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     Maybe you've noticed that breakfast is one of the hardest meals to get right, when you want to eat healthy.  It seems we often have to choose between fatty, fried breakfast meats and empty-calorie, high-carb pastries and pancakes.  What makes it even more difficult is that those choices are freakin’ delicious!  So this week, I'm bringing you a breakfast breakthrough.  If you haven't heard of overnight oats, prepare to thank me.  I've always liked oatmeal but never cared for making it.  Unless you use the instant variety--which is usually packed with more chemicals and sugars than actual oats--you're looking at about a half an hour (or more) standing over the stove stirring a pot of what often turns out to look, and sometimes taste, like spackle.  Not so with overnight oats; they're made with whole-grain oats, real fruit, and natural sweeteners, plus you can have them prepped in about 5 minutes!  Because it's my favorite, I've chosen peach for this recipe, but you can easily substitute your favorite fresh, frozen, or dried fruit.  Try different milks to suit your taste.  Sweeten with honey, maple syrup, agave... whatever you like best.  Add nuts and seeds for a little crunch and a lot of nutritional value.  The possibilities are immense.  Maybe the best part is, after a night in the fridge, the only thing you have to do to have to do for a nutritious, delicious breakfast is open a jar, warm it up (or don't), and dig in.

     Here's what you'll need (for one pint):

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 c. milk of your choice (I used coconut)
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t. almond extract (just a few drops)
  • 1 T. honey or your favorite sweetener, more to taste
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1 c. diced peaches, fresh or frozen and thawed, divided
  • Sealable pint-jar

     First, in a blender, add the milk, yogurt, extracts, sweetener, cinnamon, salt, and 1/3 of the peaches and blend until smooth, or mostly so.  You can skip this step, but it adds the most peach flavor.  If you don't have a blender, I suggest at least trying to mash some of the peaches into the liquid part.

     Then, add the oats and chia seeds to your pint jar and pour the liquid over.  Add another 1/3 of the peaches, seal the jar and give it a good hard shake so all of the oats and seeds are thoroughly soaked.  Place the jar in the fridge overnight, or 6-8 hours.  When you're ready to eat, give it another good shake, remove the lid, and stir it all up.  Top with the remaining peaches and drizzle with a little more of your sweetener if you like.  You can eat it cold or heat it up.  Make one jar or a week's worth.

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