How to Make Overnight Oats (And How I meal Prep)

Want to hear the worst morning routine I ever followed? Drive to Starbucks. Order a coffee and a spinach feta wrap to-go. Continue on to work.

At one point, the idea of being able to afford a daily Starbucks order was my idea of “making it.” Thankfully, reality eventually struck and I thought, “WTF am I doing.” What an incredible waste of money.

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If I didn’t meal prep, my mornings would be chaos.

Here’s how my morning Starbucks run started: I needed something quick. I’m a personal trainer and still coach group classes (still waiting on each of you to come visit me!) starting as early as 6AM. The days I don’t coach I sometimes take alongside my boyfriend Teddy, who always manages to make those early morning workouts.

Long paragraph short: I do NOT have time to fry up a tofu scramble each morning. I need something already prepared the moment I wake up so I can grab it on the run—just like that Starbucks drive through.

Want more meal prep tips?

Download TL Eats: Easy Vegetarian Meals for Your Healthy Lifestyle for meal prep hacks, sample grocery list, 24-hour meal plan, and 32 healthy recipes I eat weekly.

If you’re not prepared, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

—Both money-wise and food-wise.

On Sundays, I prep several meals (or parts of meals) that I always keep stocked in the fridge. When it comes to breakfast, this always means overnight oats.

Why I love overnight oats

I prepare five-or-six overnight oats in small mason jars, which make the perfect on-the-go breakfast throughout the week. I can eat them straight from the jar in my kitchen, or bring them to the gym to inhale right before I coach.

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Just like my Buddha bowl recipe, my overnight oats always use the same base ingredients, with a few items swapped in and out to prevent boredom. I always combine oatmeal, protein powder (I use Vega), chia seeds, flaxseed, and fruit (usually strawberries or blueberries). That combo usually keeps me full for one-to-two hours. If I need more substance, I’ll add a scoop of almond butter. [Side bar: These ingredients are almost identical to those I use in my protein ball recipe, another on-the-go breakfast or snack.]

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Other meal prep items I always keep stocked in the fridge

You guys always ask me what I eat, and I always tell you I eat the same boring things each week, but I’ll tell you just one more time. Because I appreciate you.

Without even peeking, I can tell you exactly what’s in my fridge and freezer, right this second. I prep each of these items on Sunday, to be grapped as quick meals or snacks between clients or my own workouts. I eat five small meals a day, usually made up of these items:

  • Cut-up strawberries (and other fruit): To be used as snacks, in overnight oats, or tossed into a pre-workout smoothie

  • Chopped-up veggies: To be dipped in hummus or tossed in a Buddha bowl

  • Protein balls

  • Air-fried tofu: To be used in buddha bowls, salads, or breakfast

  • Prepared quinoa: To be used in buddha bowls

  • Hard-boiled eggs: To be eaten as a snack on their own or in bowls or salads

  • Protein bars

  • Five mason jars’ worth of overnight oats: To be grabbed on my way out the door

  • Bags of frozen veggies or fruit for smoothies

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I can’t go through this post without introducing you to the Queen of Meal Prep

Sometimes, I think my meal prep game is so on point until WorkWeek Lunch comes across my Instagram feed.

Talia is the owner and founder of WorkWeek Lunch, an online subscription program sending weekly meal plans to your inbox for just $7.99 a month (guys, that’s less than Chipotle). We just interviewed Talia for the A-Cup Podcast, which will go live next Monday.

What Talia preaches, and what I believe, is meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts with setting aside one day each week to chop vegetables, prepare a few snacks, and have a few core ingredients on hand. Then, choose a few recipes where you can swap out a couple ingredients to keep your breakfast or lunch exciting, even after you make it for the hundredth time.

And now—for the recipe!

Tara’s Overnight Oats

⅓ cup rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Tbsp almond butter

1 tsp goji berries

½ scoop protein powder ( I like Vega vanilla)

1 scoop collagen

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp flax seeds

¼ cup berries of the day!

Layer it all up and fill the jar with almond milk over all of the dry ingredients. Put it in the fridge overnight. Enjoy the next day by mixing it up and eating cold, or put it in the microwave to warm up.

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Want more on-the-go breakfast ideas?

Get 5 more breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners, pre- and post-workout snacks, and my 2 favorite desserts in TL Eats: Easy Vegetarian Meals for Your Healthy Lifestyle. I share EXACTLY how I eat, including my 32 go-to recipes.

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