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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lemon, Thyme and Honey Overnight Oats

It is hard to get back into the healthy breakfast routine after the vacation I just had.

Waking up in the beach cottage on the coast of Maine last week, it was the unspoken rule that whoever was up first would start frying up the thick cut, smoky bacon. Usually the next person up would start scrambling the eggs or frying the potatoes with sausage and brussell sprouts or beets. A third person would brave the line to grab at least a baker's dozen (or two) at Congdon's Doughnuts. Then we'd sit around the coffee table in the living room with our bacon and a plate of the daily scramble and laugh about the missing G on the Doughnuts box. Who wants a Doug-nut?

Now that I'm far, far away from that fresh salty air and staying inside to avoid the dangerous air quality from the nearby forest fires, I am missing Maine tremendously. And wishing that I didn't have to brave two more years of the Inland Northwest.

Though it's tempting to return to the comforting breakfasts of Moody Beach, I knew the day I returned that I could no longer keep up that kind of breakfast routine. Not without all the brothers-in-laws and father-in-laws and cousins that make this kind of early morning gluttony possible. Plus... the health thing.

Before vacation, I had gotten in the habit of making overnight oats the easy way -- the morning of. I used quick oats instead of rolled oats, so they didn't need that 8-hour steepage. I covered them with yogurt and almond milk, added chia seeds and topped it with blueberries. Delicious, but after a few weeks? Boring. 


Luckily, I stumbled upon this amazing Lemon, Thyme and Honey overnight oats recipe by The Breakfast Drama Queen the other day. I still used quick oats, but gave it the overnight treatment it deserved. I added chia seeds and doubled the amount of oats used, because I get hungry in the morning. I have to say, I was immediately impressed. The lemon peel gave it the bright flavor of a dessert, and fresh thyme added a little fanciful green to the otherwise beige breakfast. I think it needs a topping -- maybe nectarine slices, or figs? I'll play with it. 


In the meantime, here's my version:

Lemon, Thyme & Honey Overnight Oats

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled or instant oats
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chia seeds

Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a Mason jar. Close lid and shake well to combine. Leave in the refrigerator overnight, or at least a half hour if using quick oats. Top with more honey if desired, and enjoy!

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