Overnight Oats

I was so excited about how this recipe turned out! I am a mother of two little boys, so my days are pretty fast-paced. Particularly in the morning and right before bed, I just don’t have a lot of time to sit and think about what I want to eat. Meal planning is critical to my success at truly eating a nutritious diet.

It’s been colder lately and I’ve been wanting warm oatmeal, but I know that for the most nutrition, that means using steel cut oats, aka Irish oats. They are a whole grain with high amounts of soluble fiber, which as you know, helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and clean out all of the waste in your intestines. They need to be soaked, however, to reduce the harm from phytic acid released by grains. As my “gut garden” becomes healthier, the phytates may become easier for my digestive system to handle, but to be on the safe side, I’ll cook my oats for a nice long time.

Oats are important in a diet for the management of anxiety as they have high anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. Though culturally we tend to eat them most often for breakfast, they can be an excellent evening snack since they promote relaxation and can even have a sedative effect. Oats do have a small amount of protein, so add a little bit of fat (perhaps some walnuts) and you have a great blood-sugar stabilizing pre-bedtime meal.

This recipe was breakfast in our home, however. I used my Crock Pot, because that is the kitchen appliance of the busy mother. I mixed all of the ingredients in the pot after dinner, turned it on for 12 hours on low, and my house smelled wonderful the next morning. They were creamy and warm and delicious.

*Now, there are SO MANY recipes online for crock pot steel cut oats. They all have the basic bones in common. If this looks like another one you’ve seen, that doesn’t surprise me. I’m not claiming to be super original here – find a basic recipe and tweak it to your tastes!

Overnight Oats (THM-E)

1.5 cups steel cut oats

3 cups cashew milk + 3 cups water (use more if you want creamier oats)

2(ish) Tablespoons vanilla protein powder

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

1/4 tsp stevia (powdered)

3 cups frozen cherries or other berries. I chose cherries for their anti-inflammatory proprieties as well as to promote the availability of tryptophan in my system (tryptophan is necessary for the production of serotonin, it improves sleep, mood and helps relieve stress).

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients together in your crock pot and before bed, set the timer to cook on low for 8-12 hours. When you wake up, stir and serve! I also sprinkled 1 tsp of collagen into my bowl to increase the protein. Sweeten it as needed to taste. Enjoy!

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