Hey, you. Yeah, you with the coffee in hand. You know that’s not an adequate breakfast, right? Trust me on this when I say you could do a damn bit better and improve your writing productivity with barely 5 minutes of effort. And no, smarty pants, I’m not talking about popping the top on your Cocoa Puffs or whatever vile boxed cereal passes for breakfast these days and chasing it with a Red Bull. I’m talking real food, and gluten free, since I can’t seem to swing a dead cat without hitting someone with gluten sensitivity any more (present company included).
Okay sure, yes, you could have full cooked breakfast, but honestly, think about it? Do you really have that time? Day job, kids on their way to school, family responsibilities. All these things have you pulling your hair out already. Do you really want to add to that stress? I’m going to guess no. As much as you and I might really want that yummy slab of bacon, scrambled eggs, full fat buttered toast and what not, the reality is neither you nor I are going to take the time out of our over-burdened schedule to cook it, right?
So as luck would have it, I’ve got the solution. It takes all of 5 minutes to throw together the night before. When it comes time for that day job or that head first leap into your latest work-in-progress, you can grab and go. Take the time. Five minutes and you’re not even cooking. You can even make it two days in advance. Yes, I know it’s not bacon, but this is brain food we’re talking about here. It’s all over the interwebs (check out this Huffington Post article for a start). You need a fast, yummy kickstart. Here’s my suggestion.
PS: You can add chocolate.
Overnight Oatmeal for Writers
(or, how Jennelle cleaned out her cupboards and got a blog article at the same time)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats or instant oatmeal and make sure they’re processed by a reputable company that protects their oats from gluten contamination)
- 1/2 cup dairy or dairy substitute (almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, even fruit juice works)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped, dried fruit (use whole raisins and you won’t have to chop, though personally I’m a fan of chopped dates)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds (the chia seeds have a higher amount of protein, FYI)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs (ooh, you so fancy!)
Mix it all together in a sealable container and let it sit overnight.
Yep. That’s it. Overnight gives you plenty of free time and gives the oats and fruit time to soften up in the liquid you used.
Question: Can you use less liquid? 1/2 cup of liquid seems like a lot of dairy when I’m using whole milk.
Answer: If you think you might be able to get away with less liquid, give it a go, but let me show you what happened when I tried.
Some people like it “sturdy” like this (I’m looking at you, MrMr). But if you like it a little less firm like I do, go ahead and use the full amount. If you’re worried about the fat content, switch to a lower fat version or a dairy alternative. I’m a big raw milk advocate so I use whole milk most days. But whenever we run out, I keep plain and vanilla almond milk around and use that instead. It adds a little variety and tastes good too.
Question: What the hell are cocoa nibs?
Answer: Cocoa nibs are proto-chocolate, my friend and you would do well to add them as a nifty little gourmet treat in your kitchen. Wikipedia describes chocolate production in detail. Suffice it to say, cocoa nibs are the little bits that first appear when some enterprising soul whacks the beans apart with a machete. They look like this.
If you can’t find cocoa nibs at your local grocery store, you can either leave them out, or sub in grated or finely chopped dark chocolate. Personally, I like the nibs because I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but when I am, I really only want a taste of it. That, and I had them hanging around from an unsupervised trip to a gourmet food warehouse. *cough*
Question: Can I add nuts?
Answer: Oh heck yes. In fact all those pictures you see up above? I actually reduced the dried fruit by a little less than half and added an equal amount of chopped, raw almonds. But chopping takes time and I didn’t want to blow you away with effort, you know?