For years, oatmeal has been our go-to breakfast. Overnight oats, oatmeal, porridge. Whatever name or type you prefer, this breakfast is healthy, filling, versatile and super easy to make. And there are so many ways to vary this dish that we have yet to grow tired of it.
We have oats for breakfast six days a week. It’s easy to make ahead if you’re in a rush most mornings. You can bring it to the office, eat it whilst doing your make-up, or enjoy it cuddled up on the sofa watching your favorite Netflix show.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a good bowl of oats!
All about those oats
Oats are a great staple for those who follow a plant based diet. They’re a nutrient dense grain, rich in protein, dietary fiber, various B vitamins, and manganese. The main soluble fiber in oats even has a cholesterol lowering effect. And the quality of protein found in oats is nearly identical to that in soy, which is equal to that found in animal products.
Oats are tolerant to cold, and can hence be grown in many countries across the world. This allows for us to buy oats (relatively) local, wherever we may be.
But that’s not all. Oatmeal is also easily made without sending any packaging to landfill. That’s right! This breakfast is perfect in a zero waste lifestyle.
Overnight oats are often made with a plant based dairy alternative. These products usually come in ‘milk’ cartons that are made up of several materials. Other varieties come in plastic bottles. And not everyone has the ability or motivation to make their own mylk each week. These products are perfectly fine to use and can be a delicious and healthy addition to your daily breakfast. For those following a zero waste lifestyle however, they can easily be replaced.
We start our oats with one mashed banana. Using ripe bananas will give an extra creamy and sweet flavor, but those with a slightly green peel work just fine as well. After adding the dry rolled oats and some chia seeds, we pour in water to reach the desired consistency. Using a combination of banana and water will offer a similar creamy texture to milk or milk alternatives. But it also adds even more sweetness than you might be used to getting from unsweetened rice or oat milk.
Variety is key
Meals can get boring if you eat the same type regularly. This is exactly why we love oatmeal so much and have kept it eating it once a day for several years. There are so many ways to spice up your bowl of oatmeal!
We add a variety of toppings for added flavor and texture. We both have a favorite that we seem to get back to often, but we switch it up from time to time to keep things interesting!
What we keep in our pantry and regularly use to garnish our breakfast is:
- Chia seeds
- Peanut butter
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Goji berries
- Ground cinnamon
- Raw cocoa powder
- Maple syrup (in case we run out of bananas)
Zero waste solutions
We can get our oats package free here in Dublin, but they are incredibly pricey. We hence opt for a large paper bag from the supermarket instead. We’re lucky to have the ability to buy all toppings mentioned above without packaging as well (aside from the peanut butter, which comes in glass jars). We simply bring some clean jars to the market and top them off with whatever we’re hoping to use that week.
Even if you’re not able to get zero waste toppers, a plastic free base recipe is much more sustainable! By simply switching from milk alternatives to banana and water, you alone will use two cartons less each week. And when bananas are in season, you’ll be saving quite some money along the way! 😉
If you have eaten warm porridge before and didn’t particularly like it, cold overnight oats might surprise you! We’d definitely suggest you give our recipe a go!