Overnight oats or OIAJ (oats in a jar) are one of my FAVORITE things to prepare and EAT! They are SO fast and easy to prepare, you can pack a ton of nutrients in, and if done properly can be a great volume food! However, what I love most about preparing oats is the skies are the limit when it comes to flavors and variations! Fruity, chocolate-y, peanut-y, savory… it’s ALL good when it comes to oatmeal! Not only can you change the actual oats if you wanted to through different types of flavoring extracts and protein powders, toppings are going to be the #1 way to customize each and every batch you make.
On this particular occasion I had a serious itch for some chocolate!!! Instead of throwing some plain chocolate chips into the mix, I decided to add in one of my favorite protein/snack bars for some added nutrients and BIG flavor:
LOVE LOVE LOVE these bars so much. Actually, the entire family loves them also, my daughter especially! It’s so nice to have an option on hand when her sweet tooth kicks in (she gets it from her mama) and asks for something like a candy bar. I’m not opposed every once in awhile, but I much prefer giving her one of these snack bars that are lower in sugar, higher protein, and has some fiber in there as well! I would have ZERO problems with her eating one of these every single day (and neither would she)!
Most of the time, we will eat these guys as a snack in the afternoon or something just to have on the go, but like I said… when it came down to deciding my toppings for oatmeal on this particular day, that Chocolate Chip Caramel Simple Bar was calling my name! I had to answer it!!! And did I ever… one of the best oats in a jar I’ve had to date! Got my sweet tooth fix, it was super filling, and it was great to have this waiting in my fridge for me to grab and eat! All I had to do when I was ready to devour this was throw on my toppings… my favorite granola for some crunch and then the Simple bar for my chocolate-y desires!
The method for overnight oats or OIAJ seriously could not be easier! You literally throw everything you want IN your oatmeal into a jar, stir, close with a lid, and pop in the fridge. The oats will soak up the liquid and whatever flavors you have going on, get nice and thick, and depending on your toppings you can add those in prior to refrigeration (things like fresh/dried fruit, chocolate chips, nut butter, etc.) or if you are wanting some crunch, you will just add that when you are ready to eat. They taste great the following day OR you can even prep a few of these and enjoy them a few days later! Mine have stayed fresh and delicious for up to 4-5 days! A great breakfast or meal on the go!
To give yourself the MOST bang for your buck throw in your favorite protein powder (I used ‘Milk Chocolate’ PEScience… 30% off coupon below), I also used ‘Chocolate Caramel’ MuscleEgg for extra flavor & protein, chia seeds which will give you an added boost of fiber and VOLUME, and my secret weapon…. finely shredded ZUCCHINI!!! I can’t tell you how much MORE you get to eat in one serving just by adding it in. It mixes right in with the other ingredients AND you don’t taste it at all! Brilliant and something I use in EVERY bowl/jar of oatmeal I make!!!