Skip overnight oats; make the real thing

Leah Eskin

Overnight oats are an overnight sensation. Easy! Healthy! Quick! It’s the breakfast trifecta, in a jar.

If you’re in college, or on the Internet, or eat, someone will say: Try it. So I did.

The recipe is simple: Toss oats and milk in a jar, twist and chill. Hours later, untwist breakfast.

Still, my college girl and I complicated it. At night, we measured our variables: milk, almond milk, yogurt; peanut butter, almond butter, chia seeds; honey, syrup, sugar; fresh fruit, dried fruit, no fruit.

In the morning, we ran 10 taste tests.

The results were uniform: Overnight oats spoon up soggy, cold and awful.

I’ll give the recipe easy. And healthy. And even quick: Just taste and toss.

For my seven minutes of breakfast prep, I’d rather simmer the oats thick, steam them chewy and scatter them with hot buttered almonds.

The recipe is easy, healthy, quick — and delicious.

Midmorning Oatmeal

Prep: 1 minute

Cook: 6 minutes

Makes: 1

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup rolled (aka “old fashioned”) oats

1/3 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1 pinch salt

1 sprinkle cinnamon

1 teaspoon brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil. Sprinkle in oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 4 minutes. Pull pan off heat, cover and let rest 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat butter over medium. Slide in almonds and toast, shaking now and then, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and cinnamon.

Scoop oatmeal into a small bowl. Sprinkle on brown sugar, then toasted nuts. Dig in.