Quick, Easy, Affordable
Eating healthy can seem hard to do when you are not quite sure how to go about doing it. Sometimes it feels like all healthy recipes take too long to prepare or that the ingredients are far too expensive. This simple recipe can be thrown together in less than 3 minutes and either eaten immediately or stored in the fridge for quick breakfasts throughout the week; it’s not only affordable, but also fast and easy to prepare. To save money always make sure to utilize the bulk-bin section of your local grocery store, wait for sales, shop in season, check the prices at warehouse stores (like Costco or Sam’s Club) or discount markets, and use frozen berries over fresh.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to carbohydrates, specifically about whether or not you should eat them and, if so, what kinds and how much. So here is a little information so that you can make an educated decision for yourself:
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients our body uses to obtain energy (fat and protein being the other two). It’s important to understand that the word “carbohydrate” is just an umbrella term for two very different forms of carbohydrates; there are simple carbohydrates (cookies, cakes, syrup, breads, etc.) and complex carbohydrates (beans, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables). Simple carbohydrates are calorically dense with little to no nutrients or fiber. They are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in single or double glucose chains that can be broken down quickly and sent into the blood stream for cell uptake and energy production.
Alternatively, complex carbohydrates are long chains of glucose that take the body longer to break down for energy production (imagine a long string of pearls), which means that your blood sugar won’t suddenly spike and crash, leaving you weak, hungry, and crawling towards the vending machine. Complex carbohydrates also naturally have fewer calories and fat while containing lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to feed your body the nutrients it needs. Fiber is important for your health because not only does it fill your stomach but it also acts as an internal scrub brush.
Ultimately, complex carbohydrates are necessary to feed your brain (our brains need glucose to run efficiently), fill your stomach, scrub your insides, increase the ease of bowl movements (good-bye constipation), and stave off hunger for longer periods of time. When it comes to carbohydrates, the question shouldn’t be “should I get rid of them” but “which type of carbohydrate should I remove from my diet?”
This recipe is loaded with healthy complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants from the colorful berries, and healthy fats (from nuts and seeds). Not only is this recipe healthy, but also affordable, easy, and delicious.
This recipe is as flexible as it is quick. You can easily use other berries or fruits (fresh, frozen, or dried). You can try other spices like ginger, nutmeg, or cloves. This oatmeal is delicious with different types of milks, yogurts, juice, or just plain water. Everything in this recipe could be swapped for other similar ingredients and you can eat it either hot or cold. This flexibility allows you to eat healthy no matter what’s in your cupboard, what’s on sale, or your cravings and preferences.
Berry Overnight Oats (serves 2)
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp hemp, chia, or flax seeds
½ cup raisins
¼- ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1 cup strawberries, frozen or fresh
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (optional)
- Wash berries, if using fresh or defrost the fruit in the microwave or overnight in your refrigerator.
- Mix all ingredients together and divide between 2 bowls.
- Eat immediately or chill for at least 30 minutes or up to several days.
- Store for up to one week in an airtight container.
- Make several servings in advanced and store in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast on the go.
- Other optional mix-ins could include: coconut flakes, peanut butter or almond butter, craisins, mango, cocoa nibs, etc.
- Flax seed or chia seeds could be substituted for hemp seeds.
- Pumpkin seeds could be substituted for slivered almonds.
- Peaches make a delicious addition.
Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.