Everyone knows about our fascination or rather, fixation over eggs for breakfast. Breakfast has to have eggs in some form. However, this summer has been especially trying in terms of managing heat and the appetite. There are days when I wake up with an urge to have something cool and soothing. The easy solution is always a breakfast smoothie. Lately, I have been hearing and reading about overnight oats bowl, overnight chia seed pudding and so on. I had never given it a thought to try, knowing fully well that no one else in the family would even dip their finger in these healthy bowls.
Eggs or overnight oats bowl for breakfast?
One fine day, the news of my cousin’s wedding in 2020 came by and it hit upon us so start on a healthy diet. That was the point of entry for the overnight oats bowl for breakfast. All I had to tell Anindya is that it is healthy and packed with proteins and fibre and a lot of other goodness. Additionally, overnight oats bowl keeps the tummy full for a longer period of time. No doubt, there cannot be anything better than eggs for breakfast, but now I had a few other options up my sleeve to try every morning.
How do you like to eat your oats? Cooked oats, porridge, flavoured oats, savoury oats, oats khichdi or overnight oats bowl?
Personally, I cannot stand oats. I simply detest the slimy gluggy feel in my mouth when oats is cooked in the form of a porridge. Traditionally, over the years, we have been eating oats only that way. It was in Cardiff in 2002, that I chanced upon flavoured quaker oats, which were slightly better than the plain jane variety. Eventually Quaker oats came to India but the ‘angrezi’ flavours did not work in the long term. Instead, Saffola came out with masala oats, which are infinitely better than plain oats. Having said that, cooked oats would always remain at the bottom of my breakfast list.
Overnight oats bowl is a whole different technique and the resulting taste is mind blowing, atleast for me. It tastes like a refreshing dessert. Throw in some chia seed and it has a similar texture and taste of a sabu makha. Sabu makha is a mash of sabudana/sagoo with coconut, milk, banana and other fruits, consumed during some religious fasting.
You can add whatever topping you like to an overnight oats bowl.
You can experiment with flavours and texture. You can add whatever fresh fruits, syrups, powders you want, to jazz up the overnight oats bowl. In this recipe, I have tried to keep it very simple. I have added a couple of superfoods like flaxseed and chia seed. It’s been a year or so that I keep flax seed and chia seed at home and try to include them in our daily food intake in some form or the other.
Both Flax seed and chia seed are supposed to have multiple health benefits. They improve cholestrol, lower blood sugar, reduce cancer risk, helps in weight loss and many more. They are high in omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fibre and both are high quality protein. When these superfoods are coupled with oats, which again is a high source of fibre and anti oxidants among other nutrients, the overnight oats bowl becomes power packed with nutrition.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast staple
It is very easy to make an overnight oats bowl and anyone can do it. The night before, you will have to soak the oats in milk or soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk or any milk of your choice along with some flax seed, chia seed, salt and honey. You need to stir and mix everything properly and keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for the night. Just before having breakfast, take the bowl out of the refrigerator, give it all a good stir and add more milk or yogurt if you like. Top with whatever fresh fruits or dry fruits or nuts of your choice. It is that simple.
Anindya likes this version of overnight oats bowl. He is a picky eater and does not like healthy food at all. I have given this to him thrice and he hasn’t refused yet. So I am guessing, it sits well with his taste.
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Here are a few more unconventional breakfast options which does not require any cooking.
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Overnight oats bowl with mixed berries
- 1 cup oats it could be hand rolled or the instant oats variety too
- 2 tbsp flaxseed powder optional, see notes
- 2 tbsp chia seed powder see notes
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 cups Milk see notes
- 3 tbsp mixed berries
- In a mixing bowl, take the oats, flaxseed powder, chia seeds and salt and mix them together. Add a tbsp of honey and 2 cups of milk and stir. Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and give everything a good stir.
- Add more milk or yogurt if you require and portion out the oats in separate bowls. Top each bowl with mixed berries and more honey if you like and serve chilled.
- Flaxseed has a very tough outer shell which does not get digested if taken whole. Best way to use flaxseed is to powder it in a grinder and store in an airtight container. Use as required. Flaxseed does not add any extra taste to this overnight bowl.
- Chia seed on the other hand, provides a beautiful texture to the bowl and I find it necessary to add it. You can make it without chia seed too but the texture won't be the same.
- Instead of dairy, you can use any kind of milk you want. Infact, coconut milk or soy or almond milk tastes great as well.