Photo courtesy of Rachel Kengle.

The summer season is in full swing, evident in the recent scorching temperatures. While a steamy sun makes for a great beach day, it can put a damper on breakfast. As a lover of oatmeal, I find that my usually strong cravings for the classic, hot breakfast slowly dwindles away as the temperature outdoor rises. A problem that can be solved with a little creativity and a pinch of good luck. That solution goes by the name of overnight oats. An enigma to some and questionable to many, this cold oat creation is a fantastic way to eat a healthy breakfast while keeping cool. There are several reasons why this breakfast dish has become my favorite meal. Firstly, the ingredients are rather inexpensive and can be easily found at your local supermarket. Secondly, there is hardly any labor that goes into the oats since all of the magic occurs overnight (hence their namesake). Thirdly, the recipe can be tweaked and revamped depending on your cravings and access to ingredients.

Simply Scrumptious Overnight Oats

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/2 banana, mashed

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp cinnamon

In a cereal bowl, mash ½ a banana. Measure and add in the oats, milk, and either the extract or the cinnamon. Give the mixture a quick stir. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Empty Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

1 nearly empty peanut butter (or any nut butter) jar

½ banana, mashed

1/3 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup milk

In the almost empty peanut butter jar, mash ½ a banana. Measure and add in the oats and the milk. Stir the oats until loosely combined. Pop the lid of the peanut butter jar back on and refrigerate overnight.

Cherry Amaretto Overnight Oats

5 cherries, de-pitted and mashed

1/3 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup milk

1/8 tsp almond extract

Remove cherry pits. In a cereal bowl, mash cherries and add the oats, milk, and almond extract. Stir the oats until combined, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oats

1/3 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup milk

½ banana

1-2 Tbsp raisins

1-2 Tbsp walnuts

½ tsp cinnamon

In a cereal bowl, mash ½ a banana add in oats, milk, raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon. Give the mixture a stir and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, stir the overnight oats to freshen the flavors. I suggest adding toppings such as granola, raisins, chopped fruit (bananas and blueberries are my favorite), nut butters, or chopped nuts. These toppings enhance the oats and add extra nutritional value. Overall, overnight oats are a great breakfast treat with minimal work. What combination could possibly be better?

Rachel Kengle is a sophomore at the University of South Florida, majoring in Psychology. She loves to be busy and is an avid yoga student, likes to run for fun, the president of a few student organizations and a member of NSCS. However, she is most known for her culinary flair as she is a very talented baker and cook. She cooks and bakes healthful and frugal dishes that energize your body and are reasonably priced. She loves experiencing new things whether it is a new fitness class, a new book, or a new language. Taking part in this blogging experience will only whet her appetite to lead a healthy lifestyle while inspiring others to do the same.