Base Recipe for Overnight Oats

overnight oats

Late nights studying. Early mornings driving to the hospital. Maybe an espresso before you head out. Or not, if you spent too much time steaming your scrubs. Breakfast is usually the last thing on your mind until you hear your stomach rumbling during rounds and wish you had grabbed a banana for a quick bite earlier. A quick filling breakfast is just what you need and unfortunately, many people end up skipping this meal. It turns out, the meal that we pay the least amount of attention to, may be the most important meal of the day. A perfect way to get in your morning nutrients includes making these creamy overnight oats!

Skipping breakfast has been associated with overall lower diet quality, leading to individuals consuming almost half their daily calories from snacks. One study showed that British children under the age of 10 years, ate over half of the daily recommended dose of sugar at breakfast. First off, not only is the act of even eating breakfast important, but the actual content of what you eat is worth paying attention to. This concept is nothing new and a famous nutritionist and author, Adelle Davis, in the 1960s even said “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.

Trends surrounding breakfast are turning away from the traditional cereals and orange juice and towards convenience foods (sandwiches, protein packs, breakfast bars). This is likely due to more people not eating breakfast at home and more on the go or at work. A survey in 2015 even showed that 40% of millennials didn’t like eating cereal since they had to clean up afterwards (1).

Why Eat a Healthy Breakfast?

  1. May have a link to decreased risk of heart disease
  2. Leads to more stable blood sugar control throughout the day
  3. Improves concentration and memory and for children, performance on exams
  4. Keeps energy levels up and get essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  5. Less likely to snack throughout the day

Try this overnight oats recipe below to jumpstart your way to a habit of eating breakfast every day! It is one of my go to recipes and I love making variations to it whether it be chocolate based, peanut butter, or even cinnamon apple.

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Base Recipe for Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats!)
  • 3/4 cup milk (almond milk, coconut, or regular milk)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Toppings/Mix ins (your choice): handful of fruits (blueberries, strawberries etc), nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds), flax seeds, honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract
  • Optional for extra creaminess: 1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a jar or container. Add your favorite toppings and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours
  2. Enjoy in the morning for a quick and stress free breakfast option!

Tips:

-After you have made overnight oats a few times, you will figure out the consistency that works for you. A good rule of thumb to follow is 2:1 for milk:oats if you prefer it more porridge like or 1:1 if you want it a firmer texture.

-Chia seeds absorb liquid so take that into account if not using them! You may realize that you need to adjust the ratios of oats to milk.

-No need to microwave these oats! Grab it out of the fridge and start your day with a no-effort breakfast.

-They will last for a week so you can meal prep and put your overnight oats together on Sundays.

Naan (Flatbread)

 

 

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Everyone has at least one food obsession- something that you can’t say no to no matter how full you are. For me, it’s bread. Soft, fluffy, and fresh from the oven. While trying to think of words to describe the satisfaction that comes with making this bread, I suddenly had a craving for it. Considering all the ingredients are kitchen staples, making a decision has never been so easy. As I type away now, there is a bowl of dough rising  in the corner that will soon become steaming fresh naan.

This flatbread is versatile because you can eat it bare in its simplicity or pair it with some tikka masala or other saucy dish to scoop up the flavors as pictured above. You can also add a spread on it like za’atar (oregano thyme spice blend) with some olive oil and toast it for a few minutes for a fulfilling breakfast or midday snack as shown below.

Naan

Naan

  • Servings: 6
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Chicken Tikka

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water (not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. You will see a thin layer of foam develop.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar together and set aside.
  3. Add the yogurt and olive oil to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork initially till most of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands for a minute or two forming it into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft. If you feel that it is too sticky, add flour as needed (I added about an extra 1/4 cup of flour).
  5. Lightly oil a medium sized bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  6. Warm a large cast iron pan or a nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Dust a clean surface with flour and separate the dough into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece into an oval shape, taking care to dust the dough with flour so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
  7. Put the dough into the dry heated skillet and cook until you see the top bubble up, which should take a few minutes. Flip the dough and cook the other side for another minute or two until you see the browned spots.
  8. Remove the naan from the pan and brush generously with the melted butter on both sides. Place the naan in a towel lined basket or dish to keep it warm.

