Strawberry season is nearing its end here in the Northwest, so I’ve been getting my fill before they’re all gone. At the farm stand where I work, we have gorgeous bright red strawberries from a local farm a few miles up the road. It’s amazing how the flavor and fragrance of these berries are far superior to any you would buy at the store, you can really taste the difference. My favorite way to eat strawberries is on top of vanilla ice cream (I’m only a little ashamed to say). But that’s not really part of my diet these days, so this is the next best thing. Strawberries have many health benefits. They are a great source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber, iodine, and folate. Plus, eating berries can help regulate blood sugar and support cardiovascular health. It’s important to use only organic strawberries, as conventionally-grown strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
If you’ve never made overnight oats before, it is so easy and convenient, you should give it a try! Just a few minutes of prep the night before and you’ve got a healthy, satisfying breakfast ready to go. Perfect if your mornings are always rushed, or if you need to eat your breakfast on the go. Soaking oats (and all grains) improves their digestibility and nutritional benefits because it breaks down and neutralizes phytic acid. Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor that binds to minerals in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption. Soaking also encourages the production of beneficial enzymes that increase the amount of many vitamins, and breaks down difficult-to-digest proteins to make them more available for absorption.
This recipe makes enough to fill one pint mason jar, which is too much for me to eat in one sitting. So if you are like me, you could have breakfast for two days, or share with someone else. Add some blueberries to the top for an added pop of color and antioxidants. What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries?
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (use gluten free if necessary)
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- 3/4 cup hemp or almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup chopped organic strawberries
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch cinnamon
- 1 tsp. maple syrup or honey (optional)
- Combine the oats, chia and hemp seeds, coconut, milk, lemon juice and salt in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In a bowl or mason jar, muddle the strawberries with the remaining ingredients. Cover and place in fridge overnight. In the morning, layer the oats with the strawberries and serve.