Much as I love meal planning and food prep, I realise the fact that I have time to do it every week makes me pretty lucky.
To be honest, if I didn’t think that what I eat has an impact on my mood, I probably wouldn’t bother. Having a daily meal plan can be restrictive (it’s not the same as just picking up whatever you fancy on the way home from work) and food prep is most definitely time consuming (thank goodness my Sundays are usually relatively free!)
But, since I reckon a healthier diet is helping me to live life ‘worry free’, the time I spend drinking coffee, browsing recipe books and writing shopping lists each week is time I’ve learned to love.
One thing I never thought I’d be doing when I jumped on the healthy meal planning train is planning and making my breakfasts the night before.
Breakfast and I have always had a unsettled relationship. As a teenager, I couldn’t stomach anything except yoghurt that early in the morning and would only eat a small pot of the stuff before running off to school.
At uni, I discovered a newfound love for peanut butter on toast and would eat it as many mornings as I could. When I started working breakfast radio shifts, microwaveable packet porridge became my new best friend (it cooks while your coffee’s brewing and is easy to eat between bulletins!)
Now, faced with early starts and a long commute, I tend to flit between granola and overnight oats (on gym days, I’ll eat huge bowls of them together!)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, overnight oats are amazing. They’re the perfect no fuss, no cook, make ahead meal. They soak up the liquid you add to them overnight so all you have to do in the morning is dollop in some fruit and nut butter, pop them in the microwave and eat. Oh, and did I mention they’re healthy, fibre rich and refined sugar free?
My go-to overnight oats recipe is usually pretty basic: cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almond butter and berries. But a few weeks ago, on a dry January inspired whim(!), I cooked up these strawberry mojito overnight oats. Don’t worry, there’s not actually alcohol in them (I’m not a whisky on my cornflakes kinda gal!) They are full of mint, lime and strawberry goodness though, and well worth a try. Here’s the recipe – why not give it a go?
- 45g rolled oats (approx 1/2 cup)
- 150ml unsweetened almond milk
- 2-3 tbsp full fat natural yoghurt (depending on how thick you like your oats)
- 2 large strawberries, chopped (plus extra to top with)
- 4-5 mint leaves, chopped/ripped up into small pieces
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 drop vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp baobab powder (or chia seeds or flax seeds if you like)
- Pumpkin seeds to top with
Using a pestle and mortar, mash up the strawberries, mint leaves and lime until you have a sort of liquid paste.
Combine the rest of the ingredients with the paste in an airtight container and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, add a drop more almond milk if the oats are looking too thick. Microwave for a couple of minutes (unless you like to eat them cold) and top with fresh strawberries and pumpkin seeds.
What’s your go-to overnight oats flavour? Do you have a favourite make ahead meal?