Papaya Power Oats

Overnight oats recipes are everywhere these days - they're easy to make, ready-t0-go in the morning, and you can pack them with as much nutrition as you want to. It's a forgiving recipe, meaning you can play with measurements, and you can change it up when you get bored - changing the fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices you add - but this is the combination that our family loves the best! In fact my 2.5 year old has been eating this recipe almost every day since he was 9 months old, along with my husband. I, on the other hand, don't always want oats when I wake up, so I'll put a scoop of the oats in the blender and make a smoothie.

This feeds us for 3 breakfasts, and 3 days is about it's shelf life in the refrigerator, so don't plan on storing it for longer than that. Either my husband or I make this every 3 days. (Once you get used to it, it can literally take 3 minutes!)

Ingredients for Oats:

3 cups oats: they can be whatever you prefer - steel cut or rolled

1 medium-large papaya (or 3 large bananas if papaya isn't available to you)

3/4 cup chia seeds

5 cups liquid: almond milk, coconut milk, water, or a combination

2 teaspoons cinnamon (or my Morning Magic spice blend!)

honey or agave (optional)

Toppings:

fresh fruit

hemp seeds

shredded unsweetened coconut

Supplies:

large storage bowl

immersion blender (or regular blender)

Directions:

You can use a regular blender or an immersion blender. If you have an immersion blender, this is what I would use because you can just put everything in the large bowl you're going to store it in and blend.

1. Scoop papaya into your large storage bowl (if using an immersion blender) or blender. Add nut milk and/or water, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Blend.

2. If you were using a regular blender, this is the time to pour everything into a large storage container.

3. Stir in oats with a spoon. Mix well.

4. Taste your oats, and if you want them to be sweeter, you can stir in agave or honey.

5. That's it! If you do this in the evening, they'll be ready for you in the morning. We top ours with hemp seeds for protein and texture, dried coconut, and fruit such as mangos, bananas, pineapple, and blueberries.

Since fruit measurements aren't exact, and texture preferences vary, you may want to adjust the liquid amount to make your oats thicker or thinner.

Try it out and let me know what your favorite combination ends up being!

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