These are anything but basic. Actually, that's not true. They are pretty basic. But they are also full of healthy fats, fiber and protein. So really the only basic thing about these is that they are oh-so-easy to make. So now being basic isn't so bad, is it?
Breakfast is typically anything but convenient. Or at least that's what you have told yourself. I am here today to show you an option for a convenient breakfast that is filling, blood sugar stabilizing and free of refined sugars. Now that's what I call #winning. Before I share this delicious, satisfying, #glutenfree & #dairyfree recipe I want to talk a little bit about why overnight oats are better than cooking your oats straight from the bag, what it means to be on the "blood sugar rollercoaster" and yet another reason to love cinnamon.
Why soak your oats?
Oats are full of fiber, a fab source of protein and essential fatty acids and are also a #prebiotic (serve as food for those #probiotics that you take). They are also hard as hell to digest for most people, i.e. cue the bloating and gas. Oats, like other grains, are full of phytic acid that makes them not only harder to digest but also inhibits the absorption of minerals in the digestive tract.
By soaking the oats before cooking, or by making overnight oats where no cooking is required, the phytic acid gets broken down allowing for easier digestion. This also allows for the body to better absorb minerals like zinc and iron that are found in oats and other minerals in the digestive tract.
As a little aside, oats are biologically #glutenfree but they can often be grown on fields that also grow gluten containing grains or processed in plants that they can become cross-contaminated with gluten. Therefore, I always recommend buying gluten-free oats (my favorite is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats) to ensure your belly is free from anything extra that could cause your body distress.
How to Avoid the "Blood Sugar Roller Coaster"
What the hell is this "blood sugar roller coaster"? Basically, every time you eat carbohydrates you have an increase in blood sugar. Your body responds by releasing insulin which then signals for your cells to take some of the glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cell. When you eat a meal high in carbohydrates then you get a large spike in your blood sugar, insulin releases, you have a big drop in blood sugar, and then next thing you know you are #hangry, possibly light-headed and ready to EAT. So how do I avoid that roller coaster? By eating carbs with fats and protein my body has a slower and more steady increase of blood sugar that stabilizes and can be maintained by the stored fats in my body. And that is exactly what I have done here with this recipe. By making these overnight oats with coconut milk (or any other nut milk), pumpkin seeds, and pecans, I have included high-quality fats; and by adding collagen peptides and chia seeds, I have added in some protein too. I also used very minimal added sugar by using just 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. So now you've got a breakfast that has tons of fats and proteins to help slow the absorption of carbs into the blood stream and instead of having a giant spike in blood sugar with a crash soon to follow, you will have a slower and lower rise in your blood sugar that becomes stabilized without making you HANGRY an hour later.
Why I love cinnamon and you should too!
Unless you really don't like it...which apparently is a thing. One of my BFF's doesn't, which I literally always forget about because WHO DOESN'T LOVE CINNAMON?! (Sorry Cor...) Besides being full of warming, tongue tingling vibes (sounds sexual, but wouldn't recommend that anywhere near there...), cinnamon is a natural blood sugar stabilizer, high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, decreases risk in heart disease, immune boosting and a ton more! Side note: did you know that cinnamon is actually from a tree and is made from it's bark? Cinnamon sticks are the actual bark! Learned some legit cinnamon facts while in India earlier this year on an organic spice plantation. Here is the deal though, Ceylon cinnamon is the variety of cinnamon that is known to be more potent but it is also more pricey. Go figure. The other most common variety, and the one you are likely already buying, is cassia. The cassia variety is known to have a deeper, spicier flavor while Ceylon is known to be lighter and slightly citrusy. So if you see Ceylon cinnamon at the store, I say buy it! But if you don't, then go on with your bad self and keep using what you have been. Either way, you are reaping the benefits of this awesome spice.
As you can see, though this may be a "basic" recipe, it's actually full of health benefits and is super convenient. Basically, it sums up my life mission with food.
Collagen Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
1/2 cup gluten-free oats (I like this brand)
3/4 cup coconut milk (or any nut milk)
2 tbsp organic pumpkin purée
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp grass-fed collagen peptides (This is a great, inexpensive brand)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Top with toasted pecans & sprouted pumpkin seeds before eating
*Makes 1 serving*
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients until completely combined and collagen powder has been dissolved.
Put oatmeal mixture into a mason jar, cover and store in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Can be stored up to 4 days.
Top with toasted pecans & sprouted pumpkin seeds before eating. Eat straight from the jar or put into a bowl.
You can add extra coconut milk before eating if you prefer a thinner oatmeal. You do you, boo boo.