Cheesesticks :: Flaking Out on Breakfast? Try These Overnight Oats
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Flaking Out on Breakfast? Try These Overnight Oats

Yes, yes, we know oatmeal is good for us. “It’s the right thing to do,” as Wilford Brimley used to growl on TV.

But the thing about rolled oats is that they’re just so … flaky. And earnest. And mealy. And clichéd.

They make a great cookie, but as a breakfast they leave something to be desired: Instant oats are always a little unsatisfying, while the real ones take time to prepare — time we don’t have on too many mornings. And leftover oatmeal? Yecch. You can’t do anything with it, and it’s a pain to clean up.

We’ve recently relegated our rolled oats to the baking shelf in favor of chewier, more flavorful steel-cut oats, which can make the easiest breakfast ever when you do your prep the night before.

The terrific cooking blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe first alerted us to the possibilities of overnight oats, providing a master recipe that can handle seemingly endless variations.

The basic formula combines steel-cut oats with nuts, fruit, almond milk, eggs, maple syrup, baking powder, some spices and a little fat. The mixture is refrigerated overnight in a casserole dish and baked for an hour in the morning to yield a nutty, custardy, nourishing hot breakfast delight.

And that’s just the first morning: If your family doesn’t gobble it up right away, you can reheat the leftovers or even dig into them cold (“no judging,” as Mel’s Kitchen Cafe advises).

We’ve been known to liven up boring rolled oats with some crumbled SweetSticks, so it seemed natural to try them out in this dish and the results are worth sharing:

Vanilla-Blueberry Overnight Oats

Prepare Blueberry and Almond Baked Steel-Cut Oats adding 4-6 Madagascar Vanilla SweetSticks, roughly crumbled to crouton size; you may wish to reduce the vanilla extract by a few drops and the maple syrup by a tablespoon or two.

Cinnamon-Almond Overnight Oats

Prepare Blueberry and Almond Baked Steel-Cut Oats adding 4-6 Java Cinnamon SweetSticks, roughly crumbled to crouton size; you may wish to reduce the maple syrup by a tablespoon or two. This variation is particularly good with two peeled, chopped apples instead of the blueberries and pecans instead of almonds.

Find more recipes for healthy living and entertaining on our Pinterest boards: pinterest.com/jwmcheesesticks.