Easiest Overnight Oatmeal

Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of a morning person.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love sleeping as much as the next person, but once it’s time to get rolling (like when I hear Budgie crying in his crib), I don’t have a hard time putting my feet on the floor and shuffling them to make his bottle.  Sometimes, I even get up before him to enjoy a cup of coffee and a little reading before my kids tear through the house.  It’s so freaking peaceful.

That said, I don’t love spending a long time making breakfast in the morning.  My kids don’t want to wait for it, and when I’m wrangling a kid who still takes a bottle before his meal, I don’t really have time to make something big.  But I also don’t like giving my daughter the sugary cereal shortcut every morning.  I want to give her something hearty that will keep her full and energized (yes… energized) until lunch.

So how am I going to make a hearty breakfast that’s ready to go in no time?  I guess I’ll have to make it in my sleep.  Yes, I can make breakfast while I sleep.  I can wake up and have a homemade, healthy breakfast waiting for me.  What’s more, my daughter likes it.  I can get her up, get the baby, and there’s breakfast waiting for us downstairs.

How do I do this magic?  What wild time traveling device do I have?

I have a refrigerator.

I am a huge fan of overnight oatmeal.  Most of the recipes out there are super healthy, filled with flax seeds and chia (I thought that was a pet, not a food).  I wanted one that was easy and accessible … and still healthier than sugary cereal or breakfasts filled with tons of preservatives.

Basically, you want to have one part milk and one part oatmeal.  It’s that easy.  Now, if you want to add something like a liquidy applesauce or yogurt, that will change how much milk you add.  Below is my recipe for Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats (your basic, general non-instant oatmeal)
1 1/2 cups vanilla milk*
1 1/2 cups applesauce**
1/2 tsp cinnamon or
1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Stir until oatmeal is moistened and all of the ingredients are mixed.  Split into two containers (for adult sized servings) or four containers (for kid-sized servings).  Some people use mason jars; I use microwave-safe plastic storage (like Tupperware).  Store overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning, enjoy cold (like cereal) or microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  If you would like, add a dollop of applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top.

* vanilla milk: either use a vanilla-flavored almond or soy milk or add 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of vanilla extract to your choice of cow milk.

** applesauce: I like to use homemade, chunky, cinnamon applesauce.  I sweeten it slightly, so there’s sweetness in the oatmeal.  You can use any jarred applesauce you wish.  If you use unsweetened applesauce, add a little honey or sugar to the oatmeal to bring the flavors together.  If you use a cinnamon applesauce, reduce the amount of cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice you add to the oatmeal.

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