The breakfast of champions is about to get mightier!
Introducing . . .
Protein-Packed Overnight Oats in a Jar
It may seem as though this almost-empty jar of peanut butter holds my original overnight mixture, but a secret ingredient is about to punch you in the face. . . figuratively, of course. :)
No, it’s not strawberries. They’re good, but I’ve tried that flavor in the past. Look a bit closer, and you’ll see that the consistency of these oats is thicker and chunkier.
Do you have any guesses? I know the suspense is killing you. What is the secret ingredient, you may ask?
Never in a million years did I think I’d ever eat or enjoy curdles of cheese. The texture alone was enough to make me barf.
I have visions of my little brother at four years old sitting on a stool, almost naked, in our old galley kitchen eating this lumpy, unappealing food straight from the tub using chopsticks. By the way, this same kid only ate salads made with green leaf lettuce, La Choy chow mein noodles and Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. That’s it.
Clearly, cottage cheese is for weirdos, I thought.
Anyhow, I went home for Thanksgiving and saw the tub of fat-free lumpiness in the fridge. I hesitantly grabbed a spoon and took a bite out of pure curiosity. Taste buds can change, right?
And guess what? I actually liked it! The curdles of cheese didn’t taste like much, but I imagined the infinite ways you could spice it up. Then, the alarm sounded in my head – one of my favorite bloggers, Kath from Kath Eats Real Food, often stirs cottage cheese into her hot and cold oatmeal.
As soon as I returned to the district, I bought myself some cottage cheese, grabbed my almost-empty jar of Whole Foods’ crunchy peanut butter, and whisked away to make a new protein-packed version of overnight oats.
I’ve never mentioned it before, but I love strength training. In fact, I pretty much hate cardio 75 percent of the time unless it’s in the form of a group fitness class. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to find this jar alone contained about 30 grams of protein, given the ingredients. That’s definitely enough fuel needed for post-workout muscles to recover!
To make this sinful-seeming but actually healthy breakfast, find a nut butter jar with one to two tablespoons remaining and follow these instructions, which are for my chocolate, strawberries and cream overnight oats. However, please note that I now use fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt to amp up the protein. Then, simply add 1/4 to 1/2 cup cottage cheese to the mixture; stir everything up; and slide that jar in the fridge for tomorrow morning.
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P.S. You can add cottage cheese to ANY of these hot and cold oatmeal recipes. The chocolate and strawberry combo is my favorite, but pumpkin, blueberry and banana flavors also work well.
Peanut Butter Banana Custard Oats (Warning: With the added egg, this bowl would be closer to 40 grams of protein or more!)