For this week’s installment of nourishing recipes from my wonderful postpartum doula, we’re talking breakfast by form of overnight oats. A personal fave! Written with love from my doula, Stephanie Matthias, herself:
This is one of my favorite breakfast foods for new moms for several reasons. I think the more nutrient dense, cooked, delicious things you can have in the fridge that are easy to heat and eat, the better. You’re just setting yourself up to make healthy meal choices.
Additionally, this dish is especially great for moms who choose to breastfeed because oats boost your milk supply more tangibly than probably any other food. Oats are also high in iron which is so helpful in those early weeks when you’re still bleeding post-birth.
Ginger is another favorite of mine because it’s very warming and also aids digestion. Oftentimes digestion can be kind of all over the place after birth because your organs are still settling back after being pushed around by the baby for months. Drinking fresh ginger tea can also be really helpful with that.
I like the addition of chia seeds in this recipe because they aid digestion due to their high fiber content and they’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, size, iron and niacin. Having a baby takes a toll on your vitamin and mineral levels so it’s really important to replenish all of that. Because the chia seeds are soaked with the oats overnight, your body is even better able to access all of the nutritional benefits that they offer.
The big spoon of ghee for serving adds a nice flavor to the oats, as well as good fat which is so important during this time. Getting enough fat in your diet is really important for optimal brain function as well as a health digestive system. A healthy dose of ghee in the morning keeps everything moving along nicely!
The reason I like a sprinkle of coconut sugar on top (honey could also be subbed out for this) is because coconut sugar is low glycemic (meaning it won’t cause a crazy spike in your blood sugar) and from an Ayurvedic standpoint, it does not produce excess heat in the body the way that cane sugar does.
Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants and great at fighting viruses and infections in the body.
The cacao nibs bring all the benefits of cacao (high iron, mood enhancement, magnesium, potassium), plus they’re really high in fiber and also add a nice crunch to the oatmeal.
Because this oatmeal is higher in fiber (and a lot of other good stuff!) than regular plain oatmeal, please make sure you drink a lot of water before and after enjoying it. A good practice is to slowly drink a full 8oz glass of room temperature water when you wake up in the morning and then enjoy another glass of water with your breakfast. If you eat a high fiber diet (which I highly recommend), drinking enough water is essential, otherwise the fiber will bulk up in your intestines, and not having enough water to absorb to allow it to do its job – bad news for anyone, but especially new mamas whose bottoms and/or abdominal muscles are recovering from birth.
Recipe: Postpartum Overnight Oats
5 c filtered water
1 1/2 c steel cut oats
2 c rolled oats
2 1in knobs of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 c chia seeds
Pinch of salt
1/2 c of your favorite non-dairy milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ghee
Sprinkle of coconut sugar
2 tsp cacao nibs
1. Bring water to a boil. Once it’s at a boil, add oats, both ginger pieces and salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot halfway with a lid and let the mixture simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes.
2. Turn the heat off and add the chia seeds, stir well so the chia seeds don’t clump together.
3. Transfer the oatmeal to a glass tupperware container and allow it to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge overnight (I recommend waiting until the next day to eat this so the water and ginger have plenty of time to work their magic on the oats and make them super easy to digest).
When you’re ready to enjoy your oatmeal..
Warm your milk (homemade coconut milk is my personal favorite) in a pot and add about 1 1/2 c of the oatmeal. As it warms, stir to incorporate. If it seems too thick, feel free to add more milk. Transfer oatmeal to your favorite bowl. Top with ghee, coconut sugar, cinnamon and cacao nibs. Enjoy!
This will make enough for about a week of morning oatmeal, depending on the serving size.