And how to make them correctly.
When I first started college, the early morning hours were my greatest struggle. I had cross-country practice at 6 AM and class at 8:40, which meant I was always in a rush. I had to sprint across campus with my backpack on too many times to count, and trust me, the glares I received from other students never went unnoticed.
What made things even more difficult was my lack of organization, along with my need to get two crucial things done between practice and class — shower and eat breakfast.
However, I quickly realized that making a hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning, sitting down, and eating it was taking up too much time. I didn’t want to sacrifice my healthy breakfast for a packaged convenience food like a granola bar, yet I needed to find a way to be more efficient with my time so that I could make it to class without the constant fear of being late.
This is when I discovered the true power of overnight oats. I was able to continue eating my favorite breakfast in a way that I could prepare the night before and take with me on the go. As it turns out, there are many benefits to eating oats in the morning before school or work. The following are five of the best ones.
1. It will save you time.
This is probably the most obvious advantage of making overnight oats. You can prepare them the night before, stick them in the refrigerator, and then have them ready to eat the next morning.
I love to prepare my overnight oats in small mason jars so that I can grab a jar in the morning, top it with some creamy peanut butter and pure maple syrup, and then take it with me to my work desk. When I was in college, I used to eat my oats while I walked to class in the morning.
Making the switch from traditional oatmeal to overnight oatmeal saved me about 15 minutes in the morning, which made all the difference. I could enjoy my walk and still arrive on time to class, which made my mornings immensely less stressful.
I love to make a few variations of overnight oats including pumpkin, peanut butter banana, peanut butter chocolate chip, etc. I also like to top each one with peanut butter and maple syrup in the morning for additional flavor and satiety.
2. Oats are incredibly healthy.
I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but oats truly are a healthy, delicious, and nutritious food.
According to Harvard Health,
“The primary type of soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan, which has been researched to help slow digestion, increase satiety, and suppress appetite.”
Furthermore, oats contain key nutrients like fiber, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine. Therefore, if you are in search of a healthier breakfast alternative, but you want something quick and easy to make, oatmeal is a great way to go. Even when I was in high school and much less experienced with cooking and baking, oatmeal was a dish I could easily manage on my own.
3. The meal will boost productivity.
Every breakfast dish I make serves one main purpose — to nourish my body and give me the energy to have a happy, full, and productive day. Overnight oats is a dish that does exactly that.
Since I started working from home about a year ago, the first few hours of the work day have always been the most productive for me. I attribute a lot of that to my morning routine, which forces me to stick to a schedule and actually get things done.
Part of that routine is to eat a quick and easy breakfast, like microwave or overnight oats. I save the more time consuming breakfasts, such as pancakes and French toast, for the weekends. Whenever I have an especially busy day, I always opt for the overnight oats, because they really are an efficient option.
You can make your jars on Sunday, store them in the refrigerator, and then have them ready to grab in the morning whenever hunger strikes.
4. Oats help you think better.
The morning is when I do most of my deep thinking. I work on my Medium article for the day, brainstorm new recipes, etc. All of this work requires a lot of brain power, and oats have been found to help you think better.
In fact, University of Toronto researchers found:
“Eating certain carbohydrate-rich foods like oatmeal is the same as having a shot of glucose, a.k.a. blood sugar, injected into your brain…Your body quickly takes glucose out of the carbohydrates and feeds it to your brain to help it function.”
Therefore, if you have a big test coming up or a work deadline to hit, a hearty morning breakfast of overnight oats might be just what you need to get your brain firing.
5. The dish is incredibly budget friendly.
I’ve never been one to splurge on a ton of expensive food. I love to try new vegan options here and there, but for the most part, my meals are very budget friendly. I don’t go out to eat often, and I like to save as much as I can on food while still eating a lot of high quality ingredients.
Oats are an extremely inexpensive option. At my grocery store, a container of oats costs only $2.79, and it contains about 30 servings.
That averages out to less than $0.10 per serving.
Of course, there are other costs based on the toppings and ingredients you choose to add, but even so, oatmeal in any form, whether it be hot or cold, can easily fit into your grocery budget, even if it’s pretty tight. Plus, an oatmeal dish is much cheaper than a meal from your favorite brunch place, where a simple plate of avocado toast could easily cost you $10 — $15.
The morning sets the tone for the entire rest of the day. If you have a solid schedule that includes a hearty breakfast like overnight oats, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Once I got to college, I quickly learned that incorporating overnight oats into my routine decreased my overall stress and set me up for a successful day. Now, I love to start busy work days with the healthy, easy, portable breakfast.
If you’re also in need of a quick and budget friendly option that boosts productivity and brain power, give overnight oats a try. You might be surprised by how much the simple, tasty meal truly can impact your morning.