By Alina Petre
Overnight oats make for an incredibly versatile breakfast or snack.
They can be enjoyed warm or cold and prepared days in advance with minimal prep.
Moreover, you can top this tasty meal with an array of nutritious ingredients that benefit your health.
This article provides 7 tasty, nutritious, and easy overnight oats recipes.
Basic Overnight Oats
Most overnight oats recipes are based on the same few ingredients.
- Oats. Old-fashioned oats work best for overnight oats. For a shorter soaking time, use quick oats, and for a longer one, use steel-cut oats.
- Milk. Use cow's milk or a fortified, unsweetened, plant-based milk of your choice at a 1:1 ratio with the oats. For example, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk per 1/2 cup (120 ml) of oats.
- Chia seeds (optional). Chia seeds act like glue to bind the ingredients. Use 1/4 part chia seeds per 1 part oats. For instance, use 1/8 cup (30 ml) chia seeds per 1/2 cup (120 ml) oats.
- Yogurt (optional). Yogurt adds extra protein and creaminess. Use a dairy or plant-based yogurt and adjust the amount to your preference.
- Vanilla (optional). A dash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean adds a touch of flavor to your overnight oats.
- Sweetener (optional). A little maple syrup, 2-3 chopped dates, or half a mashed banana can sweeten your overnight oats.
Overnight oats are a great source of many nutrients.
One prepared cup (240 ml) of the basic recipe made with 2 percent cow's milk and without the optional ingredients provides the following (1):
- Calories: 215 calories
- Carbs: 33 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Sugars: 7 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
- Vitamin D: 299% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 25% of the DV
- Selenium: 27% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 25% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 23% of the DV
- Copper: 22% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
This amount of overnight oats also provides 12 – 19 percent of the DV for calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamine, and pantothenic acid.
Oats contain more protein and fat than most other grains. They are also a particularly good source of beta glucan, a type of fiber that reduces hunger and promotes feelings of fullness.
Naturally, the nutritional content of this recipe varies depending on the type of milk and which optional ingredients you choose to include.
To prepare your overnight oats, simply combine all the ingredients and refrigerate them overnight in an airtight container.
The oats and chia seeds soak up the milk and soften overnight, yielding a pudding-like texture come the next morning.
Overnight oats keep for up to four days when refrigerated in an airtight container. That means you can easily batch-prepare larger portions of the base recipe and add your favorite toppings to individual portions throughout the week for variation.
SUMMARY Overnight oats use simple ingredients, are rich in many nutrients, can be made in large batches, and don't require any heating. Simply mix the ingredients, refrigerate overnight, and add your favorite toppings in the morning.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
This variant of basic overnight oats is reminiscent of the popular treat peanut butter cups.
Simply add 1 – 2 tbsp (15–30 ml) of cocoa powder to your basic overnight oats recipe. In the morning, mix in 2 tbsp (30 ml) of natural peanut butter and top with chopped peanuts, fresh raspberries, and mini chocolate chips for extra flavor and texture.
The peanuts and peanut butter add a dose of healthy fat to this recipe while the cocoa and raspberries add antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that help protect your body from disease.
SUMMARY Chocolate-peanut-butter overnight oats are a nutrient-rich take on a popular sweet. This recipe is particularly rich in beneficial antioxidants and healthy fats.
For this tropical overnight oats recipe, swap the milk and yogurt in your basic recipe for coconut milk and coconut yogurt.
Then top it with a handful of pecans, sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes, and freshly cut or defrosted tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, or kiwi. Refrigerate it overnight just like the base recipe.
You may also use dried fruits, but remember to exercise portion control. Generally, a portion of dried fruit should be 2 – 3 times smaller than the same portion of fresh fruit. Opt for unsweetened, oil-free varieties.
SUMMARY Tropical oats are a coconut-infused variant of the traditional overnight oats recipe. Simply add fresh or defrosted fruit of your choice, or swap the fresh fruit for a smaller portion of unsweetened, oil-free dried fruit.
Pumpkins are high in fiber and vitamins C and K. They add a rich and perhaps unexpected flavor to this overnight oats recipe.
Pumpkins are also a good source of beta carotene, a compound that may reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
To make this recipe, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) of pumpkin purée to your basic overnight oats recipe and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, season it with a teaspoon (5 ml) of cinnamon and half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) each of ground cloves and nutmeg.
