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Posted on Oct 5, 2010 in Dear Diary, Food | 11 comments

Overnight Oats in a Jar

So last night I decided to do my first experiment with Overnight Oats. It’s a very happening “thing”, as I’m coming to discover, in the health foodie world, and I figured I should give it a try since breakfast is the hardest meal for me to get excited about (mostly just because I never wake up early enough to make it exciting!)

So the idea is to mix raw rolled oats with the liquid of your choice (vanilla almond milk, in my case) and let it sit overnight so that the oats absorb it. I saw a fun little twist on Beth’s blog about putting the mix into empty (or nearly empty, rather) jars of nut butter. That way you get a double kick – the oats themselves imbued (is that the right word? Whatever, I’m going with it) with the power of the nut butter, plus the scraped up bits left in the jar!

Result? Deliciousness. I also added in about a teaspoon of honey for added sweetness, but I don’t really think it needed it. I also meant to add in some milled flaxseed, but I forgot. Oh well – next time!

It didn’t look necessarily that appetizing, and since I didn’t really follow a recipe or anything I’m sure the proportion of liquid to oats was off, but hey! It was still yumtastic, so I’m counting it as a win. And it’s extra great because I can prepare it the night before, and then it’s ready and waiting for me in the morning to scarf down as I rush to work (because mornings are always a rush for me.)

Anyway, while we’re on the subject of nut butters, I will say that they are pretty much the love of my dietary life now that I’ve discovered them. I had no idea that there was this whole world outside of peanut butter! And now that I do, there’s no going back.

I’m still slightly torn, because nuts are very high in calories and fat-content, but everything I hear and read tells me that it’s all the good kind of fat. And even though they are high in calories, they are super filling, so I guess you can eat less nutty stuff and still be coming out ahead? Anyone who has opinions / facts / fiction regarding nuts/nut butter and how they should be used in my diet and weight loss journey, I would appreciate it greatly.

I actually recently was reading up on how to make almond butter and almond milk. Apparently it’s really easy! For almond butter, you basically just put almonds in a food processor and chop them until the oils are released and they become creamy. (Hmm, I should probably get a food processor first though… baby steps, baby steps.)

For almond milk, you soak the almonds overnight in water, then drain, rinse, and put them in a blender. Cover them with water and blend away! Then just sift out the almond pulp and voila! Obviously with both you can add salt, natural sweeteners, whatever to them as you go along as well to shape the taste to your, uh, taste. Heh.

So I might try to do that once I finish up with the two cartons of almond milk in my fridge and the still unopened jar of almond butter in my pantry. I think it would much more cost-effective if they continue to be staples of my diet. And then I might be able to experiment with other nuts, as well (hazelnuts? Oh Em Gee YUM.)

So another thing that I’ve been tinkering with in the back of my mind is starting to cut out my heavy reliance on meat in my diet. My sister Jenny has been vegetarian since high school, and my roommate Erin just recently decided that she’s going to give it a shot. Many of the food blogs I read maintain predominantly vegan or vegetarian diets as well (Peas & Thank You, Oh She Glows), and as I’ve been educating myself more and more on nutrition I’m discovering just how many vegan/vegetarian products there are out there to make cooking easy!

Not that I’m saying I will really become a vegetarian, necessarily. I was vegetarian for the entirely of my sophomore year of college and it was really hard. I do love meat. But I also have issues with the meat industry, and as an animal-lover and advocate of animal rights (I mean, c’mon. My dogs are better people than most people I know!) it has always been somewhat unsettling. So I try to support grass-fed, free-range, and whatnot, but I’m also very poor so it isn’t always that feasible.

Anyway, like I said, just something I’m thinking about. Maybe just cutting down on the amounts of meat – especially with my diet, I’ve found that there are days when I look back on what I ate and realize I had a “vegetarian day” without actively trying. So maybe it wouldn’t be as hard now that I’m seriously weighing (literally and figuratively, ha!) everything that I consume. (Well, almost everything. I’m working on my diet soda addiction!!)

The last time I “went veg” I also found that not a lot of people were supportive of my decision. It was interesting, but it’s almost like I offended them by stopping eating meat – maybe they thought I would try to push an agenda on them, or subconsciously I made them feel guilty? I couldn’t figure it out, but I’m hoping that wouldn’t happen again if I did decide to do something like that.

Again, these are just all thoughts and unformed ideas at this point. Maybe I could try a poultry-and-fish thing first (I basically have already cut out all red meats – too caloric!) since I still think that lean protein is the key to my diet success. Again, any opinions, suggestions, whatever – more than welcome! This post has ended up waaaay longer than I intended, so I’ll stop rambling now. ‘Til tomorrow!

11 Comments

  1. Obviously I’m a fan of the vegetarian lifestyle but I think it’s easy to gain a lot of weight when you become vegetarian if you’re not careful about getting enough protein vs. too many carbs- i gained 12 lbs. after i finished cutting out all meat from my diet since all i did was chow on carbs. That’s all!

