Are you a breakfast person? I definitely am. In fact, I might say I look forward to breakfast more than any other meal time (right next to dessert) 😉 Breakfast sets the tone for our bodies for the day ahead. A nutritious, well rounded first meal can boost brain power, balance blood sugar, control cravings, and can even help you consume fewer calories throughout the rest of the day than skipping the meal altogether. Kind of amazing, huh?
As important as breakfast is, sometimes it gets last priority when we're trying to rush out the door in the morning. For many of us, if its not quick, portable, and ready in a moments notice, it may not happen at all. Can you relate?
Today, we're excited to share with you one of our favorite go-to breakfasts for mornings when you don't have a ton of time to spare: Strawberry Shortcake Overnight Oats. Balanced with the right amount of carbs, protein, and healthy fat to keep you full and energized all morning long. Oh, and it also tastes UH-mazing!
So what makes a breakfast "balanced"? The first nutrient we need are carbohydrates. While we sleep our body is burning through stored glucose (known as glycogen) and come morning our bodies need to replenish these energy stores. Carbohydrates help provide that energy for the brain, muscles, and blood to get us going strong. Smart food sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, dairy like milk and yogurt, fruit, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and beans. Carbs in the morning often get a bad wrap, often because we consume too many, too refined, or without the right pairing of a stabilizing protein/fat.
Protein is another important nutrient to include in breakfast. Perhaps most importantly, protein provides that staying power to help satisfy you longer than just consuming carbs alone and protein is one nutrients that helps stabilize blood sugar, and therefore energy (cravings). Great food sources include eggs, nuts and nut butters, lean uncured meats, Greek yogurt, and cheese. Aim for a minimum of 20 grams at this first meal.
Lastly, it's important to include some healthy fat in your breakfast. Like protein, fat helps with satiety and stabilizing blood sugar. Fat is also needed to absorb certain vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat. Healthy fat sources include nuts and nut butters, seeds, plant oils, and avocado.
You're probably familiar with the idea of overnight oats already. Soaking oats in milk and/or yogurt with some favorite mix-ins. In the morning you can just grab and go. What a lot of recipes lack are protein, so that's why we decided to upgrade out recipe to provide you with a whopping 32 grams per serving! We also reduced the added sugars by doing a 2:1 of tart, plan Greek yogurt to vanilla Greek yogurt. Love tart? You can use all plain.
Just like any recipe, this is completely modifiable based on personal preference. I love the thick texture of Greek yogurt in both my oatmeal and yogurt layers. Maybe you'd prefer to swap yogurt out for milk. Try a few different batches out and make it your own!
Nutrition Notes: As previously mentioned, this recipe is rich in filling protein and thanks to oats, chia seeds, and pepitas (pumpkn seeds), also contains heart healthy fats and filling fiber. Yogurt and milk provide calcium and (if fortified) vitamin D which promote good bone health. Oats contain soluble fiber, which can reduce lousy LDL cholesterol when consumed regularly. Pepitas are excellent sources of plant based protein and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and copper. They also contain phytosterols, pant compounds with antioxidant like properties which fight free radicals.
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup milk of choice
⅓ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt
¾ cup strawberries (frozen work great!)
2 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp pepitas
Freeze dried strawberries for garnish and crunch, optional
Using a blender or food processor, puree strawberries until smooth. Set aside.
In a mason jar or small bowl, mix oats with milk and 1-3 tablespoons yogurt (based on preference for thickness). In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with chia seeds. Grab your container for the next day (mason jar, tupperware, etc.) Begin layering. Top with pepitas and dried strawberries. Chill in fridge overnight. Enjoy warm or cold the following morning!
Calories - 400 Fat - 7g Carbohydrates - 55g Protein - 32g Fiber - 10g