Updated: May 10, 2021
Pre-pandemic, I had a very long commute (45 min one way; up to an hour and a half depending on the office I needed to go to) so breakfast was a "to go" item. I would meal prep as much as possible on Sunday and reap the benefits of my efforts during the week for both healthy options during the day and a quick dinner when I (finally!) got home.
Even though we are in a largely work-from-home (WFH) environment, I still meal prep especially for breakfast to keep consistency and because it is very helpful to ensuring I have something to eat immediately when I realize I'm borderline hangry (it's so real for me). Plus, it keeps me sustainable - if I meal plan and prep, food waste is low and I ensure that I can utilize pantry items plus fresh ingredients before they expire.
I'm a big fan of chia seed pudding or overnight oats in mini mason / ball jars; I would line them up, fill 'em up, shake and put in the fridge to grab for my lunch bag (which was really my "all day" meal bag with breakfast, lunch, and two snacks).
This recipe is along those lines but gets me a merge between chia seed pudding and Irish oats with the lovely chew and heft I don't get in other overnight oat recipes. I swirl in some aromatics via cinnamon and some brown sugar while balancing with some tart dried berry cherries. Topping it off with some toasted crunch of shredded coconuts and pecans; I really have a winner here!
1 tbsp coconut oil (either refined or unrefined will work here; if you want more coconut flavor - go for it with unrefined!)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp roasted ground cinnamon (or regular if you cannot find the roasted; worth seeking out though!)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/3 cup dried cherry-berry blend (cranberries, blueberries & cherries)
1 cup steel cut (Irish) oats
3 cups filtered water
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup oat milk (or almond milk)
Toasted coconut-pecan topping (optional): 1 handful each of shredded coconut & pecan pieces
Heat medium sauce pan (ensure it has a tight fitting lid) over medium-high heat; melt coconut oil
Add sugar & spices to coconut oil and stir continuously until fragrant; add vanilla paste and berry-blend.
Stir continuously as you add the oats; get them coated in the spice mix. Next add the water; bring mixture to a boil. Boil for ~5 minutes.
Add chia seeds and stir to incorporate; turn off heat. Put lid on saucepan and leave on stove top overnight.
In the morning, add 1 cup of oat milk to your overnight oats and stir. Turn on heat to Medium and start to reheat your oats. Cook for ~5 minutes stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, heat a small dry pan over Medium-High heat and add your coconut & pecans. Stir infrequently ~2-3 minutes until slightly warmed and toasted (coconut will begin to look golden in color and both the coconut and pecans will become fragrant).
Serve oats warm and topped with the coconut-pecan topping (if using)
This power oatmeal is warming, tart, and slightly sweet. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee (or tea) and a banana to tackle your Monday (and Tuesday, or any other day this week with your leftovers).
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie