I’m sure most of you have already heard of this one, right? If you’re on Pinterest, you have probably already seen tons of variations of the overnight oats. Now in this post, we are for sure going to give you a couple of variations that you must try, but we’re also going to give you some inside info on how to make steel cut oats into a little healthy habit (it’s all those small ones that count right). So, if you want to learn a bit about Oats, their nutritional value and how you can easily make these a healthy part of your diet, read on!
You are probably already familiar with oats, right? They sit there in the back of your pantry and you pull them out every now and then when a recipe calls for it. Chances are that the ones you have in the back there are rolled oats. But hey, this is only the tip of the oat iceberg, let me explain. Oat is a seed in the same way wheat is, and like wheat, the oat seeds consists of several layers with different nutritional value and other characteristics.
From a nutrition perspective, the best thing would probably be to eat the whole chebang, but in terms of taste and consistency, it can be useful to separate the layers to create different products for varying purposes. The most common are oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour. Now one of the most popular and recent re-discoveries is steal cut oats. These are groats which are basically the kernel with the hull removed cut into pieces. Now as opposed to the rolled version these oats give a new opportunity at least considering the texture of overnight oats.
Now oats are not just oats there are in fact different varieties. As you might have already guessed, there is an abundance of varieties, and I’m not going to list all the Latin names for you, but I am going to tell you about the black oat variety. The normal one that we usually eat is so-called white oats. This is a variety that emerged in Norway about 150 years ago. At the time it was a blessing because of the higher yield. However, the black variety is more resilient and are easier to grow without using pesticides. the black variety also has a bit different nutrient profile. Basically, it will give you a bit more of the healthy fat that nature has to offer. So why not opt for the black one, right?
Now chances are that you already like oatmeal and might be thinking that overnight oats are a good way to include some healthy food in your diet, perfect! You are absolutely right! There are actually numerous reasons to eat these. One is that your body actually takes quite some time to absorb the energy in them, which in terms means that you will not get unhealthy high blood sugar increases from eating them. Oats are in fact between 50 and 60 on the glycemic index, (depending on how they are treated, rolled, cut, pre-boiled, etc.).
If you are exercising, oats are a good way to boost up before, and also after exercising. If you need a refill after your training session it is a perfect occasion to go for the easy boiled version. These tend to be a bit higher on the Glycemic index and leads you to a quick refill. Another positive effect for those who exercise (and those who don’t) is that oats contain high amounts of Protein. This is basically the body’s building block for maintaining and restoring muscle.
Oats are also high in fiber which has a positive effect on your cholesterol. The outer layer or the kernel (endosperm cell wall, to be more precise ) contains molecules called beta-glucans. Some research states that consuming 3 grams of these types of fibers per day can reduce the risk of heart decides. Oats are in fact one of the few foods that contain enough Beta-glucans to have a meaningful impact.
Keeping it healthy
So, it is for sure safe to say that oats are good for you! But if you are on a diet this does not mean that you can eat as much as you like. The high-calorie content (approximately 4 calories per gram) will add to your daily caloric intake. If you are already consuming more calories than you burn every day, adding oats on top of this is not going to make you lose weight.
Don’t add oats to your diet, substitute
Now by substituting healthy oats with something unhealthy in your diet, that is a different story. If you usually have a burger for lunch and substitute it with overnight steel cut oats, that my friend, is a home run! If you are on a diet, try to make small changes. Do this until it becomes a habit, it will lead to results in the long run. Think portion sizes, and make oats a healthy part of your diet.
So how do you get these bad boys into your diet? Well, there is always that traditional porridge and we are definitely going to make a post on those soon. But while the porridge is good, overnight oats don’t require any heating and is actually a bit healthier. So, what is a good way to make this fit into your schedule? Well, now we are getting close to the key takeaway from this post, prepping! Here is how you do it.
Grab enough jars for the amounts of portions you would like to make, some oats, and cold water. Measure out equal portion sizes according to your caloric need in each jar. For me, this is usually about 80 grams or 2 dl. Then add twice that amount of water, and stir a bit, put on a lid and refrigerate. Done!
Planning for a week
Let’s say you do this on Sunday night. Then before work on Monday, when you get out of bed, grab a jar from the fridge, and add some pieces of fresh fruits, nuts, milk, skyr or nondairy alternatives and mix it in! See, simple right! Now you could do this for all the jars on Sunday, but I find my oats tasting better if the fruit is cut the same day that they are mixed with the oats. The good thing here though is that they will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days! Yep, maybe even longer (I never tried). Another consideration here is the steel cut version. I find these to keep better in terms of consistency throughout the week.
Topping up your oats
Now let’s take a minute to talk about toppings. Considering the health aspect of this meal (if that is your purpose) don’t go all haywire and add a bunch of chocolate, syrup, sugar, nut butter or tons of dried fruits. This will make the meal skyrocket in terms of calories. So rather try to think of fresh fruits that you like and add some spices.
What I do
Personally, I also enjoy adding some kind of creaminess to the game. I usually go for a low-fat quark or milk. Both of these tend not to keep as well in the fridge (especially mixed with the oats). That is another reason I use water when mixing on Sundays. This doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to these options, you can add nut milk, soymilk, skyr, low-fat coconut milk, or why not oat milk? So, easy meal planning, for a whole week, right there in your fridge!
Overnight steel cut oats
variations for you.
- Jars with lids
- String pin
- Cutting board
Steel cut oats
- 8 dl Steel cut oats
- 1,6 liters Water ( cold)
- 0.5 slice Pineapple (Peeled, cored and cut to bit sized pieces)
- 1 small slice Mango (Peeled and cut into bit sized pieces )
- 0.5 dl Coconut milk (Low fatt)
- 1 tsp Dried coconut flakes
- 1 tbsp Sukrin (or other natural sweetener)
- 1 Small Carrot (Finley grated)
- 0.5 tsp Cinnamon (Ground)
- 5 pods Green Cardamom (Finely ground)
- 0.5 pods Vanilla (Seeds only)
- 100 gr Skyr (Natural)
- 10 whole Cloves
- 1 whole Orange
- 100 gr Kesam (Use low fat/sugar yogurt if you can find Kesam)
- 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 0.5 tsp Cinnamon (Ground)
- 3 pods Green Cardamom (Finely ground)
- 1 tbsp Almonds (Chopped)
- 100 gr Kesam
Steel cut oats
- Measure out 2 dl oats into five jarsAdd 4 dl of water to each jarPut on lid and leave to rest
- Mix one portion of steel cut oats with coconut milkPeel and cut mango and pineappleCombine fruit into the oatsSprinkle dried coconut on top
- Grate carrotAdd Skyr and carrot gratings into the oatsTake the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the oats together with other spicesSprinkle cinnamon on top
- On Sunday night when mixing the steel cut oats insert the cloves into the orangeLeave to rest 3-4 daysOn the 3 day mix Kesam into oatsPeel orange, cut into pieces and add to the mix
- Mix Kesam and cocoa powder well to avoid dry lumpsAdd Kesam to the steel cut oatsGround cardamon and add to the oats with the other spicesStir wellSprinkle almonds on top
If you prefer a sweeter taste on your oats, feel free to add low caloric sweetener to the recipes.
So that is it for oats (for now). If you have a recipe for steel cut oats that you think we should try, please let us know. If you are looking for other healthy recipes check out these crispbreads. And please remember to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages. Like us and share your thoughts!