Has there ever been a food that you are really, really averse to? Like, don’t bring it near me, don’t let it touch me, it’s-giving-me-nightmares type of turned off? I certainly do. For me, those foods are mint (more on that another time) and raw milk.
You’re probably thinking, What on earth is raw milk?. Well, what I mean is milk that’s just…by itself. A glass of milk, for instance. I can’t remember the last time I had one of those. Since I was really little, the idea of drinking milk has just really turned me off. Can’t tell you why, but just the idea makes my stomach turn.
So that’s what I surprised myself on Sunday when I decided to try my had at a breakfast recipe that was almost entirely dependent upon milk: overnight oats. I had been tempted to experiment with the beginners’ overnight oats recipe I had found on laurenconrad.com, but was nervous about the idea of starting my day off with something so milk-laden (we’re talking a whole cup of the stuff, thank you very much). However, after deliberating I decided that I would never figure out if I actually enjoyed the time-saving meal unless I gave it a chance. So, on Sunday afternoon, I made me some overnight oats.
If there’s one thing this dish has going for it, it’s the fact that it takes literally seven minutes to throw together. For this particular recipe, there are but five ingredients besides milk, including oats (um, duh), chia seeds, 1 banana, vanilla extract, and nut butter. Ever the word-for-word recipe follower that I am, I added all the ingredients except for the nut butter into a glass bowl and gave it a quick stir. I secured plastic wrap over the top and slid the bowl onto the top shelf of our refrigerator. Boom, done.
Flash forward to the next morning: I come downstairs, take my milk masterpiece out of the fridge, and spoon it into a bowl, this time mixing in the nut butter. The moment right before I took a bite was filled with anticipation. What can I say? I take food seriously. I could just imagine the milk being so unbearable I would be forced to forgo my little experiment and opt instead for whatever we had lying around, which, at the time, amounted to, like, a KIND bar. Needless to say, the pressure was on for me to like the overnight oats. I took a deep breath, and swallowed.
The funniest thing happened: I really liked it! Like, there was some honest-to-goodness enjoyment going on. The almond milk (you can’t expect me to go full-on dairy my first time out, can you?) ended up playing second fiddle to delicious mingling of the oats and banana, which both leant sweetness, along with the chia and nut butter, which gave a warmer sensation to the otherwise cold dish. All in all, I was genuinely sad to reach the bottom of the bowl. But, then, again I kind of always am…
When it’s all said and done, I am really happy I gave overnight oats a try. It sounds trivial, but for me, the meal really made me take a step outside of my comfort zone. Challenging my palette is something I’ve slowly learned to embrace, and it’s funny how many times I end up liking whatever it was I thought would be terrible. I encourage all of you to do the same this week: try something new! Wether it’s the new raw food place you’ve been curious about, or just chaining up your regular sandwich at lunch, I think you’ll be surprised how rewarded it makes you feel!