I love oats! Since going plant-based in 2017, oats have become a staple in my pantry. They’re high in fiber, carbs, and protein, and you can get a whole tub of organic, gluten-free oats for a few dollars. Don’t let anyone tell you that eating healthy is too expensive! I use oats for breakfast, and when making energy balls and other on-the-go snacks. Here are my favorite recipes using these anti-oxidant rich, whole grains.
My Race Morning Breakfast – Almond Joy Overnight Oats
This was my race morning breakfast for my entire 2018 season, and it’s making a comeback in 2019. I love this recipe because it’s tasty, and I can pack all of the dry ingredients in the jar before travelling, add almond milk the night before, and it’s ready for me in the morning, no matter where I am. It also doesn’t require heating up so if you’re staying in a motel with only a mini-fridge, this makes things really easy.
Add to a mason jar:
- ¼ – ½ of old fashioned oats (I eyeball it. I’m not sure of the exact measurements.)
- 2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp of shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tsp of beet powder (optional, but I think it’s yummy and a nice little extra for your body)
- 1-2 tbsp of cocoa powder, unsweetened
- A handful of raw almonds
- 1 tbsp of agave or maple syrup (I prefer agave)
- The night before the race, top this up with ½ cup of almond milk, shake to mix, and keep in the fridge. The next morning, it’s ready to go! I like to have it with a banana, too.
My Meal Prep Oatmeal for the Whole Week – Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
I got this recipe from Marni Sumbal’s (my coach!) book Essential Sports Nutrition, and it has become my Sunday food prep essential because one batch lasts all week. When I have an early morning swim on the schedule, I divvy up a breakfast’s worth into a glass container the night before, grab and go in the morning, and then heat it up in the microwave at work after my swim. And it’s delicious!
In a bowl, mix 2 tbsps of ground flaxseeds with 5 tbsps of water. Place in fridge.
Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Grease a 9x9in baking or casserole dish with coconut oil.
Mix the following dry ingredients in a bowl:
- 2 cups of old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cups of chopped pecans
- 2 tsps of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
Whisk together the following wet ingredients in a separate bowl:
- The flaxseed mixture from the fridge
- 1 ¾ cups of almond milk
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons of liquid coconut oil
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
In the greased baking dish, add a layer of frozen blueberries. Top with the dry ingredients mixture. Add the mixed wet ingredients to the dish and shake a little so everything is evenly distributed. Top with more frozen blueberries. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Breakfast on a Cold Morning – Apricot and Ginger Oatmeal
This is my winter weekend breakfast. Making it from scratch warms me up as I cook at the stove, and the hot oatmeal warms my belly.
In a small saucepan, add ½ cup of old fashioned oats and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. As you’re waiting for the oats to boil, chop up dried apricots and a handful of walnuts. Once the oats start to boil, remove the lid and boil slowly until the water is absorbed or evaporated. This takes about 5 minutes total.
Remove oatmeal from heat. Add 2 tbsps of maple syrup, 2 tbsps of chia seeds, 1 tsp of ground ginger, and 1 tbp of ground cinnamon. Mix together in the saucepan.
Serve in a bowl and top with the chopped apricots and walnuts. Add almond milk if you like.
Summertime Oats – Quick and Easy Muesli
I’m not in the mood for a warm breakfast during the heat of summer so I usually go for this quick and easy muesli option. Bonus – there’s only a bowl and spoon to clean up!
In a cereal bowl, add old fashioned oats (probably ¾ cup. It really depends on how hungry you are.). Add 2 tbsps of hemp seeds, a handful of chopped walnuts, 2-3 chopped Medjool dates, and berries of your choice. Add almond milk and enjoy!
A Favorite Snack – Perfect Pumpkin Energy Balls
Another recipe from Marni Sumbal’s Essential Sports Nutrition. Perfect for the fall, these energy balls will fuel you throughout the day, or before your next workout. You can find a list of my favorite energy ball recipes here.
- 1 cup of Medjool dates (10 to 12 large dates)
- 1 cup of old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup of walnuts
- ¼ cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- In a food processor, process the dates, oats, walnuts, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until thoroughly mixed.
- Make the mixture into small balls with either a cookie scoop, spoon, or your hands. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Refrigerate the balls on the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before serving. These keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Another Snack to Have in the Pantry – Peanut Butter Granola
This was my first food prep love, peanut butter granola. Once made, it keeps for up to 2 weeks in the pantry stored in a glass or plastic container.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can find compostable parchment paper here.
In a bowl, combine 3 tbps of natural, creamy peanut butter, 3 tbsps of honey, 2 tsps of vanilla extract, plus a dash of salt.
Once well combined, add 1 cup of oats + dried fruit of your choice. I like adding dried cranberries and raisins. I’ve also added blueberries I dehydrated at home – yum! Fold the mixture until well combined.
Pour the mixture out on the baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the mixture out so that it’s evenly distributed across the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Once 10 minutes is up, turn off the oven and crack open the door. Allow the granola to cool with the oven door cracked open, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, break up large clumps with your hands. Eat right away or store for later!