By Mary Curnutte, Nutrition Awareness Intern

Treat Yourself Valentine’s Day with Chocolate-Strawberry Overnight Oats

Valentine’s Day means sweet treats. Might as well have chocolate for breakfast right?

Overnight oats are my saving grace for a busy life. All you have to do is combine oats and milk in a container and after sitting overnight, the oats become soluble and are ready to eat. Mix in your favorite combo the night before and grab your oats as you’re heading out the door. As a general rule for overnight oats, do a 1:1 ration of oats to milk.

These oats pack in healthy carbohydrates for morning energy, protein for substance, a little healthy fat, and a load of vitamins and minerals.

Adding fruit to any meal is great for vitamins, but the cacao in this recipe is also packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Yes, have your chocolate and feel good about it! Be sure to purchase cacao (“a” after the “c”) rather than cocoa, which is used in baking. Cacao is made by cold-pressing cocoa bean, so the nutrients are retained. In contrast, cocoa is roasted at high temperatures and loses much of its nutritional value.

Cacao is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, since, copper, and manganese. Some studies say that cacao boosts mood, prevents against cardiovascular disease, and reduces blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Celebrate this day of love by loving yourself with a healthy and delicious start to the day. Double or triple the recipe to have your breakfast ready for the next few days.