SUMMARY Pumpkin-spice overnight oats are rich in fiber, vitamins, and beta carotene, a compound that may protect against metabolic syndrome and associated diseases.
Carrots are rich in fiber and rank low on the glycemic index (GI), which means they are less likely to cause a blood sugar spike after you eat them.
Similarly to pumpkins, they are rich in beta carotene. Your body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is important for your vision, growth, development, and immune function.
To prepare this nutritious take on a popular dessert, simply mix 1/2 cup (120 ml) of shredded carrots, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of raisins, and 2 tbsp (30 ml) of cream cheese or a cream cheese replacement with your basic overnight oats ingredients.
Refrigerate it overnight, and garnish it with freshly shredded carrot, a few raisins, and a sprinkle of cinnamon or allspice in the morning.
SUMMARY Carrot-cake overnight oats are a great alternative to the sugar-laden dessert. The recipe is a good source of fiber and beta carotene, and given that carrots rank low on the GI index, this version may help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
High-Protein Mint Chocolate Chip
Protein is a nutrient that's known to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness.
With around 13 grams per cup (240 ml), the basic overnight oats recipe already contains a moderate dose of protein.
Adding yogurt to your recipe and topping it with nuts or seeds further boosts the protein content to around 17 grams per prepared cup (240 ml).
If you'd prefer even more protein, consider incorporating 1 – 2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) of protein powder to the mix. This will bring the protein content up to around 20 – 23 grams per cup.
For extra flavor, add a dash of peppermint extract and top it with freshly sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and a few mint leaves. Finally, use 1 tsp (5 ml) of spirulina powder for a natural, nutrient-rich touch of green color.
SUMMARY Yogurt, nuts, seeds, or protein powder boosts the protein content of your overnight oats. A dash of peppermint extract, sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and spirulina powder complete this recipe.
This recipe is an interesting way to infuse your breakfast with caffeine.
Substitute 1 ounce (30 ml) of milk with a shot of espresso, or simply mix 1 tsp (5 ml) of ground or instant coffee with the original quantity of milk.
This adds 30 – 40 mg of caffeine to your overnight oats — an amount that research shows may be enough to improve alertness, short-term recall, and reaction time.
Top this recipe with your choice of fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds.
If you like the taste of coffee but want to limit your intake of caffeine, simply substitute the espresso or ground coffee with ground chicory root. Brewed chicory root tastes similar to coffee but is naturally caffeine-free.
SUMMARY Adding a shot of espresso or 1 tsp (5 ml) of ground or instant coffee to your overnight oats infuses it with just enough caffeine to wake you up. Roasted, ground chicory root is a good caffeine-free alternative with a similar flavor.
The bottom line
Overnight oats are healthy and easy to prepare.
They can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack, require minimal prep, and are a time-saving meal option.
Overnight oats are also incredibly versatile, as simply changing up the toppings gives yield to a large variety of recipes. They're worth adding to your meal rotation if you haven't done so already.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Arkilaus Kladit
My name is Arkilaus Kladit. I'm from the Knasaimos-Tehit tribe in South Sorong Regency, West Papua Province, Indonesia. For decades my tribe has been fighting to protect our forests from outsiders who want to log it or clear it for palm oil. For my people, the forest is our mother and our best friend. Everything we need to survive comes from the forest: food, medicines, building materials, and there are many sacred sites in the forest.
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By Farah Aqel
Overthinkers are people who are buried in their own obsessive thoughts. Imagine being in a large maze where each turn leads into an even deeper and knottier tangle of catastrophic, distressing events — that is what it feels like to them when they think about the issues that confront them.
Ruminating<p>According to the late Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a professor of psychology at Yale University, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796420/" target="_blank">ruminating</a> involves replaying a problem over and over in your mind. We ruminate by obsessing over our thoughts and thinking repetitively about various aspects of a past situation.</p><p>It usually involves regret, self-loathing and self-blaming. Rumination is associated with the development of depression, anxiety and eating disorders. </p><p>People prone to such patterns of thought may, for example, overanalyze every single detail of a relationship that breaks up. They often blame themselves for what has happened and are overcome with regret, with typical thoughts being: </p><p>- I should have been more patient and more supportive. </p><p>- I have lost the most perfect partner ever. </p><p>- No one will love me again.</p>
Worrying<p>Worrying is wanting to predict the future. It involves negative thoughts about things that might and might not happen.</p><p>- They'll not like me in the interview; they'll not give me the job. </p><p>- I haven't heard back from other employers. How long will I be unemployed?</p><p>These thoughts are energy-draining and distressing. They could happen to anyone under stress. But when you reach the point where your thoughts and worrying are preventing you from doing what you want to do — from living your life to the fullest — then you should take action.</p>
Catch Yourself Overthinking<p>Reuben Berger, a psychotherapist at the university hospital in the western German city of Bonn, recommends several practical steps that you could employ in your daily routine when you catch yourself worrying or ruminating.</p><p>One effective remedy, says Berger, is the <a href="https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uf9938" target="_blank">thought-stopping technique.</a></p><p>"When the negative thoughts come or ruminations start, you say to yourself: 'Stop!,'" he says, adding that it is more effective when you actually say the word out loud.</p><p>He even recommends having a rubber band around your wrist to ping against yourself while saying the word. Adding a visual component by imagining a stop sign also makes the technique more powerful, he says.</p><p>The main idea here is conditioning yourself to stop the loop of worrying (making future predictions) or rumination (obsessing over past events).</p><p>Berger says the technique could take up to two weeks to take effect and that it needs to be practiced every day. "Consistency is very important," he says. </p>
Thoughts Are Just Thoughts<p>Another way of dealing with negative thoughts often used in modern therapy is realizing that thoughts aren't facts, says Berger.</p><p>He says it is important when we think something to ask: Is that real? Did that really happen? What is the worst thing that could happen?</p><p>Flight anxiety is one example where untrue thoughts are accepted as facts. Although air travel is the safest way to get around, people suffering from fear of flying accept their thoughts and fears as reality, then act upon them by refusing to fly.</p>
Mindfulness<p>Berger also recommends the use of mindfulness techniques, in which attention is paid to experiences in the moment without judging them, as a way of reducing worrying.</p><p>"Mindfulness helps you to distance yourself from your thoughts and to be more present in the moment," he says.</p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3432145/#R2" target="_blank">Several studies</a> have shown that mindfulness has a positive impact on reducing stress-related behaviors such as rumination and worrying, as focusing on the moment makes anxiety about other problems impossible.</p><p>Mindfulness can be practiced during routine activities by paying attention to your body and your surroundings. For instance, when you leave for work in the morning, you can focus on sensing the breeze, listen attentively to birds, feel the gravel under your feet and monitor your breath. </p>
Trick Your Brain Into Happiness<p>People plagued by obsessive thoughts do not always choose healthy ways like mindfulness to distract from them, however.</p><p> Dr. Edward Selby, a psychologist at Florida state university, has shown in a study that people try to avoid rumination by engaging in a range of uncontrolled behaviors, such as binge eating and substance abuse.</p><p>But he says that a much better way to overcome such distress is by distraction and shifting attention away from problems that are obsessing us.</p><p>There are many activities that can be used to distract from rumination, he says, and people should choose the one that works best for them. Here are some examples:</p><p>- Listen to music</p><p>- Read a book</p><p>- Take a hot shower</p><p>- Dance or exercise </p><p>- Talk to a friend (not about the problem)</p><p>- Watch a movie</p><p>- Mindfulness meditation</p>
Changing the Perception of Events<p>The way people perceive a situation largely influences their emotions and behavior. It is not the situation itself that determines how they feel, but rather the way they interpret it.</p><p>Reframing negative thoughts can lead to positive emotions and, subsequently, healthier behaviors — including a reduction in damaging overthinking and worrying.</p><p>Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is currently a gold standard in psychotherapy. CBT aims to change the way people think and act. It largely involves challenging unhelpful beliefs or attitudes such as overgeneralization — thinking "I always fail at public speaking" when you have had one bad experience in front of an audience, for example — or "catastrophization," i.e., imagining the worst possible outcome to a situation. </p><p>A psychotherapist can teach people how to implement such thought-changing techniques into their lives. Techniques vary depending on their issues and goals.</p>
Solutions Are at Hand<p>Try to find ways of avoiding worrying, rumination and overthinking that make you feel most comfortable.</p><p>Incorporating any routine in your life when you're stressed isn't an easy task, but you can do it! If you feel overwhelmed, you can always seek professional help. </p><p><em>If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, <a href="https://www.befrienders.org/" target="_blank">at this website.</a></em></p>
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By Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig and Nick Wilson
On Sunday, New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.
