Weekday mornings are crazy for me. Between getting the kids up and ready to go, making sure my husband gets to work on time, and getting my training in for the day, there is little time for anything else, much less preparing a big, balanced breakfast. Thankfully, I learned how to meal prep each week, which makes breakfast a breeze on these hectic days. I know many hear the words “meal prep” and cringe at the thought of it. Sure, planning for each and every meal and snack ahead of time can seem daunting and time consuming, but I assure you it is truly a life-saver, especially for those following a healthy lifestyle.
Without weekly meal prep, I would never have healthy foods, like these delicious oats, on hand. Prior to my weekly meal-prepping habits, I would usually skip breakfast altogether. On days I felt too hungry to skip, I would grab breakfast from various fast-food establishments, which was both costly and unhealthy. Even worse, I used to justify these poor choices with the excuse that I just didn’t have enough time. This, however, was a poor excuse. An excuse that led me to be unhealthy and unhappy for way too many years. Fact is, there’s no reason you can’t eat foods with optimal nutrition, even on the busiest of mornings. All you need to do is introduce a few small and simple food-prepping habits into your weekly schedule and you can enjoy clean, nutritious foods for every meal and snack. One of my favorite options for breakfast are these spiced maple overnight oats.
A breakfast of nutrition champions, overnight oats are easy to prepare, can be made up to 5 days in advance, and are simple to pack on-the-go. As with any oat-based breakfast, overnight oats are also particularly satisfying, as they are packed with heart-healthy insoluble fiber that keeps you feeling full until lunch. As if all those reasons weren’t convincing enough, there are countless ways to flavor them. You could literally make a different style of overnight oats every week for a year and never repeat the same flavor combination. This is important because it fends off boredom, aka the motivation killer of healthy eating.
In order to bust any flavor boredom I might have before it arrived, I switched my previous month’s oat recipe to this maple spice one. A simple combination of cinnamon, cardamom, maple syrup, and vanilla extract provides a comforting warmth and natural sweetness to the unsweetened almond milk that’s used for soaking. Once allowed to soften overnight, the oats can be topped with fresh fruit and nuts to complete the meal. My favorite options are banana slices, raspberries, sliced strawberries, and unsalted, finely chopped pecans, however you can top with anything you like. I also recommend preparing in small mason jars for storage and travel ease. So start your day with a quick, tasty, and nutrient-dense breakfast by giving this glamorized version of oatmeal a try!
Spiced Maple Overnight Oats
- 1 cup Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
- 1 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Ground Cardamom
- Fresh Sliced Fruit (optional garnish)
- Toasted Unsalted Pecans; finely chopped (optional garnish)
- In a medium bowl, stir together almond milk, oats, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Divide mixture into 2 glass jars (or small bowls). Add more almond milk to each jar, if needed, so that oats are covered in liquid.
- Cover jars and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).
- To serve, top with fresh fruit (banana, strawberry, raspberries) and sprinkle with pecans.
NutritionPer Serving (1 Jar): 207 Calories; 7 g Protein; 4 g Total Fat; 0.5 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 106 mg Sodium; 7 g Sugar; 35 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol.