Breakfast Solution: Overnight Oats

Breakfast is such an important meal and opportunity to fuel the body. As the name suggests, this is the meal that literally breaks the fast. While there isn't one perfect breakfast option, there are definitely nutrients to look to include like whole grains, fruit, healthy fats, and protein. This mix of nutrients will help to fuel and refuel the body.

Overnight oats are such a great option because you make them ahead of time and then let the oats sit overnight. You can then warm them up before you eat them or just enjoy them right out of the refrigerator. Oats not only deliver fiber to help fill you up, they also deliver protein, one cup of oats has about 10 grams of protein. In comparison - one large egg has about 6 grams of protein. 

The oats then serve as a perfect foundation for nutrient-rich toppings and additions like fruit, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and more! There are almost endless options for overnight oats so experiment and find the mixture that is best for you - even try savory options with toppings like avocado, egg, and chopped scallions. Below are three overnight oats recipes for you to try!

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Chia Berry Overnight Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) almond milk
1 Tablespoon (15 mL) chia seeds
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen blueberries
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen strawberries
1/3 cup (80 mL) frozen raspberries

Directions:
1. Mix the oats, almond milk, and chia seeds together in a small mixing bowl.
2. In a pint-size jar, start with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Then layer frozen raspberries. Top with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Then layer with frozen blueberries. Top with 1/3 of the oatmeal mixture. Finish with a layer of frozen strawberries.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Optional: To serve finish with 1 - 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar.

Topping suggestion: Top with fresh bananas, fresh raspberries, and/or coconut chips.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 400 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium, 73 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fiber, 13 grams sugar, 12 grams protein 

Golden Overnight Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) coconut, almond milk, or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) tumeric
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) vanilla
2 teaspoons (10 mL) agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) cinnamon
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats

Directions:
1. Combine the spices and agave nectar to the milk, whisk together. Then add the spice-milk mixture to the oats. Shake or stir to combine.
2. Transfer to a pint size jar or container, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Serving suggestions: Top with raisins, sliced pear, coconut flakes, and/or hemp seeds.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):  470 calories, 9 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 80 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 15 grams protein

Maple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) coconut, almond milk, or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) cinnamon
2 teaspoons (10 mL) maple syrup
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats

Directions:
1. Combine the cinnamon, maple syrup, and the milk, whisk together. Then add the spice-milk mixture to the oats. Shake or stir to combine.
2. Transfer to a pint size jar or container, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Serving suggestions: Top with chopped apple slices, walnuts, chocolate chips, sliced banana, and/or pecans.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):  380 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 70 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 11 grams protein

Garlic Quinoa Poppers

These garlic quinoa poppers are a great quick snack or addition to a meal. What is awesome about them from a nutrition perspective for athletes is that they are made with a base of nutrient-rich quinoa (pictured below).

Quinoa cooks up just like rice but delivers twice the protein compared to rice. Plus quinoa is gluten-free, as it is technically a seed, although is often considered a whole grain. Each serving of this recipe (2 poppers) has 6 grams of protein! 

Make a batch of these poppers up to have on hand for snacking, a great way to keep your energy up between meals! Click here to download the snacking handout for more ideas. 

Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

Garlic Quinoa Poppers
Serves 12 (2 poppers each)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1½ cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix in cooked quinoa and chopped onion. 
4. Add cheese, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared mini muffin tin (about 1 tablespoon of mixture per muffin).
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 6 grams protein

Energy Bites

Energy bites are quick and easy to make plus a perfect nutrient-packed snack to addition to a meal. Plus there are endless combinations you can make, stay tuned for more energy bite recipes! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

ENERGY BITES
Serves 16 (1 bite each)

Ingredients
1 cup (~220 g) dates, pitted
¼ cup all natural peanut or almond butter*
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds (or flax or hemp seeds)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup rolled oats
Dash of sea salt

*For a nut-free option try: Sunflower seed butter, if needed increase the rolled oats to firm up the mixture.

Directions:

1. Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they are in small pieces or the mixture forms a ball.

2. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Then pulse or mix until combined.

3. Refrigerate mixture for 20 – 30 minutes (to help it firm up).

4. Roll into 1-inch bite-size cubes (about 28 grams per bite).

5. To set, place in a storage container and cover. Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes or eat as is!

Nutrition Facts (per bite): 100 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

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Super Food Peanut Butter Chip Bars

This bar recipe is quick and easy to make. Plus they are perfectly delicious and they deliver whole grains, healthy fats, and fiber for longer lasting energy! 

Superfood PB Chip Bars

Superfood PB Chip Bars

Serves 18

Ingredients:
1 cups rolled oats
2 cups quinoa puffs
1.5 cups pistachios
1 cup chopped dates
pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
2/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate pieces

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, quinoa puffs, pistachios, dates, and sea salt. Stir to combine. 

2. On the stove-top in a small sauce pan combine the peanut butter and honey and stir over medium heat until the mixture is combined and melted. 

3. Stir the peanut butter honey sauce into the oats/nuts mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Prepare a 9" x 13" pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm up the bars and then slice!