i'm not super into meal prep, and truth is i never really have been. prepping meals for the week always seemed like the thing people were doing to make their lives easier. i see countless instagram accounts of people dedicating hours of their sunday to cook meals, conponents, and sides for the week. and from my vantage point, that always seemed doable. until i tried to do it. but dedicating a few hours on a sunday when all i want to do is hang out with my family is a tough ask. but truth is, for me, meal prepping tends to make me feel overwhelmed.
the solution i've found for the moment is to prepare for at least 3 days with a dressing, a sauce, a make-ahead meal or two, and that's about it. our schedule fluctuates so often during the week, between last minute meetings, appointments, work running late, etc., that i've found that an entire week worth of meals tends to get wasted, unfortunately.
one of those meals i've been prepping to make mornings easier are these overnight oats. most times it's just a basic version with rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk, some smooshed fruit, and a good glug of nut butter on top. sometimes i'll snack on it after a big workout, or give it to amesy for his morning or afternoon snack. it's a reliable little dish to have on hand throughout the week that doesn't require more than what's in your pantry. what i find helpful is to have a basic checklist, so that my pantry is always stocked with essential items i might need:
- pantry-stable almond breeze almondmilk
- rolled oats (certified gluten-free)
- chia seeds/whole or ground flaxseed
- nuts: almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.
- seeds: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- nut/seed butter: almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, sunflower butter, etc.
- maple syrup or sweetener of choice
i usually buy most of these items in the bulk section of my grocer and store them in jars i've bought or collected over time. i keep them front and center of the pantry so i know when to re-up the supply, it works for me, and keeps things running a bit more smoothly. one thing that has definitely kept it all running though is always having almond milk on hand. shelf-stable almond breeze almond milk is always there to come to my much needed relief when i'm in the middle of a recipe and run out of refrigerated almond milk if there is one thing that i make sure my pantry is stocked with, it's that, and it lasts up to one year in there. when you've got a hangry toddler demanding breakfast, it literally saves the day, and prevents things from becoming more chaotic than they need to be.
GIVEAWAY: 1 lucky winner will receive a year's supply of almond breeze almond milk! (open to US residents only, sorry international friends.)
TO ENTER: leave a comment below sharing a time when your pantry-friendly almond milk came to your relief! one winner will chosen at random, giveaway closes monday, july 2nd, at 5pm PST. *please leave a working email address. good luck!!
this post was created in partnership with blue diamond almond breeze. all opinions and thoughts, as always, are my own. thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal running!
raspberry crumble overnight chia oats | gf & v
there are 2 options for making these overnight oats:
- with a baked crumble. it adds an additional step, that only requires preheating the oven, and baking it for 5-7 minutes. if you have the time, i think it's definitely worth the extra few minutes.
- with a crumble. this only requires a quick mixing of the ingredients, and then for them to sit overnight. both are super tasty and still give you that crumble vibe.
| makes 2 generous servings |
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons gluten free rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- fat pinch fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups almond breeze almondmilk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- crumble. baked: preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. in a small bowl, mix together the almond meal, oats, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and salt. add the coconut oil and maple syrup, use a fork to toss everything together. place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- loosen the crumble with your fingers and turn out, and arrange it in an even layer on the baking sheet. bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. remove from the oven and let cool.
- crumble: raw: mix together the almond meal, oats, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and salt. add the coconut oil and maple syrup, use a fork to toss everything together. cover the bowl, and store the crumble in the fridge overnight.
- raspberries. to a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the raspberries, water, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. stir everything together and cook for 3-5 minutes, until most of the raspberries are broken down, and the liquid has reduced. remove from heat and let cool. store in an airtight container or jar and store in the fridge once fully cooled.
- oats. mix together the oats, chia seeds, and a fat pinch of salt. in a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, and almond butter. stir the liquid ingredients into the dry. taste and add more salt and/or maple syrup if desired. place in an airtight jar or container, and store in the fridge overnight.
- to assemble: scoop desired amount of overnight oats into a bowl. (drizzle more almond milk if you want a thinner consistency.) add a good scoop of raspberries over top. then add the baked or raw crumble over the raspberries (if using the raw crumble, use your hands to loosen the crumble into bits first). add more almond butter if desired.