Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal

24 Jun

Do you remember summer camp? You’d get all your friends together for a week of “roughing it” in the “wilderness,” doing crafts, eating a smorgasbord of foods, swatting away flies as it became second nature, and being constantly covered in a grease of sunscreen. And we loved it! That first day, though, you were always instructed to bring your own “brown bag” lunch; because who would ever expect the cook to be prepared on day one, right? And what’s more camp-friendly than a pb & j sandwich on that spongy Wonder bread. The jam would soak through the bread, the crust got all smushed in the plastic bag, next to your apple and pudding cup. And the peanut butter always stuck to the roof of your mouth, no matter the amount of milk you chugged. It was the perfect kid-loved, camp-friendly food.

That flavor combination never gets old. It might be indulgent to eat one of those sandwiches as an adult, but fear not! You can still enjoy the taste of camp without feeling guilty of the calories! Try pb&j trail mix, and then whip up this oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. It’s the healthy version the entire family can be happy about. The oats are a protein- and fiber-rich substitute for nutritionless white bread, the natural peanut butter and unsalted nuts are a better choice than Skippy, and fresh berries cut out the high sugar content of traditional jams and jellies.

Need a vegan version? Use your favorite non-dairy milk. Need it to be gluten free? Make sure your oats are certified GF. Allergic to peanuts? Switch out the PB and nuts for another variety – almond, sunflower, cashew – whichever you prefer! This recipe is so versatile – don’t get bogged down by the ingredients I chose.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

Serves 1, can be multiplied

  • 1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal or wheat germ
  • 6-7 fresh strawberries, washed and chopped (or other jam favorite: raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, apricot)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 3/4-1 C skim or non-dairy milk

The night before you want to eat it:

Mix oats, cinnamon, flaxseed/wheat germ, strawberries and peanuts together in a bowl with a lid.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

Pour in milk and the scoop of peanut butter. Mix very well so everything is covered in milk, and the peanut butter is evenly stirred into the oatmeal. Cover with lid, and place in fridge overnight, or at least 4 hours.

The next morning, let sit out 10 minutes on the counter, stir, and eat up! I don’t recommend heating this in the microwave – a real pb&j sandwich is best straight from the lunch sack!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

Milky goodness.

Note: Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy a good pb&j sandwich every now and then. I simply use whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and my Oma’s amazingly delicious jam. Because sometimes, that’s just needed, ya know?

What was your favorite camp food? Let me know in the comments!

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