These oat-based shakes are easy to prepare AND easy to eat.

Although breakfast is one of my favorite meals, truth be told, I'm not very good at making it. Especially this year, with an election upcoming, wildfires raging, and a pandemic ongoing, it's hard enough to get myself to complete my daily responsibilities, much less to eat first thing in the morning. That's why 2020 has become the year of the protein shake—at least for me. A drinkable breakfast is better than no breakfast at all, and given the U.S.'s intense preoccupation in recent years with high-protein diets, there's no shortage of meal replacement options out there.

Sometimes drinks and shakes get a bit old, however. And besides, there's not much about them that particularly screams "breakfast." That's why I was intrigued when I first started seeing advertisements from Oats Overnight, a company that sells protein-packed packets of oats that can be mixed with milk to create a drinkable consistency.

While oat-based shakes are nothing new, Oats Overnight's versatility makes it notable as a potential favorite among oatmeal lovers and those who favor protein-heavy diets alike. The company currently has nine available flavors, four of which contain dairy free mixes. Each shake contains about 20 grams of protein. Two of the flavors, Chai Latte and Mocha Dream, also contain about 80 milligrams of caffeine, making the meal a potentially good caffeine replacement for times when there's no time for a cup of coffee. The other flavors are largely variants on classic oatmeal favorites, like Green Apple Cinnamon and Strawberries & Cream, though there are some more unusual options as well, such as Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana or Maple Pancake. So far, I've particularly enjoyed the Blueberry Cobbler variety, although the Mocha Dream and Peach Upside Down Cake were also delicious.

Credit: Oats Overnight

Oats Overnight

To create one of its shakes, Oats Overnights recommends that customers use the blender bottle provided in their first order to mix one package with 8 oz of milk (plant-based or not); after spending at least four or five hours in the fridge, the shake will be ready to go.The resulting texture is one that's somewhere between a true drink and a drinkable meal, almost like a cold version of those microwaveable and drinkable cans of soup you can find in some grocery stores. If you're not willing to wait overnight, however, some customers apparently enjoy drinking the oats immediately after mixing in milk; this makes for a chewier, crunchy texture. If you'd like, you could even use only 4 ounces of milk for a thicker, more muesli like consistency, or you can add 4 ounces of milk and microwave the oats for a traditional bowl of warm oatmeal. Or, if you'd like it a bit thinner, you could add more than 8 oz of milk, since the blender bottle holds around 16 oz. Personally, I've found my favorite variation is to add a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt to the blender bottle before topping it with milk and mixing in the oats. The resulting shake is far creamier and has a smoothie-like consistency.

Like many online food companies, Oats Overnight operates on a subscription model, so you'll get the cheapest prices on their products if you sign up for future deliveries. At their most expensive, however, Oats Overnight's shakes cost about $3.62 per meal. That may seem like a lot when compared to a regular bowl of microwave oatmeal, but it's comparable to some expensive (and far more sugary) brands of instant cup oatmeal. Bulk purchases and a subscription can further lower that price to less than $3 a meal for those who end up finding Oats Overnight to be indispensable to their routine.

An oat shake may not seem like an exciting breakfast, but if you already struggle with the morning meal and you're tired of liquid breakfasts, then Oats Overnight could be a good middle ground between a sit-down breakfast and an easier, more drinkable meal. And for oat lovers, Oats Overnight could be a novel way for you to not only enjoy your favorite breakfast food, but also for you to sneak in a few more grams of protein.