Chai Spiced Overnight Oats (Gluten-free, Vegan Option)

January 18, 2015

A pal recently told me that a simple and fast breakfast recipe he could eat every morning before heading to class would be a nice thing to post. He sent a recipe for soaked buckwheat porridge and said something like that would be good (breakfast that doesn't need any work in the morning = more sleep). I hate buckwheat porridge. It's slimy and weird. Buckwheat is great, but not soaked and eaten cold. Creamy overnight oats, on the other hand, are all right in my books. This is a good healthy recipe that's both inexpensive and doesn't need much effort.

This is a chai spiced oatmeal that I find really warming in the winter months. The spices are easily switched around to suit your preferences, so if you hate the spices usually associated with chai, you can always just use cinnamon. Heathen! Toppings are also customizable in this recipe. Some of the main ingredients can be changed. It's overnight oats. Just follow the basic recipe, and you can't go wrong. Unless you try to add an acidic juice. I had planned to post this recipe and a chocolate orange version, but it was disgusting. I forgot that orange juice causes almond milk to sour and had a nasty early morning surprise.

A neat thing about this buddy is that it can be eaten cold, or zapped in the microwave for a minute to have a super quick hot breakfast. It's ideal if you don't want to wait ten minutes for your rolled oats to cook. Meanwhile, in your early morning grogginess, they boil over. If you're running extra late, just grab the jar and eat it on your way to work or school. I used half yogurt and half almond milk in this recipe, but you can use all non-dairy milk or coconut yogurt if you're vegan. I find that overnight oats always need a little added texture, so make sure to add some chew or crunch, or risk a very dull breakfast. There's a list of suggested toppings at the end of the recipe.

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt*
1/2 cup milk of choice
1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, to taste
2 tablespoons chia*
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch cardamom, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper

Shake all the ingredients together in a tightly sealed container. Let it sit in the fridge overnight or for at least four hours. Eat it cold or microwave it for a minute to heat, and top with desired add-ins. Pictured is coconut sugar, more cinnamon and chia, and shredded coconut.

Spice options:
Star anise
Ground ginger
Black pepper

Suggested toppings:
Coconut or brown sugar
Additional spices
Sliced or slivered almonds
Shredded or flaked coconut
Pumpkin seeds
Ground flax
Cacao nibs
Hemp hearts
Shredded apple

1. You can use all non-dairy milk or coconut yogurt for a vegan substitute.
2. Instead of chia, you can use 3 tablespoons of ground flax if you have it on hand.

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