I’m not sure if I’ve said this before but I love breakfast. Maybe it’s because I haven’t eaten for 8 hours but I always look forward to it. My only issue is that it’s easy for me to get stuck in a breakfast rut, which means I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting options to invigorate my breakfast routine.
The inspiration for this breakfast was actually born out of necessity when last year I was in need of a healthy, tasty breakfast that took little preparation in the morning and could be easily shoved in my bag as I raced out the door to work. This was when I was having a one hour commute to my office whilst first tending to my bright eyed little boy before I left the house. In between feeding and dressing him, showering and getting dressed myself (and therefore making sure he didn’t flush himself or my toiletries down the loo/slip and smash his head on the tiles) I had little time to make, let alone eat, breakfast.
The beauty of overnight oats is that you prepare everything the night before. This means there is zilch to do in the morning (other then remembering to add the nuts/seeds AND remembering take it with you…there were some bad mornings when I failed on this one).
- 1/3 cup oats.
- 1/2 apple, grated.
- 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds.
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.
- 2 teaspoons of goji berries or raisins.
- 8 almonds.
- 2/3 cup almond milk (or whichever type of milk you prefer), basically double the amount to oats used.
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.
- Add the oats, chia seeds, goji berries/raisins and cinnamon to the container you intend to eat this from (I use a mason jar, it must have a tight lid). Make sure all the ingredients are nicely mixed together.
- Grate the apple and add to the dry mix.
- Pour in your milk and maple syrup and stir well.
- You have two options with the almonds and sunflower seeds: 1) Put them in a separate, small container, cover with water and a pinch of salt and cover. Leave overnight on your kitchen counter. The next morning rinse them well and add to your oat mix (I’ll explain why below). 2) If you can’t be pfaffed with soaking then simply add the raw almonds and sunflower seeds to your oat mix the next morning before eating.
- You may want to add a dash more of your chosen milk the next morning if it’s too stodgy when you add the nuts and seeds.
Why All This Soaking?
- Nuts and seeds contain a powerhouse of different nutrients BUT their outer husk also contains elements that make them difficult to digest.
- They contain natural toxins and anti-nutrients such as phytates, tannins and goitrogens. These can inhibit the absorption of nutrients such as iodine, zinc and iron. However soaking helps to neutralise the levels of these anti-nutrients.
- Nuts and seeds contain naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors that can contribute to digestive upset. Soaking helps to reduce these inhibitors.
- Soaking also helps to increase the nutrients available in the nuts and seeds themselves.
- Oats also benefit from a good soaking. It helps to reduce phytates (which are also present in grains) and helps to breakdown their starches, which improves their digestibility. It increases levels of resistant starch, which is considered a type of fibre since it resists digestion and passes to the large intestine. In turn it has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels, act as an aid for weight management and also work as a ‘prebiotic fibre’ helping to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon.
So for those of you who are on a tight morning schedule or who can’t be bothered to deal with preparing breakfast in the morning, this is perfect. With its healthy mix of nutritious ingredients it will help you reclaim your morning, no matter how chaotically it starts.