I’ve been warming up to overnight oats recipes lately. When I first started seeing this phenomenon all over the food blogosphere, I was skeptical. Except for the occasional eggs Benedict, I don’t usually fuss over breakfast because I just want to EAT! I usually make a week’s worth of granola so that I can just throw everything together every morning. Therefore, I didn’t know if I wanted to plan out breakfast on a nightly basis.
But a couple months ago, I was briefly trying a non-dairy diet and thought I would give overnight oats a go. The first recipe I tried was pretty basic: I re-purposed an old olive jar and poured in a half cup of oats, some almond milk, kefir, honey, and berries. Then, I faithfully stored the jar in the fridge and heated the contents up in a bowl the next morning before chowing down. I did that every day for about a week. It was nice, but then I determined dairy was okay, and I could go back to my trusty granola.
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Mocha coffee overnight oats
Then, last week @z.o.e.a.t.s posted a mocha coffee overnight oats recipe, and I had to try it stat! I’ve recently switched back to chicory tea (again) to manage my acid reflux. But right before that I was drinking decaf chicory coffee, which is a blend of decaf coffee and chicory granules (I recommend Starwest Botanicals chicory, which I use all the time). I decided to try Zoe’s recipe with this very coffee and figured it sure would be delicious. I was not wrong! Coffee is great, but chicory really kicks it up a notch.
SIDENOTE: If you’re an SG-1 fan, the team detects the flavor of chicory in their coffee in the episode called “Urgo”:
Dr. Daniel Jackson: Wow, this coffee’s great!
Samantha Carter: I was just thinking that.
Jack O’Neill: Yeah, is that cinnamon?
Dr. Daniel Jackson: It’s, uh, it’s chicory.
Jack O’Neill: [contemplative] Hm, chicory.
[Teal’c unscrews the lid from the coffee pot and drinks the contents]
Samantha Carter: Teal’c?
[He continues to drink as everyone looks, then finishes.]
Jack O’Neill: Isn’t that hot?
Bad taste = lessons learned
Anyway, so mocha chicory coffee overnight oats are fantastic and highly recommended. That evening, though, I thought I would experiment with my recipe for granola. I thought, why not try an orange cranberry overnight oats recipe? It has to be delicious. I excitedly took a photo of my process, assuming that the next morning I could provide a gushing review of my genius …
I rubbed my eyes, stumbled into the kitchen, and gingerly pulled the jar out of the fridge. After adding a dollop of almond butter and some strawberries, I dug in.
The first taste was kinda blah. The second taste was starting to be gross. The third taste I got some cranberries on the spoon and promptly wanted to spit everything out. I trudged through a couple more bites and then gave up and set it all aside.
So it seems that fashioning my own overnight oats recipe is not as simple as I first assumed. Here are the lessons I’ve learned:
- Nuts get chewy and dried fruit gets mushy when they are kept soaking in almond milk all night.
- Almond butter does NOT go with everything.
- Oatmeal needs a bit more sweetener and flavoring to not just taste like watery oats.
Hope springs eternal
To add insult to injury, three of the strawberries were partially rotten. Although this experience has soured me toward the notion of slightly more fuss over breakfast than I’m used to, I’m not completely put off. As noted, the mocha overnight oats recipe turns out some pretty delicious results, so there must be some other inspiration out there for me.
What are your most entertaining breakfast fails? Breakfast wins? Any overnight oats recipe pointers?