Adapted from OnceUponAChef

 

Step By Step Photos

Naan

Yeast mixed in with the warm water and sugar, notice how it is starting to foam up

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Dough ready to rise in an oiled bowl

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After dough is done rising, cut it up into 6 pieces

Naan

Roll each piece out into an oval shape to your desired thickness

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Place the rolled dough into a heated cast iron or nonstick skillet and you’ll see it bubble up

 

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Flip it over to cook the other side

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After a minute or two, flip it and you’ll see these beautiful brown spots

Naan

Be creative, eat your naan in its simplicity or spread some za’atar on it

 

Smoothie Bowl Basics

Smoothie Bowl

A drink that is so easy to blend that you don’t even have to think about it twice. Got milk? Got bananas? Got strawberries? You already have all the ingredients for a basic smoothie bowl and you don’t even know it. It’s so much funner eating a smoothie from a bowl than drinking it! Drinking them from straws or even just a cup, every single time, gets boring quickly.There’s just something about using a spoon that makes it seem more like a solid breakfast to me, not to mention the loads of fruit that its covered with. It may be hard to eat such a good-looking smoothie, when all we do is eat with our eyes. But… Once your spoon goes in for the first bite, it will disappear as quick as a popped bubble. Read on to make your own antioxidant-rich, creamy smoothie topped with a sweet crunchy granola and some soft, fresh fruit.

Smoothie Bowl

One of the simplest pleasures in life is finding a recipe that you want to make and realizing that you have every single ingredient listed. No grocery stores needed. The beauty of the smoothie bowl is that one can customize it based on their own personal preferences or even whatever is in the fridge/freezer. If you plan on making smoothies regularly, it is convenient to buy frozen fruit in bulk to always have it on hand.

Smoothie Bowl Basics

  • Liquid
    • Base of the smoothie bowl
    • Fruity: Orange Juice, Apple Juice; can be freshly squeezed or packaged
    • Tropical: Coconut Water, Pineapple Juice
    • Creamy: Milk (whole, 2%, skim, soy, coconut, almond)
    • Water: adds no flavor to the drink
  • Fruit/Veggies
    • Best if frozen to keep your smoothie cold without having to use ice
    • Strawberries, Bananas, Kiwi, Mangoes, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Dragonfruit, etc
    • Kale, Cucumbers, Spinach
  • Thickener
    • Greek Yogurt, Xantham Gum, Bananas, Frozen Fruit, Ice
    • Try to use ice as a last resort so that you can have a more flavorful drink
  • Flavorings
    • Vanilla Extract , Honey, Sugar, Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup
  • Toppings
    • Best to have a fusion of different colors
    • Fruits, fresh preferred: chopped, sliced, halved (be careful when adding too much dried fruit because it is concentrated in sugar due to no water content)
    • Granola: fun flavors such as chocolate chip, cranberry apple, maple peanut butter, cinnamon raisin spice
    • Nuts/Seeds: slivered almonds, flaxseed, whole oats, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds
    • Superfoods: cocoa nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocado

 Tips

  • When making your own smoothie bowl, have all the fruit cut and ready to place on top before you start assembling it so that you can eat it right after
  • If the smoothie is too thick, stop blending, shake the mixer, and add small amounts of the chosen liquid at a time
  • Make sure the smoothie is thick so that your fruit don’t sink to the bottom
  • Check out some fun inspiration for smoothie bowls on this Buzzfeed article

Smoothie Bowl

These are only various combinations to inspire a smoothie bowl, so do not feel limited as there is a lot more that I have not included. Now it’s your turn to have fun with all the different combinations to make the perfect personalized smoothie bowl!

Smoothie Bowl

What unique combinations have you used in smoothie bowls?