20 January 2013

For the Love of Oatmeal.

I love oatmeal. I always have.

I've gone through many oatmeal phases over the years--you know, the brown-sugar-and-whole-milk phase of 5th grade, the apple-cinnamon-instant-oatmeal phase in middle school, the I'm-definitely-not-eating-oatmeal-too-many-carbs phase in high school and early college, the  I-can-only-afford-instant-oatmeal phase later in undergrad. And now I'm in a phase of oatmeal that I think is going to last a while: the overnight oatmeal phase.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats: It looks like barf but tastes
like sunshine!
I've been following a lot of fitblrs (fitness-related material+tumblr=fitblr) lately, looking for inspiration and motivation to work out and eat healthy. I used to follow a lot of food porn tumblrs and realized how unhealthy it was because I would see a sexy image of macaroni and cheese with crusty bacon on top and crave it until I finally went and bought it. Well, I can't eat like that anymore--and I haven't been eating that way for about a week now. I know, I know, this is no time, there is still plenty of time for me to fall off the healthy-eating wagon, many more times for failure. I know you're probably thinking that I've said this all before, because I have--many, many times. But I can't afford to keep putting off my health. No, really, I can't afford to buy bigger clothes. I've come to a point in my life where I don't want to find more stretch marks on my body, I don't want to have to avoid doing the things I love because I can't fit in the appropriate clothing to do them (there's a heat wave in LA right now and I've been wanting to go to the beach, but I can't fit in my shorts right now so I've been hanging out in yoga pants inside my parents' house that doesn't ever get above 65 degrees).

Anyway, these fitblrs--and various other food blogs I follow--all rave about overnight oats. I was a little skeptical at first--you don't cook the oats. You simply put all the ingredients together in an airtight container and stick it in the fridge overnight. The oats absorb all the liquid without having to be cooked, and in the morning you have delicious, perfectly chewy oats that you can eat cold or warm. (That eating-oats-cold part really had me skeptical, because who the hell eats oats cold?)

Well, after hours spent researching, I found the perfect recipe to try. The first bowl I made was carrot cake overnight oats. I would not recommend this being your maiden bowl of overnight oats, mainly because the amount of carrots and raisins really take away the unique texture of overnight oats. But they were undeniably delicious (although their photo looks like barf, I swear they were delicious!).

Banana Nut Bread Overnight Oats with
almond butter, in an almond butter jar.
The second bowl of overnight oats, the kind that I've made for the past three nights, is banana nut bread overnight oats. This morning's, however, I modified the recipe to include almond butter. And that's the best part about the oats--how there's not really a way to go wrong with whatever you add to the mix. I've been meaning to venture out of my banana nut bread oats for something new--the almond butter is the most creative I've been--and tomorrow morning I will have cocoa and almond butter oats. Another amazing thing is the convenience of the oats. While I don't exactly require convenience since my life right now is basically full-time blogger and reader, the oats are great if you're on the go in the morning. You can make them in any sealable container (I'm using the almond butter jar, but I've seen everything from tupperware to mason jars used on the interwebs), and grab them on your way out the door in the morning. Their thick, chewy texture fills me up and keeps me satisfied for hours--and trust me, this is difficult to do.

I have no idea who invented these overnight oats. But until I have my own recipes and mixtures to share, I will only offer links to other healthy eating blogs. I hope this post inspires your own overnight oatmeal phase. I honestly can't get enough.


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