Super-fuel your day by starting it with banana chia overnight oats! Made in minutes, it is vegan, gluten-free, & high-fiber.
Oats: My #1 Super Grain
A recent visitor to this blog recently sent me a lovely email, thanking me for my quinoa cookbook The book has been out for several years, so it was a particularly nice surprise. Towards the end of her note, she asked me if I had any ideas of what the next “big grain” might be following quinoa.
I replied that I didn’t. But I hope it will be oats.
Sure, they’re familiar, but that’s a huge part of their appeal! Easy to find, easy to use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile, they are super grains by almost every measure.
Healthy Benefits of Oats
The nutrition for oats is impressive.
Rich in complex carbohydrates and high in protein, oats contain all of the B vitamins, including traces of B12, are rich in vitamin E and contain trace amounts of vitamin K, too.
Oats are also the only cereal containing saponin, a hormone-like substance that helps the pancreas regulate insulin production. If that was not enough, oats are also loaded with minerals, silica and other trace elements the body needs to build strong bones and muscles and to maintain joint elasticity.
What really sets oats apart is how they benefit digestion. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Soluble fiber dissolves, which slows down digestion. Not only does this make you feel fuller (and more satisfied) for longer, it allows for greater absorption of nutrients and may contribute to lower blood pressure.
How to Make Banana Chia Overnight Oats
For a simple and uber-nutritious way to mix up your oatmeal routine, consider making a jar of banana chia overnight oats! You can make it in minutes the night before, and then grab and go in the morning.
Begin by placing 1/3 cup oats and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a 16-oz (500 mL) jar.
Measure 1 cup of nondairy milk and add it to the jar, along with 2/3 cup mashed, ripe banana, 2 teaspoons sweetener (e.g., maple syrup or coconut sugar), a splash of vanilla and (optional) a pinch of salt.
Give it a stir to combine, add a lid, and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours). That’s it!
In the morning, you have a perfect, and perfectly portable breakfast! There will be enough room in the jar to add some toppings, too, so add what suits your fancy. Consider a pinch of spices, some chocolate (mini chips or cacao nibs), chopped nuts or seeds, fresh or dried fruit, or nut butter.
Berries–especially raspberries and blueberries–always top my list. I also love a spoonful of almond butter.
I suggest selecting your choice of toppings the night before. I, for one, cannot make big decisions pre-coffee :).