[Food] How to have breakfast without waking up early

Let’s address the elephant in the room right at the beginning of the article: I am not a morning person. No matter how early I go to bed or how many mornings in a row I get up at a certain hour, I cannot develop the habit of seeing the sun rising.

I am totally joking, seeing the sunrise is not the reason for which I want to get up early in the morning. The most important reason for which I want to become a morning person is breakfast.

Let’s get some context first

I am an avid coffee drinker, which means that I basically need coffee as a fuel to work properly.  This behaviour was developed around my senior high school year, when I needed those extra hours to study for my final exams before flying away to college. One year later, when I started attending my first courses in college, coffee become an important part of my life. First course, first cigarette, first encounter with my colleagues meant that somewhere in front of me there was a hot cup of just brewed coffee.

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As years moved along and I started my first 9-to-5 job, the level of stress that was affecting my body (both physically and psychologically) made it pretty clear that I needed to watch the intake of beverages that would be harmful on an empty stomach.

When the alarm clock hits…

I said it before and I’ll say it again: morning is not my friend. So waking up one hour in advance to cook and eat breakfast was never a valid option for me. Especially due to the fact that I tried doing that for a couple of weeks and it turned out to be more miserable than I expected. It’s amazing how much of a difference 1 hour of sleep makes.

This resulted in a long period of time in which I would skip breakfast and go straight to my morning coffee. And the effects did not fail to make themselves noticeable. I started experiencing stomach burning sensations and pain. I would start to eat random snacks so that I could tame the hunger until the lunch period, where I would overeat to compensate the lack of breakfast.

I don’t know how your body works, but in my case, being miserable in one part of my day/week/life is affecting all the others. So not being satisfied with my morning routine (let’s be beauty gurus for a second here), would affect my mood that morning, my productivity and my ability to be a grownup. So I started my research and found something that turned my world upside-down.

The power of overnight oats

Now, this is not rocket science and it’s all over Pinterest. Overnight oats are here and they plan to stay due to the fact that they are the best thing I discovered that impacted my life in such a positive way.

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The concept is pretty simple: you take a medium bowl, jar or any container, you fill it with 2 parts milk (real or plant-based) to 1 part oats, and start adding your favourite ‘toppings’, life fruits or nuts, and leave it to hydrate overnight. Then, in the morning, your breakfast is already done as soon as you wake up and you can enjoy it while you get ready to go out to work. How amazing does that sounds? For me, the average time from the point of waking up to actually leaving the house is around 25 minutes. So being able to do all my morning chores and have breakfast at the same time it’s some sort of a lifehack that changed everything this last december and I plan to use it religiously during the following year. Also, as a side note, if you are in a hurry, you can take the oats with you and eat it either on the go (if it’s in a small, cup-type container) or when arriving at work.

My personal favourites

And now to the most interesting part of this article: what is my overnight oats recipe that I can strongly recommend. Well, there are two actually: a cinnamon apple recipe and a banana and peanut butter one. I have to mention that when I first started experimenting with overnight oats, my recipe consisted in oats, oat milk, honey and some pumpkin seeds with cashew nuts.

My advice is to start basic, with a simple recipe, and after you start developing a habit of preparing your overnight oats, go bigger.

Cinnamon apple overnight oats

If you are in love with wintery spices and tastes, you will absolutely adore this version of overnight oats, especially if you are putting it in the microwave for 45 seconds. The warm apple oats with cinnamon on top is the perfect breakfast for the cold mornings in which you need some strong motivation to get up. And this surely is one of the best.

What I use:

100 grams of oats (I use generic brands, because they are cheaper and in bulk)
150-170 ml of oat milk (I use Alpro’s Oat milk instead of regular one because I am lactose intolerant; I also like to add a little more oat milk for a porridge texture)
One apple, diced
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (honey is cheaper for me)
*optional* 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (since I buy the ingredients for both recipes at once, I usually have some pb to add as an extra touch)

In the overnight oats container (I use a round container of 500 grams), I put the oats, the milk and the honey, then I stir to combine elements. Then I place the container in the fridge, put a lid on, and leave it, you guessed it, overnight.

Then, in the morning, I chop an apple, add some cinnamon, microwave it for 30-45 seconds, and enjoy it while I get ready for a work day.

Banana and Peanut Butter overnight oats

This recipe was actually the first one I tried out after getting bored with the basic one and it was love at first taste. Using some really ripe bananas and some peanut butter, I tried to spice up my basic oat recipe.

What I use:

100 grams of oats (I use generic brands, because they are cheaper and in bulk)
150-170 ml of oat milk (I use Alpro’s Oat milk instead of regular one because I am lactose intolerant; I also like to add a little more oat milk for a porridge texture)
One banana, sliced
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (honey is cheaper for me)
*optional* 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (since I buy the ingredients for both recipes at once, I usually have some cinnamon to add as an extra touch)

Just like I said above, in the overnight oats container I put the oats, the milk, the peanut butter and the honey, then I stir to combine elements. After that, I place the container in the fridge, put a lid on, and leave it overnight. In the morning, I top the oats with some sliced banana and some cinnamon.

In the end…

I am really curious how many of you will try these overnight oats and will notice a change in their morning routines. Let me know if you tried any of the above recipes or if you have any other recommendations.

Have a great and sunny day!
Alex

Photos by: Daria Nepriakhina

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