  2. i ditto what jenny said. when i was a vegan i gained weight and lost it when i re-incorporated dairy back into my diet…and then realized what sushi was just delicious and started eating fish again. when i was a vegan, i was too poor and too busy to do it properly so i ate carbs (mostly pasta and bagels with peanut butter) and i ate a lot because i was rarely full for very long. but obv, you know what you’re doing and that protein is of utmost importance…i am very supportive of this decision! re: other people judging you, i absolutely find that to be the case. i get made fun of almost daily, but the most important thing is to stick to your guns and know that you’re doing what’s best for you and your body and in a way…okay, i’m off my pedestal now 😉 can’t wait to see you thursday (and friday)

  3. I have nothing against a vegetarian diet but haven’t it found it right for me. It’s very dependent on the person and if you like meat and your body needs it (some blood types do and others don’t) there’s no reason to deprive yourself. I still try to eat a mainly raw vegan diet (rarely have milk and don’t put eggs in much other than eating an egg). It helps you maintain a good diet because it keeps you from eating just anything, anywhere. I’ll also go days without meat as I love tofu (ORGANIC!) 
    Nut butters are not a health/weight issue unless you are eating a whole jar a day. 
    I can’t wait to cook you some RAWsome desserts- though I mix things up a bit so not always 100% 

  4. i didn’t edit out “and in a way” and this is driving me crazy!

  5. Whoo I made a blog post! Haha! Here’s to being healthy! I’m glad the oats thing worked – it looks really good. I definitely might cave at some point and have to eat a little meat but I’m going to give it a really good try and see what happens. One of my friends who went vegetarian said she replaced burgers and chicken with substitutes like Boca burgers and Morningstar things to ease the transition while she learned what she could eat, so I’ve been trying to do that as well. A big part is just researching where you get things like protein and finding veggie substitutes you like. Amanda just sent me that “Oh She Glows” blog last night and I love it – so inspiring!

    And the most important news of the day: GLEE NIGHT! 😀

  6. I’m a big fan of what I do, which is just to have lean meat a couple times a week, but focus on fish, dairy, and veggie protein otherwise. I do red meat maybe once a month. It works for me and I find if I don’t eat meat for a long time I feel kind of bleh – my body needs it every once in awhile and I think it’s healthier to vary your diet rather than restrict something – which will make you want it more! 🙂 Plus, I like the freedom to have a hot dog or hamburger or whatever every once in awhile if I want it! 🙂

  7. Holy delicious! I love overnight oats in yogurt!

  8. Hey, if you go veg, go veg. It’s your decision. I’d never do it but thats one of those things that you get to make up your mind about for your own reasons and tell anyone who says anything to suck it.
    Glad you are doing well, is this nut butter thing like nutella or is it something with more nut and less chocolate?
    I’m continuing to train for another 1/2 marathon and I want to get more protein on my running days, so I need some good alternatives.
    (And i have a hard time with breakfast because I like to sleep in instead of cook and sit down and eat. so the overnight oats thing sounds interesting)

    keep up the good work! 😀

  9. @Sara: Yeah, almond butter is just like peanut butter. Not really like nutella, because that’s mixed with milk and cocoa – it’s literally just like, nuts crushed into a butter. Have you ever had natural peanut butter, where it’s like the oil and butter has separated in the jar and you have to mix it up? It’s like that, but sooooo delicious and almondy. They make all KINDS of crazy nut butters out there, but I’ve only tried peanut, almond, and hazelnut so far. Those little packets of Justin’s Nut Butter that you can buy come in plain and chocolate varieties (buy at Whole Foods) and are little single service (2 tbsp) packets, so those would be great for running fuel!

    Congratulations on your crazy running success, girl! I am WAY impressed. I’m at my 1/26th of a marathon right now – w00t! 😉

  10. It seems like almond butter has been all over the healthy living blogosphere lately. I will have to give that a try! But somehow I think it’s not really popular here yet so I’ll probably have to spend a fortune on it at some healthy food store.
    As for the going vegetarian? I have the same issues with meat and still eat it for the same reasons as you. I absolutely have vegetarian days, though, and I didn’t grow up eating a lot of meat as my brother was vegetarian and my parents typically cooked vegetarian meals only.
    I also think you hit the nail on the head about why people weren’t supportive of you going vegetarian. I read an article about the experiences of someone who doesn’t drink alcohol and they were much the same.
    I have many friends who are vegetarian and to me that’s completely normal but then I have a brother who became a vegetarian when he was 3 years old, 20 years before it became so fashionable to be vegetarian (not that that’s a bad thing but 20 years ago, it was a lot harder for vegetarians to have their choice accepted without question). It is a bit sad, though, you’d think nowadays people would be more accepting.

  11. Overnight oats I see. Well, considering that I am also a run-out-of-the-house-at-the-last-minute person, perhaps I should give it a try. There are unfortunate moments when I get to work not thinking about breakfast and at 10:30 I’m wondering why my stomach is eating itself. Such a bad habit! I’ll have to try the overnight oats with my straberry soy milk. So yummy! Do you put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter overnight?

    I myself will never be able to give up meat, both for iron intake and tastiness, but if you can do it, go for it! Some days all you want is a good meaty juicy burger, and other days the veggie burgers satisfy your cravings.

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