Kelly Newlon and Stephanie Howe bring you unique and exciting recipes and along with a wealth of knowledge about nutrients and nourishment in their monthly Trail Sisters column, Nourish.
Early spring kicks off the team training camp calendar for many brands in the outdoor space. This month, I will give Trail Sisters a sneak peak behind the curtain of what that looks like. I am fortunate to travel a bit with these teams and stay for a week or two while I feed them. This often takes place in a VRBO type setting, and usually somewhere warm and sunny. Sounds terrible, yes? I must admit, it is often my favorite time of year, but it is a huge amount of work. Days are often 18+ hours of cooking, shopping, and prepping. There is a constant flow of packing on the go meals, snacks, three meals at the house, “snacky hour” (before dinner) and treats just before bedtime to get in extra calories. Athletes have the freedom to wake as they wish in the morning and grab something from the fridge for breakfast. This means that some days an athlete might sleep until 8:00 AM, and the next day they wake at 2:00 AM to run a few hours of a long training day in the dead of night. Depending on the scenario I may wake at 1:00 AM to feed the media team accompanying the athlete. Overnight oats are a great vehicle for calories and are easily taken on the road while driving to the run location. There is a steady stash of individual overnight oats ready in the fridge for all occasions. This recipe is a fave, as it contains sticky fiber, protein, carbs, and a little caffeine for a pick me up (decaf is fine as well) It is just the right amount of sticky + sweet, with a kick. Saving a bit for after the run or a spoonful or two mid run from the back of the car is the pro move.
Steph’s Notes- I’m often the athlete in the training camp Kelly describes above. Recently however, these training blocks occur while I’m at home, still needing to work and be a mom. A quick, nourishing breakfast that takes zero prep in the morning is clutch. Or for my afternoon snacky hour, when my stomach is growling, and I repeatedly take trips to the refrigerator. These overnight oats are super satisfying and feel indulgent despite all the good stuff in them. Did you know tiramisu is my favorite dessert?!
If you are caffeine sensitive (or share them with a toddler) you can easily leave out the coffee (or sub decaf) without compromising taste. I will often make a big batch and then package them in small mason jars to go. Have you ever had overnight oats on top of a mountain???
Besides the taste and easy prep, I also really like the ingredients in this recipe. First, oats are such an underrated fuel for an athlete. They are a great source of carbohydrate and tend to sit well before, during, or after any type of training. Second, the milk and yogurt pack a good protein punch and provide a nice source of (real) fat and calcium. I use whole milk and full fat Greek yogurt. Lastly, the nut butter and chia seeds also provide some additional protein and fat, which can be tough for endurance athletes to get enough of daily. Especially during heavy training, when food quality and quantity really matter.
Tiramisu Overnight Oats
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 shots espresso (or instant coffee)
- 2/3 cup milk (cow’s milk or alternative)
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- ¼ cup chocolate nut butter (Justin’s hazelnut butter is a great choice)
- pinch of kosher or sea salt
- Make a 2 shots of espresso coffee and let it cool while you complete the next step.
- In a bowl add dry ingredients of rolled oats, chia seeds and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients being maple syrup, vanilla, milk and coffee 1 shot of espresso and stir well. Layer into jars.
- Mix the chocolate hazelnut butter with 1 shot of espresso and stir until combined.
- Layer the hazelnut/espresso mixture evenly over the top of each jar.
- Place in the fridge overnight.
Steph likes to add cocoa powder for some additional chocolate flavor and occasionally will use coconut milk (from a can) in place of the milk. Delicious!