Fridge Oatmeal, a Healthy Grab and Go Breakfast Recipe

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Let me start by admitting that I really don't like traditional oatmeal.  I never did, and then my mom made me eat it for breakfast before school for years.  YEARS.  Yeah, I know it was good for me, and I love you mom, and I respect the choice you made, but I have never, for one minute, liked the stuff, and eating it day after day after day certainly didn't help things.  But this refrigerator oatmeal thing, that's a completely different matter.  For one thing, it has a completely different texture (and regular oatmeal texture is one of the things I never liked).  For another, it's incredibly quick and convenient--no stirring at the stove in the morning, you just make it a day or more ahead of time, pull it out, and go.  

I'm also giving this whole blood type diet a try.  I read the book while I was visiting my brother and sister in law over the holidays, and my sister in law (whom I ADORE, I totally won the in-laws lottery) really liked the way she felt while following it.  Plus the book said that beans are bad for me (YES!) and I get to have all the cheese.  And wine.  So clearly this way of eating sounded like a good idea, even if it means I do have to avoid chicken and artichokes.  I can give those up for cheese and wine.

So I'm giving it a try.  The book also recommends both oats and most dairy products (especially yogurt) for those of us with B blood types, and that made me remember the fridge oatmeal that my friend Liz sometimes made.  She loved it, and really talked up the versatility and convenience, so I thought I'd give it a whirl for myself.

I started searching for recipes and instructions, and the most liberating information I found came from the Quaker Oats website:  use equal parts oats and liquid (whether that's yogurt, or milk, or soy milk, or whatever), then go crazy with the add-ins and flavoring.  It's that simple.

As my basic recipe, I've been using 1/2 cup of oats, and a 1/2 cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt.  I add a little honey for sweetness (I don't like it very sweet, but I like a little).  And then I've tried adding in a frozen mixed berry blend that I had in my freezer, and homemade sugar-free apricot sauce.  (Like applesauce, but made with apricots, which I was forced to start making for myself when Trader Joe's discontinued that amazingly delicious product.  I have a ton in my freezer.)

I like the flavor of the mixed berries, but the texture of the thawed blueberries leaves a lot to be desired.  When you bite directly into one of the blueberries, it's like gnawing on a tough husk that has no relationship to the fruit it used to be.  Using the apricot sauce is amazing, because the flavor permeates the entire jar, but if you don't have a stash of magically delicious apricot sauce in your fridge, you might have to resort to raiding the baby food aisle.  Not cost effective, and not as delicious.  I'm definitely going to continue experimenting.  Next up on my list: PB2 and cocoa powder thrown in to the mix. Though peanuts are on my NO list with this eating plan.  Ugh.  The things I'm willing to give up for cheese and wine.

Have you ever made overnight oats?  What's your favorite formula?

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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