Right now in this rapidly evolving food landscape of ours, Overnight Oats aka Bircher Muesli is one of the simplest and cheapest breakfast ideas you could whip up.
If you don’t have oats you can also use natural muesli with the added bonus of a few extra bits!
Oats are a fabulous source of resistant starch – it’s no surprise that as the name would suggest, resistant starch is resistant to digestion and nourishes our gut bacteria. This special starch is a prebiotic and basically gets the party started by fuelling the probiotics in our large intestine. The good bacteria that are produced as a result of the starch being fermented in our gut, naturally help us to maintain our intestinal health.
This recipe for Overnight Oats serves two people but I usually batch it up and multiply the recipe by at least five to feed the locusts that live in my house.
Depending on how you prefer to operate, the Overnight Oats can be made in individual containers or like me, a large container that will hold the weeks worth.
2/3 cup rolled or quick oats
2/3 cup plain natural or Greek yoghurt
1 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp shredded coconut
1 medium apple, grated
1 tbsp natural yogurt to serve
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
To serve, spoon into bowls and top with a dollop of natural yoghurt and fresh fruit of choice such as:
- 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen) or
- 1 small sliced banana or
- 1 passionfruit
These are all equivalent to one serving of fruit but you could also combine a variety of fruits to make up one serving and add variety to your breakfast each day.
For some other simple breakfast ideas, you can check these out here.
We often hear about breakfast being awarded holy grail status in the race of ‘who is the most important meal in the day’ competition. Of course, all meals we eat are important but breakfast is right up there don’t you think? I know for a fact that bad things will happen to me and to others if I don’t tick that box in the morning. Not everyone feels the same way as me. There will be some of you reading this while your stomach is currently doing flip-flops at the thought of eating first thing and there will be others who don’t experience even the tiniest twinge of appetite or hunger upon rolling out of bed. And then for some, the nice idea of breakfast gets trampled in the rush to get out of the door and into work or school. I do love a bit of scientific evidence and thankfully research shows that:
- People who skip breakfast are significantly heavier than those who do eat it
- Missing breakfast may diminish mental performance (that’s me right there) and eating breakfast can aid learning (important for kids and adults)
- Those who set sail without breakfast are more likely to make poor food choices for the rest of the day and in the long-term too
- We can lose two-thirds of our energy stores overnight while sleeping, which means we can wake up needing to get to the petrol station, stat.
If you are a work in progress in the breakfast department or even if you have it nailed, you might like one of my Five Breakfast Ideas to start your engine.
1. Overnight Oats When you are making dinner, surprise yourself with your efficiency and get breakfast organised at the same time. In a bowl with a secure lid for easy transport if needed the next day, add 1/3 cup rolled or quick oats + 1/4 cup natural or greek yoghurt + 1/2 cup water + 1 teaspoon chia seeds + 1 tablespoon sultanas + a sprinkle of shredded coconut (optional) + 1/2 grated apple. Mix the lot and store in the fridge overnight. The next morning you can add a spoonful of your favourite yoghurt and this bowl of deliciousness can be eaten at home or taken anywhere you need to go. The perfect breakfast on the run. 2. High fibre cereal Some of my favourite and healthy cereals include Weet-Bix, oats made into porridge or natural muesli, Mini-wheats, Shredded wheat, Sultana Bran, All Bran Flakes and Special K Wholegrain Clusters with Protein. All you need to do is add some reduced fat milk and some sliced fresh fruit or a handful of berries and you have a healthy dose of fibre, calcium and vitamin C to kick-start your day. If time is short, pack your cereal and fruit and add milk when you get to the office. 3. Whole grain toast or sandwich with power protein 1-2 slices of your favourite whole grain bread, toasted (check the label for a fibre content greater than 8g per 100g serve), topped with 1/4 of an avocado, a handful of baby spinach leaves, 3-4 cherry tomatoes, 1-2 poached or sliced boiled eggs and a dusting of cracked pepper. Other great protein sources include a small tin of baked beans, 50g smoked salmon or 1/2 cup fresh ricotta. If time says no to eating this combo at home, simply sandwich all ingredients between the bread, brown bag it and take to work to eat as is or pop it in the sandwich press. 4. Super Smoothie Blenders and bullets are one of the most popular appliances in the kitchen these days and for those crazy whirlwind mornings, they can be the answer to your one minute breakfast dilemma. For the basic mixture, throw together 250ml milk of choice + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 2 tablespoons natural or Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons skim milk powder or non dairy protein powder (for a protein boost). To this base you could add 1 banana + 2 teaspoons of honey + sprinkle of nutmeg OR 1/2 cup frozen raspberries + 1 tablespoon cacao powder or 1/2 cup frozen blueberries + 1/2 banana + a large handful baby spinach. These super smoothies can be taken with you or enjoyed at home. 5. Chocolate Chia Pudding I love the idea of chia puddings for breakfast but sometimes the flavour (or lack of) leaves me less than inspired. Last week I shared my recipe for Chocolate Cake Batter Chia Pudding because it is super tasty. It is also ideal for preparation the night before and the perfect on the go meal (or snack too). If you don’t have time to finish it off with coconut whip like I did, try topping with frozen thawed raspberries or blueberries and a little bit of grated dark chocolate. D E L I C I O U S