I ate nice and clean for the majority of my meals. I have found a great way to start my day by eating clean—overnight oats.

Overnight oats are all the craze, but most of the recipes out there are loaded with sugar. In fact, they seem more like dessert than breakfast. And while everyone loves dessert—and deserves to eat dessert for breakfast, say, on their birthday—you actually shouldn't eat that way on a normal basis. Breakfast should be nutritious, filling, and give you energy for the entire morning. Sure, sugar gives you energy for a little while, but you crash real quick. Complex carbs, which are actually slow release sugars, give you long-term energy. And that is the type of energy you should want out of your breakfast.

The beauty of overnight oats is that you can spend 15 minutes preparing them the night before and you have instant breakfast for the week. It is so convenient to pull one of these overnight oat jars out of the refrigerator in the morning and voila, you have breakfast. Some people like to eat it cold, but I like to warm mine up.

Did I mention how yummy they are? A million times better than the powdered stuff in a brown paper pouch many of us were raised on. And they are so easy to prepare!

Clean Overnight Oats - 3 Ways (GF,V). From www.fernsandpeonies.com
Clean Overnight Oats - 3 Ways (GF,V). From www.fernsandpeonies.com

Get a few glass jars and add your gluten-free old-fashion oats, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, and your favorite non-dairy milk. This is your base oatmeal. The base oatmeal on its own is healthy but not very tasty.

Now you have to figure out what flavors are you in the mood for. Spices, fruits, nuts, extracts, syrups, the possibilities are endless. I am going to give you three of my favorites—Apple Pie, Banana Almond Butter, and Banana Nut. But experiment to find your own favorites. Maybe banana-coconut, orange marmalade-walnuts, or just plump fresh blueberries and maple syrup. Once my clean eating 4 weeks are over, I'm going to try tart cherry jam with almonds and brown sugar. The sky is the limit, so have fun playing!

Clean Overnight Oats - 3 Ways (GF,V). From www.fernsandpeonies.com
Apple pie overnight oats before setting overnight

Apple pie overnight oats before setting overnight

Banana almond butter overnight oats before setting overnight

Banana almond butter overnight oats before setting overnight

Banana almond butter overnight oats ready to eat, with extra fresh bananas cut on top

Banana almond butter overnight oats ready to eat, with extra fresh bananas cut on top

However, keep in mind that this is the part where many overnight oat recipes get in trouble. Try not to be tempted to add chocolate or sugar laden jams or peanut butter to the oats. The three sample recipes below have all different levels of calories and fats, however they are all clean and all have a place in your daily diet. You may have a morning where you do need a heavier calorie and fat breakfast. Or you might have a day where you are going to splurge at dinner so you will want a filling, yet lower calorie and fat breakfast. As with anything, it's all about balancing your meals throughout your day.

Now you might be wondering why I have "fouled" the overnight oats with chia seeds and ground flaxseeds (also called flaxseed meal).  Both have amazing nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, manganese and calcium, and along with flaxseeds they are a great source of omega-3. Flaxseeds are also high in fiber and are thought to be good for your digestive health, to reduce inflammation and to reduce your bad cholesterol. Flaxseeds also contain something called lignans. There has been interesting medical studies on lignans. Some studies show that the lignans in flaxseeds help protect against hormone related cancers, such as breast and prostrate cancers. And they are said to reduce hot-flashes! These two little seeds belong in your daily diet.

If you decide not to add chia and flax seeds, you may want to reduce your non-dairy milk amount to 1/2 a cup.

Hope you have fun with this week's blog. Make sure you share your favorite overnight oat version in the comment section below! Xoxo

Clean Overnight Oats - 3 Ways (GF,V). From www.fernsandpeonies.com

Time: 15 minutes prep, overnight to set

Ingredients:
Base:
1/2 c. gluten-free old fashion oats
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. ground flaxseeds

Options:
Apple Pie:
1/2 c. chopped apple
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Banana Nut Bread:
1/2 medium banana, mashed
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/8 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Banana Almond Butter:
1/2 medium banana, mashed
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. raw pure almond butter (unsalted)
1/8 c. almond slivers
1/2 seeds from a vanilla bean (optional)

In a small ball jar, add all base ingredients. If you are not adding the chia and flaxseeds, you may want to reduce your non-dairy milk to 1/2 cup. Chose one of the options and add to the base ingredients. Stir to combine. Close container and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Eat cold or warm up. Enjoy!


Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional Estimations for Apple Pie Option: Calories 325. Total Fat 8 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 84 mg. Potassium 84 mg. Total Carbs 54 g. Fiber 10 g. Sugars 21 g. Protein 9 g. Vitamin A 6%. Vitamin C 5%. Calcium 29%. Iron 15%.

Nutritional Estimations for Banana Nut Option: Calories 378. Total Fat 17 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 81 mg. Potassium 322 mg. Total Carbs 47 g. Fiber 9 g. Sugars 8 g. Protein 12 g. Vitamin A 5%. Vitamin C 0%. Calcium 29%. Iron 16%.

Nutritional Estimations for Banana Almond Butter Option: Calories 558. Total Fat 32 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 81 mg. Potassium 353 mg. Total Carbs 54 g. Fiber 13 g. Sugars 11 g. Protein 20 g. Vitamin A 5%. Vitamin C 0%. Calcium 41%. Iron 23%.

Print the recipe!