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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Coconut "Cream" Oats in a Jar (Overnight Oats)

While I was pregnant, I had a hankering for oatmeal that hit me almost every morning (well, after the first trimester and nausea had subsided). Maybe the urge came from nostalgia: me, subconsciously  imagining a younger self, sitting around the dining room table, enjoying a warm bowl with my siblings on a frosty morning. Or maybe my body was craving something found in oats: my biology's natural way of telling me that I needed a missing nutrient (...interestingly enough, it was this "reasoning" that allowed me to indulge in probably a little too much chocolate milk during pregnancy
, too). Either way, I quickly found myself at the supermarket, desperately trying to find something to satiate my hankering.

I went with a box of those flavored instant oatmeal packets, but was disappointed the next morning, when I looked down at the watery mess in my bowl. Needless to say, my first bite didn't help matters any; I was shocked at just how sweet the watered-down concoction tasted and then at how many grams of sugar it had, too!

As a result, I tried doing the slow-cooker oatmeal, yet because my slow cooker is so large and my husband doesn't like oatmeal, I felt like a lot of the oatmeal went to waste (even though I froze a bunch of it), but boy was it nice to come down in the morning to breakfast already done!

Thankfully, I then learned about Oats in a Jar and quickly fell in love with the website My Whole Food Life and her variety of recipes for Oats in a Jar.

Below I have combined two of my favorite recipes of hers: her Blueberries and Cream and her Coconut Vanilla to make my own Coconut "Cream" Oats in a Jar. I may play around with adding lemon in the future...a Lemon Coconut Cream sounds pretty amazing...

I put the word "cream" in quotation marks, because this is dairy free, although it tastes as if I used real cow's cream. I did follow her directions for homemade coconut butter, but know that you can also buy it (but it's expensive). I have to admit, it is SUPER easy to make, though. I also doubled this recipe so that I can have oats all week (since I usually don't eat a whole serving at once).

Yields 1 serving (approx. 12-16oz)

1/4c cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
1/4c steel cut oats*
1/4c rolled oats*
1-2tbsp shredded coconut
2tsp chia seeds
1tbsp coconut butter
1/2tbsp maple syrup (feel free to add up to 1tbsp, if you like a little sweeter)
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2c-1c of almond milk (just depends on how much liquid you like in your oats)
Sliced banana or any fresh fruit for topping (optional)

*NOTE: You can just use one type of oat, instead of mixing. Steel cut are going to be a bit more crunchy/chewy while the rolled are more creamy. I like the mixture of textures, so I add both.
The cashew "cream"

1. Soak the cashews for at least four hours (or even just overnight). Drain and rinse cashews.

2. Add the cashews, coconut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

3. In your jar, add all ingredients (except the optional fruit) and mix together well with a spoon. I usually start with the dry ingredients and then add the cashew mixture and last the almond milk.
Jars before adding the "cream" and almond milk

4. Cover and store in your fridge overnight and you have breakfast ready in the morning! I like to slice either some banana or strawberries or just put a few blueberries on top. These can be eaten cold or warmed up; I like them either way depending on my mood or time of day. Also, if you are confident in your jars, these travel really well, too.

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