On my never-ending journey to better myself, I decided to try to cut processed sugars out of my diet. A quick Google search will tell you just how addictive and horrible processed sugars really are for you – after reading numerous articles, I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
We all tell ourselves that we really don’t eat THAT much sugar….but I started taking a look at my everyday eating habits and I started to realize how high my intake actually was! I thought I was doing well by eating oatmeal every morning, but the packaged, flavored stuff I was inhaling two packages at a time was insanely sweet. Who doesn’t love a morning cup of coffee, right? I would have 1-2 cups a day, but would always sweeten it with vegan creamers and sugar. Those healthy power/granola/energy bars that we eat during that afternoon slump? PACKED with sugar! The one thing I have to keep telling myself is that just because it’s vegan, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Case and point….Oreos.
Refined sugar is linked with numerous health issues such as obesity, hypoglycemia and diabetes. Refined sugars can also contribute to lethargy, an unclear mind, acne, and severe tooth decay. Personally, I have been feeling really sluggish lately even though I have been eating more whole, unprocessed foods at meals. I have also been working towards toning my midsection, and cannot seem to make a difference no matter what I do. Those reasons, along with others, fueled my decision to begin cutting out the sugar.
I tried drinking black coffee for a few days….hated it. I wound up trading it in for green tea, or other herbal teas with no added sugars. I’m really loving the Yogi Tea brand and all of their different options. Instead of packaged oatmeal, I switched to overnight oats. Oh my vegan goodness, why did I not jump on this bandwagon YEARS ago?!?!? I have seriously been eating these almost every day for three weeks!
Last year, I tried joining the overnight oats craze and I just didn’t get into it. Almost a year later, I figured I would give it another shot since I love having oatmeal every morning. I found a simple recipe online, adapted it slightly and BAM! Hooked for life! Not only do they take seconds to prepare, but you can make a few at a time and have breakfast for days! The chia seeds will provide you with essential Omega-3 fatty acids and the oats will give you that full, satisfied feeling that you crave from a great breakfast. The almond-coconut milk that I use has no added sugar, so I’m sticking to my goal. Plus, they are super customizable and you can add any combination of nuts/granola/fruit before you eat them for some sweetness and extra yumminess!
A mix of cherries, blueberries, almonds and walnuts has been my favorite combo so far. I change up the toppings every few days, so feel free to go wild! The best part? I’m not craving that overly sweet packaged stuff anymore. I wake up wanting my oats every morning!
- 1 ripened banana
- ½-1 cup of non-dairy milk (I use coconut-almond milk)
- ⅓ cup rolled oats (not the instant kind)
- 2 TB chia seeds (white or black)
- 1 TSP cinnamon
- Splash of almond extract (vanilla works well, too!)
- Peel your banana and use your hands to break into small pieces. Put pieces into a jar (I use wide mouth pint jars...they are the perfect size!) or a cup and use a fork to mash it.
- Add oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and almond extract to the jar
- Add enough milk to cover the mixture in the jar. Use your fork to stir everything together, making sure that everything is evenly distributed. If you prefer yours to be a little looser, add a bit more milk.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you don't have that long, the mixture usually sets after about an hour and a half.
- Add toppings and enjoy!
I would love to hear what your favorite toppings are for your overnight oats. Do you have a different recipe that you follow? Share below in the comments!