This month’s Recipe Redux is all about seeds, or Sowing Seasonal Seeds, to be exact. There are a wide variety of seeds available that can be added to dishes to add texture, crunch, flavor and improve nutrient profile. While sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and ground flaxseed are staples in my kitchen, I also keep chia seeds on hand to add to oatmeal and smoothies.
Chia seeds are the black and white seeds from a plant traditionally found in desert regions. While many may not have hard of chia seeds, most people may remember chia pets, clay figurines that sprouted grass-like “fur” or “hair,” which is the same plant. The seeds are actually very nutritious packing 70 calories 2.9 grams omega-3 fats (alpha-Linolenic Acid or ALA), 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein in 1 tablespoon. In liquid, they become almost gel-like. I hear chia seeds makes great pudding, which is on my must try list soon!
I’ve always been a seasonal oatmeal eater. Once it is cold outside, I eat oats. I love oats and there is nothing better than a steaming, hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning. But I love oats so much that I often want to eat them in warmer months too. When I discovered Overnight Oats, my love for oats could be satisfied year-round. So what is different about Overnight Oats that they can be eaten in summer? Well, first there is no cooking involved. They “cook” in the refrigerator all night. And second, they are great cold or room temp after a few seconds in the microwave to take the chill off. Best of all, it can be prepped the night before and then it is ready to go for a quick breakfast in the morning. I recommend Overnight Oats to most of my clients for this reason.
My basic recipe for Overnight Oats is below. The great thing is that you play with it and can add any number of toppings to it to suit your tastes. I will say that I always add raisins to my base before placing in the refrigerator as well as a dash or 2 of cinnamon. The natural sweetness of the raisins leeches into the oats so that I don’t need to add any extra sugar in the morning. Cinnamon naturally brings out the sweetness of foods too so this helps as well. Occasionally I may add a drizzle of honey, but usually it isn’t needed, especially if I add more fresh fruit. Mashing up a 1/2 banana is another great way to add natural sweetness.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup milk or milk alternative
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup raisins
- Dash or 2 of cinnamon
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Place in refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, the oatmeal is ready. It can be heated a bit in the microwave to take the chill off if you prefer. Add additional toppings of your choosing such as fresh fruit, nuts or peanut butter.