From the Magazine

Rainy Day Overnight Oats

The life of a teacher can be daunting in any number of ways. But perhaps the cruelest irony is that, from the moment we enter kindergarten, we will never escape the callous ring of that 7 a.m. morning bell. We watch spouses and partners sleep soundly as we fumble through the dark, hunting for the one clean pair of undies in the dryer. We shiver our way to our cars, rubbing the sand from our eyes as we squint our way to school. 

We hear tales from high school friends of some mythical part of the day. They regale us with details of peaceful moments between sleep and work. We’ve never known a fairytale such as this. We thought it was a fabrication of Hollywood. They’ve come to call it “breakfast.” I’ve known it only by one name: “Faculty Room Coffee.” 

We know better, though, than to try and push through the long school day without proper fueling. We’ve heard all the specialists, all the experts, and all the mom’s advice. That doesn’t make it any easier to prepare a tasty breakfast with zero minutes and a brain whizzing with classroom to-dos. What we need is a simple breakfast that is delicious, healthy, incorporates fresh and organic ingredients, and can be prepared with literally zero time in the morning. Well, friends, we have answered the call. 

We first experienced the “overnight oats” trend north of Seattle in a town called Kirkland. A tiny hipster café sat just next to our hotel on Lake Washington. A recommendation from our barista, the delightful snack found itself nestled somewhere in between oatmeal and pudding, but had all the accoutrements you’d expect with a $15 bowl of granola. It was delightful, filling, and the fruits and herbs elevated it well beyond anything in the cereal category. 

It turned out that the concept was actually quite old. Its predecessor, Muesli, dated back to the early 1900’s when Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner used the oat and nut mixture as treatment for tuberculosis. Today, with a pinch of spice and a touch of hipster love, the phenomena can find its way into your daily routine at the cost of zero minutes and you’ll be the envy of those other zombies lined up for their swig of Faculty Room Coffee. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats 
  • 2 — 14 ounce cans coconut milk 
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds 
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt 

Toppings:

  • 1-2 tablespoons almond butter 
  • 2 small Honeycrisp apples, sliced 
  • Your favorite granola 
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds 
  • Pure maple syrup 

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, fold together all the ingredients until fully incorporated. Don’t worry, the flavors will have plenty of time to come together overnight. 

2. Divide the mixture of oats among 4 — 12 ounce Ball mason jars (or bowls). Screw the lid on (or cover the bowls with saran wrap) and pop them in the fridge. 

3. In the morning, grab a jar, stir the oats, and then put on your toppings. Sprinkle it with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with maple syrup. 

4. Enjoy!

Alex Winter is a graduate of Valparaiso University and a member of the Empowered team.