My perfect day would begin by waking up on my own, without an alarm to startle me. I like the feeling of opening my eyes and seeing some watery light beginning to creep into the room from underneath the bathroom door. I feel no panic. I am not late for the school bus, or getting people ready for the school bus. Luke the wonder dog is still chasing bunnies in his sleep. I dip a toe into the morning air, and slide into the day. In the sunny kitchen, Mr. Sanders and I open our laptops, and catch up on headlines and Instagram.
First, we do have to feed the wonder dog his bowl of kibble, and then he trots around the north forty, scouting squirrels and the neighbors’ feral cats. Then it is my turn for breakfast. I’d like to eat my own weight in warm, right-out-of-the-oven, buttery biscuits, with crisp rashers of bacon, and a bowl of fresh raspberries. My doctor prefers that I subsist on a meagre bowl of sticks and twigs, with skim milk. And so the day begins in earnest. I have checked off the first item on my daily list of Better Behavior for 2024. It’s already February, and I haven’t backslid yet. No cold pizza for breakfast. No sausage biscuits. No aromatic, flaky croissants with Irish butter and pots of French preserves. No pain au chocolat. No deliciously greasy bodega egg and cheese sandwiches. No secret cache of sugary Cap’n Crunch. Just boring old bran flakes. With a handful of delish raspberries, though. And then I go off to the Y for some quality treadmill time, before coming home for a day in the art mines.
Mr. Sanders is an altogether cheerier person in the morning. Maybe it is the coffee. I would hate to attribute it to his latest breakfast creation: Healthy Overnight Oats, made with rolled oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, honey and fresh fruit. He also adds some powdered whey for an extra dose of protein.
Mr. Sanders’ Overnight Oats Recipe
1/2 cup rolled oats (don’t use steel-cut oats or instant oats)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (he uses vanilla)
1/2 cup milk (you can use nut milks, 2%, or even skim if you’d rather)
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1 serving powdered whey protein powder
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, separate into individual servings for breakfast portions. Annoy your partner. Feel smug. Be happy.
Overnight oats are a healthy trend, because of their rich fiber and protein content. Not too many Egg McMuffins can claim that! (Egg McMuffin info )
Every three or four days Mr. Sanders whips up another batch to tuck into the fridge overnight. He has a happy putter around the kitchen, parading his artisanal glass containers, while weighing and measuring the oats and seeds and powdered whey. (I am convinced that the chia seeds are freeze-dried frogs’ eggs, so I am not going to be eating this any time soon.) You might like this sweet way to start your 2024 mornings, and Mr. Sanders swears by it. He jazzes his concoction up with honey and blueberries, so do not think that he is eating penitential gruel in the mornings. It is a healthy and grown up way to have something sweet in the morning, something that is not Froot Loops.
Overnight oats are smart and convenient. It’s handy to have your breakfast sitting in the fridge, waiting for you every morning. The little chia seeds might amuse you as they slide down your gullet, bringing you healthy joy, and sunshine, and unicorns.
There are lots of variations on the theme, too. Our friends at Food52 have mastered overnight oats to the point where they do not need a recipe: Overnight Oats The folks at Bon Appétit have recently climbed onto the overnight oats bandwagon: Overnight Oats
Having breakfast waiting for you in the fridge each morning is a practical approach to the day’s vagaries. You can devote the rest of your energy to planning other activities. It’s almost time to start your spring garden, after all.
“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’
‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’
‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”
― A.A. Milne