Every year as the holidays approach I know I can always count on a few things to be true:
a. I’ll eat more sweets
b. I’ll exercise less
c. I’ll be so busy planning for and shuttling between all the holiday events that I will cook less homemade meals and will order in more.
And then come January I’m run down, I’ve gained weight, and I begrudgingly promise to learn my lesson for next year. Well I've had it and I refuse to let this year go the same! The big difference this year? I’m following through on my promises and I want to help you follow through too.
The first thing I needed to cross off my list was breakfast. On the mornings I work, I need something I can throw in my purse as I’m running out the door at 6 am. On the days I’m home, I need something I absolutely know won’t get toddler veto’d (you know- the meals they loved yesterday but today won’t touch).
For my family, Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal is the way to go.
For one, my son has enjoyed them ever since he was a little babe with some homemade pear and apple sauce. He never, ever got tired of them. They’re filling, healthy, and I think a bit nostalgic for him.
For me, the ability to set it + forget it is easily the biggest perk. I make it in 5 minutes before heading to bed and wake up to the smell of vanilla and cinnamon wafting through the house. I also love how easily customizable it is. It never gets old because I can literally have it a different way every single day of the week.
Want some suggestions? Here you go:
- The Classic Oatmeal: Banana Walnut with a drizzle of PB and Kefir
- A Fall Fave: Softened Cinnamon Pear with Pumpkin Yogurt and Pepitas
- A Perky Citrus Oatmeal: Grapefruit and Pomegranate seeds with an Orange + Ginger yogurt drizzle
- Chocolate Lovers Oatmeal: with a mini Justin’s PB cup right in the middle, Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut PB and Cocoa Nibs with a drizzle of maple yogurt
- Apple Lovers: Sliced Seasonal Apples with a Coconut Macaroon and a heap of Almond Butter
- Oatmeal with “The Works”: Chia + Hemp seeds, Goji Berries, Bee Pollen, and a drizzle of your fave Organic Unsweetened PB
- Naughty Oatmeal: PB, Bacon, and a drizzle of Maple Syrup (because you deserve it!)
The recipe for the crock pot overnight oats are here:
Spray your crock pot with some coconut or avocado oil spray. Add a cup and a half of steel cut oats (I’m partial to Bob’s Red Mill because I love the nutty texture), 2 cups of whole organic milk, a half cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a half cup of water (but any 6 cups of liquid will work- you can even substitute all the milk for almond milk or coconut water if your family avoids dairy).
Then add a healthy splash of vanilla extract, a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, and about 2 tablespoons of really good maple syrup (or 2 tbsp brown sugar). Set it on low for 8 hours and stir well when done. It should still have some liquid which will set once served, but allow it to stay moist.
This is also the perfect recipe to make when you have company over for the holidays. Put it on overnight and then set out a few different toppings on the island or kitchen table as an oatmeal bar. Your guests will have have fun perfecting their oatmeal, will be full until lunch, and you'll look like the absolute perfect host!
With this trick, I'm on my way to a healthier holiday season. It may seem like a small step, but ensuring my family has a healthy and filling breakfast helps to avoid eating poorly throughout the day and curb tantrums (toddler AND mom tantrums!)
Now let me know what your fave toppings for oatmeal are in the comments below!
Introducing Lot801 Blog Contributor Christine:
Christine is an NYC mom who writes on thisishowimom.com where she shares no-fuss family friendly meals that are beautiful enough to serve to guests but tasty enough for even the pickiest of toddlers. Her recipes have been featured on People Magazine’s website, The Chew, The Prevention Magazine Website, and Shape Magazine’s website.
-Christine (make sure to follow Christine's gorgeous + yummy Instagram feed HERE)