Welcome back to our 12 Days of Healthy Living ideas! Today, I’m sharing one of my favourite ways to start off my day in a healthy, delicious way.
Heart disease runs in our family. I’m always looking for ways to keep my blood pressure down and my good cholesterol up. After meeting with my doctor and a dietician at Loblaw’s, we decided to try to make changes to my diet to increase my heart health. Two key changes: a handful of nuts each day and a serving of rolled oats every morning.
When I first learned about overnight oats in a jar (see my London Fog Inspired overnight oats recipe here), the convenience of it seemed perfect for me. Sure they sell those packets of ready made instant oats but they’re more expensive than making my own and I’m limited to the flavours they have available. Most are laden with sugar and plain is…well…just too plain for me.
With overnight oats, I can make up several jars in a short period of time, customized to my preferences, and in the morning, it’s a quick and easy, pretty much “grab and go” breakfast.
This is the perfect comfort food on a chilly winter’s day. I feel like I’m having dessert instead of breakfast and it makes me feel all warm inside and ready to tackle the weather. Even better than that, oats are rich in a type of fibre known as beta-glucan. This type of fibre has been shown to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are great sources of healthy omega-3 fats, fibre, and protein.
So here’s my Apple Pie Overnight Oats with Streusel Topping in a Jar recipe. Don’t care for apple pie? I’ve got some ideas for variations for you too.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 T. Chia seeds
- 1/2 T. ground flax seeds
- 1/2 T. hemp hearts
- 1/3 cup milk (I used almond and coconut soy milk. You can use whatever kind you want.)
- 1/3 cup yogurt (I used plain Greek)
- 1/2 tsp stevia or Monkfruit in the Raw by Sugar in the Raw
- Tiny pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dried apples
- 1/2 T. coconut oil
- 1 T. rolled oats
- 1/2 T. flour
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- Tiny pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice (for simplicity you can just use cinnamon if preferred)
- Optional: 1-2 T. of chopped pecans or walnuts
- Mix together the oats, seeds, and hemp hearts with the milk and yogurt.
- Stir in the sweetener and spices.
- Put this mixture in a wide mouth mason jar (Wide mouth makes them easier to eat directly out of saving on dishes. I use the 1/2 pint size.)
- Top with dried apples.
- Put lid on jar and place in the refrigerator.
- Will keep for several days so you can make several jars at once.
- You can also mix up all of the dry ingredients (and even use powdered milk in place of liquid if desired) and do a batch of jars at once weeks ahead of time.
- Then just grab a jar the night before, mix in the wet ingredients, and proceed as normal.
- When you take the jar out of the fridge in the morning, heat it up by removing the lid and warming up in the microwave or water bath.
- Meanwhile, prepare the streusel topping by melting the coconut oil in a skillet over medium low heat and tossing the remaining streusel ingredients in it until golden.
- The streusel topping adds a yummy toasted crunchy flavour and texture to your oats.
- Don't want that extra work in the morning of preparing the streusel topping?
- Add the pecans or walnuts to the jar after the dried apples for another yummy variation and forget the streusel.
- Instead of or along with the dried apples, use some other dried fruits like apricots, raisins, or cranberries.
- Cherry pie fan like me and my dad? Try some dried cherries or some low sugar cherry jam.
- Omit the dried apples and in the morning, add some chopped peaches (fresh, frozen, or canned) for the taste of peach pie instead.
- Use flavoured yogurt instead of plain.
- Use slivered almonds in place of the walnuts or pecans.
And be sure to check out all the other great ideas in our healthy living series by clicking on them in the linky below.