The Unexpected Ingredient Alton Brown Throws In Overnight Oats - Exclusive

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — at least, that's what we've always been told, anyway — and there's no shortage of delicious ways to start your morning. Overnight oats have been quite the trend lately, with famous culinary personality Alton Brown jumping on board. During an exclusive in-person interview and cooking demonstration with our sister site, Health Digest, the Food Network star disclosed his best overnight oats tips — including the unexpected ingredient that he loves to throw in.

Brown's overnight coconut oats recipe was the star of the show, using classic ingredients like dried fruit, two types of milk (unsweetened almond and full-fat coconut), dark maple syrup, vanilla extract, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, rolled oats, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. While that mixture is as delicious as it sounds — especially with the added cinnamon — you can use some unconventional foods to upgrade your morning meal. What does Alton Brown do? Well, sometimes he uses brown rice.

Overnight oats are more versatile than you'd think

Alton Brown compared his ingredient substitute to "Chopped" as he explained, "Other whole grains that could go in there ... I have played around with replacing some of the oats with brown rice, because I had it and I don't like leftovers being thrown away and I had brown rice." The grain wouldn't be our first choice as an overnight oats go-to, but if the tip is coming from Brown, it has to be a pretty handy kitchen hack. The television personality's recipe also calls for dried fruits consisting of cranberries, cherries, and blueberries, which all can be swapped out as well.

Depending on which dried fruits are stocked in your pantry, Brown advised getting creative. "You could use other fruits," he said during the cooking demo, after detailing his new partnership with brain supplement brand Neuriva. "Certainly, this has been formulated from a moisture standpoint for dried fruits, so you could use dried strawberries if you have them." The "Iron Chef America” host further detailed the option of creating a savory form of overnight oats with another unexpected ingredient — sun-dried tomato ("If you don't mind that flavor with maple [syrup]," Brown added). For those who have a sweet tooth like us, chocolate chips are always a tasty — and arguably necessary — choice.

To learn more about Neuriva supplements, check out the brand's website. Keep up with Alton Brown's latest culinary projects on his Instagram page.

Static Media owns and operates Mashed and Health Digest.