By Debra Kate Schafer
Nothing tops a slice of freshly made banana bread straight out of the oven, but these overnight oats come very close to it. Overnight oats are such a wonderful concept for college students because it allows you to meal prep ahead of time and play around with flavors, textures and ingredients that are probably already lying around the kitchen.
Some people love traditional oatmeal as it is, with nothing more than oats and a splash of milk to bring it to life. Others enjoy their add-ins, such as yogurt, nuts and spices. Oatmeal is so simple to work with, so when you find a balance of flavors that create a breakfast item which actually excites you and takes no more than 10 minutes to make, you just have to go for it. Plus, overnight oats will stay well for up to four to five days when kept sealed in the refrigerator, and with school’s unpredictable workload, this dish takes care of meal prep ahead of time.
- 2 bananas (mashed)
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of unsweetened milk (of your choice — regular or nut/oat based)
- 1/2 of a cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of almond extract
- A pinch of salt (Sea salt is preferred for texture)
- A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 1–2 tablespoons of toasted walnuts (chopped or whole)
- Additional, optional toppings: Banana slices, honey, a maple syrup drizzle, a scoop of any nut butter, a sprinkle of nutmeg
- Add all ingredients except walnuts and other toppings of your choice in a sealable container. Stir it all together until well combined.
- Place the lid on top and make sure it is tight to the container. Leave it in your refrigerator overnight. (Tip: If you’re looking to make this for lunch or even a snack, keeping this in the fridge for a minimum of five hours will do the trick.)
- After letting the overnight oats rest in your fridge overnight, or for an extended period of time, take them out and stir it up once again. (Tip: If your oats seem too dry or too tight, add a spoonful or two of your milk of choice to the oats and stir it in once again.)
- Top your oats with walnuts and any other toppings you like. Enjoy!