I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, smoothies are downright magical. They’re easy to make, nutrient rich, portable, the list goes on and on BUT sipping on a ice cold smoothie on a hot summer day is very different to sipping on a smoothie during June, the coldest month of the year here in South Africa. So this month I’m giving my smoothie a winter makeover by adding comforting, winter-friendly ingredients such as oats, creamy almond milk, raw honey and vanilla extract. YUM.
Overnight oats are perfect for people like me, who have very little time for breakfast in the morning. You see, my main hustle these days is a freelance writing gig for a company based in Australia. When I wake up my clients are already halfway through their day, and when it should be time for me to go to bed they’re waking up and logging on. Needless to say I’ve been working pretty mal hours since moving to this sleepy little town, and I literally only have time for a quick smoothie or something premade in-between client work so preparing something the night before is pretty much my secret weapon against beating the hangries.
So what exactly is overnight oats? It’s a no-cook way of making oatmeal – just add liquid to rolled oats and let it rest overnight (or for a minimum of four hours). The recipe below has become my go-to overnight oats recipe, but you don’t need to fuss with the extra bits if you don’t have it in your pantry – just add milk to oats and Go Go Gadget.
You can substitute the fruit in this recipe with just about anything. I had apples, a pineapple, grapefruit and bananas at home because that was literally all I could find at our only-grocery-store-in-the-village earlier this week. Not exactly what you would call an exciting selection compared to the blueberries and gooseberries I had last week, but ‘n boer maak ‘n plan and so I chopped up and blended the pineapple, grapefruit and banana and hoped for the best. I was pleasantly surprised with how the mixture turned out – the pineapple added some much needed sweetness to counteract the grapefruit’s bitterness, and the banana gave the mixture a lovely creamy texture. And bonus, grapefruit is a terrific source of vitamin and fibre, so consider your immune system boosted after having this smoothie.
The great thing about this oats/smoothie combo is that you can have it a number of different ways. You can prepare the oats the night before and serve it up hot (just pop it in the microwave for a minute or so) or cold, topped with a freshly made smoothie; or you can prep everything the night before, layer it in a glass jar and grab it on-the-go in the morning. Slim nê?
P.S. You can keep the oats mixture refrigerated for up to five days so double or triple the recipe for a quick grab-and-go breakfast all week long.