Deaths From COVID-19 Per Million Population<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU0ODIyOS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjkzMDc1OX0.7Yp1h1hokihlMJUurDukGmq-Y8NJB0V-07O1ukEjGt0/img.png?width=980" id="0fe6a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6bce85a610aee18e2f4f1c1caca7b8a0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
<div id="77fff" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ce7b34f8986d3d36bee5d4d83ac0822c"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1292270210238447616" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">COVID-19 Update There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. It has been 100 days since t… https://t.co/Cz55ixGZUz</div> — Unite against COVID-19 (@Unite against COVID-19)<a href="https://twitter.com/covid19nz/statuses/1292270210238447616">1596936201.0</a></blockquote></div>
Getting Through the Pandemic<p>We have gained a much better understanding of COVID-19 over the past eight months. Without effective control measures, it is likely to continue to spread globally for many months to years, ultimately infecting billions and killing millions. The proportion of infected people who die appears to be <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.03.20089854v4" target="_blank">slightly below 1%</a>.</p><p>This infection also causes serious <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m2815" target="_blank">long-term consequences</a> for some survivors. The largest uncertainties involve <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02278-5" target="_blank">immunity to this virus</a>, whether it can develop from exposure to infection or vaccines, and if it is long-lasting. The potential for treatment with antivirals and other therapeutics is also still uncertain.</p><p>This knowledge reinforces the huge benefits of sustaining elimination. We know that if New Zealand were to experience widespread COVID-19 transmission, the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3310086/" target="_blank">impact on Māori and Pasifika populations</a> could be catastrophic.</p><p>We have previously described critical measures to get us through this period, including the use of fabric face masks, improving contact tracing with suitable digital tools, applying a science-based approach to border management, and the need for a dedicated national public health agency.</p><p>Maintaining elimination depends on adopting a highly strategic approach to risk management. This approach involves choosing an optimal mix of interventions and using resources in the most efficient way to keep the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks at a consistently low level. Several measures can contribute to this goal over the next few months, while also allowing incremental increases in international travel:</p><ul><li>resurgence planning for a border-control failure and outbreaks of various sizes, with state-of-the-art contact tracing and an upgraded alert level system</li><li>ensuring all New Zealanders own a <a href="https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/mass-masking-an-alternative-to-a-second-lockdown-in-aotearoa" target="_blank">re-useable fabric face mask</a> with their <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12354409" target="_blank">use built into the alert level system</a></li><li>conducting exercises and simulations to test outbreak management procedures, possibly including "mass masking days" to engage the public in the response</li><li>carefully exploring processes to allow <a href="https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2020/06/16/preventing-outbreaks-of-covid-19-in-nz-associated-with-air-travel-from-australia-new-modelling-study-of-alternatives-to-quarantine/" target="_blank">quarantine-free travel</a> between jurisdictions free of COVID-19, notably various Pacific Islands, Tasmania and Taiwan (which may require digital tracking of arriving travellers for the first few weeks)</li><li>planning for carefully managed inbound travel by key long-term visitor groups such as tertiary students who would generally still need managed quarantine.</li></ul>
Building Back Better<p>New Zealand cannot change the reality of the global COVID-19 pandemic. But it can leverage possible benefits.</p><p>We should conduct an <a href="https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2020/06/11/five-key-reasons-why-nz-should-have-an-official-inquiry-into-the-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/" target="_blank">official inquiry into the COVID-19 response</a> so we learn everything we possibly can to improve our response capacity for future events.</p><p>We also need to establish a specialized national public health agency to <a href="https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2017/12/20/the-havelock-north-drinking-water-inquiry-a-wake-up-call-to-rebuild-public-health-in-new-zealand/" target="_blank">manage serious threats to public health</a> and provide critical mass to <a href="https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2020/02/05/a-preventable-measles-epidemic-lessons-for-reforming-public-health-in-nz/" target="_blank">advance public health generally</a>. Such an agency appears to have been a key factor in the success of Taiwan, which avoided a costly lockdown entirely.</p><p>Business as usual should not be an option for the recovery phase. A recent <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12353555" target="_blank">Massey University survey</a> suggests seven out of ten New Zealanders support a green recovery approach.</p><p>New Zealand's elimination of COVID-19 has drawn attention worldwide, with a description just <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2025203" target="_blank">published</a> in the New England Journal of Medicine. We support a rejuvenated World Health Organization that can provide improved global leadership for pandemic prevention and control, including greater use of an elimination approach to combat COVID-19.</p>
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