The dreaded 9am lecture, a thought that makes students quiver. But fear not, these early starts to our day don’t need to be such a travesty. One way I’ve been making my mornings more bearable is with my trusty overnight oats. I’m sure you’ve heard of them before. A popular breakfast amongst many, but why? How has the bland and simple oat become a staple in many of our weekly Lidl shops? In this article I shall be discussing how overnight oats save students time and money, have additional health benefits, and have endless topping possibilities! Imogen Bayman explores the many benefits to overnight oats and convincingly shares her thoughts on why it is a students’ essential.
Saving students’ sleep schedules and bank accounts
I’m sure many of you reading this have faced the dreaded 9AM lecture. Who could say no to hitting that snooze button a few extra times? It is evident that amongst students, the lack of a good night’s sleep is a prevalent issue, which can be detrimental to mental health and education. Research has found that in 2022, 46% of students rated their sleep as fairly bad or bad. An extra hour or so in bed saved by this pre-prepared breakfast could really improve students’ education and general wellbeing.
Not only do overnight oats save you time in the mornings, but they also save your bank account. A 1kg bag of oats will go a long way, saving you many trips to the shops to buy overpriced cereals. Currently, the cost-of-living crisis is creating an unfeasible lifestyle for students. In 2022, rent and food prices increased for students while maintenance loans were lower in real terms compared to the previous year. This issue is only getting worse. Consequently, students are having to find the most cost-effective ways of living, and overnight oats are the way to go.
Rather than participating in the frustrating task of rolling out of bed, stumbling down to the kitchen, and fixing up a quick (and usually mediocre) breakfast, or alternatively buying a snack on the way to lectures, students can quickly grab their oats from the fridge and be on their way!
What are the health benefits?
As well as efficiency, overnight oats also provide many health benefits, increasing their popularity. Oats contain a soluble fibre, meaning they help us stay fuller for longer. This is extremely beneficial for students who want to avoid the painfully embarrassing belly growls in the library. Additionally, this can be beneficial for those wanting to avoid the exasperating sight of money leaving their bank account as they spend money on food on campus.
Furthermore, overnight oats are extremely useful for students concerned about the negative effects of alcohol for their gut. Oats are rich in prebiotic fibres, which help the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, while inhibiting the growth of less desirable strains of bacteria. Therefore, for those students feeling a bit groggy the morning after a night out, overnight oats are a perfect way to counteract this.
Boredom and repetitiveness are never an issue due to the endless toppings that can be added to oats. You can customise your oats however your heart desires. There is always a new combination of toppings for you to try, whether you’re craving something sweet and delicious, or something slightly more nutritious, there will always be something to satisfy you taste buds.
Listed below are a few of my personal favourite toppings:
- Apple crumble overnight oats: Who could say no to a dessert for breakfast? During these cold autumnal mornings, my go to breakfast has been overnight oats topped with apple, a teaspoon of honey, a dash of cinnamon and a dollop of yogurt. For those of you wanting a little more crunch to really get that apple crumble experience, you could even use any leftover oats to bake your own granola topping.
- PB & J overnight oats: A childhood favourite, peanut butter and jelly (or jam) is a treasured and nostalgic combination I stole from the Americans on TV. This sweet and savoury treat will really elevate your oats. If you want to get some added fruit in there, you could replace the jam with some berries microwaved with honey.
- Banana and toasted walnuts: Simple but delicious. Banana is my go-to breakfast fruit as it’s not too sweet (and an amazing hangover cure). With a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness and toasted walnuts to add a nice crunch, this simple breakfast is comforting and scrumptious.
Undeniably, overnight oats are a lifesaver for students, and a great way to save money without sacrificing a delicious breakfast. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself to the kitchen and create your own overnight oats jar, you’ll thank yourself in the morning.
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