If you love healthy breakfast ideas, but don’t wanna do a whole lot of work in the morning, overnight oats were made for you. All you’ve have to do is stir a few ingredients together in a jar, place it in the fridge and enjoy it the next morning. It’s honestly one of the easiest-cook breakfast options that will leave you with healthy grab-and-go breakfasts to enjoy throughout the week. And the fun part is that they are endlessly customizable. So, let’s dive right in. In order to make overnight oats, you’ll, of course, need some oats, but make sure to grab hold-fashioned rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats. Rolled oats will maintain their texture better, even after soaking, while quick-cooking oats tend to get a bit mushy.
In terms of the best container for overnight oats, I personally prefer to use a 16-ounce Mason jar with a screw lid. This jar is large enough to stir everything together without it overflowing, and the lid is no fuss if you wanna grab and go. You could also use a smaller wick jar or another glass jar, but just keep in mind that if you’re stashing these in your purse or backpack, you might accidentally lose a metal clip, and that’s why I prefer the screw-top lid on the Mason jar.
So there are just five simple ingredients needed to make overnight oats.
1. Rolled oats
2. Your milk of choice
5. Maple syrup.
How to make it ?
To make an individual batch of overnight oats just add 1/2 a cup of rolled oats to a jar, along with 1/2 a cup of milk, and I’m using my homemade cashew milk, 1/4 cup of yogurt, which adds extra creaminess, and you can use dairy or dairy-free, one tablespoon of chia seeds, which gives this a pudding-like texture, and one tablespoon of maple syrup or honey. Then give that a stir and mix it all together. And you can see why I now recommend a 16-ounce jar because it gives you plenty of room to stir without spilling and that’s always a good thing.
Overnight oats will expand just a little bit once they’ve chilled, but as you can see, there’s still plenty of room for toppings if you’d like to add them later. And then just place this in your fridge for at least two hours, though overnight is best. While it’s easy to make overnight oats individually in jars, you can also make one large batch for the week. For four servings, just add two cups of rolled oats to a large bowl, along with two cups of milk, one cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, and 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
Then give that all a stir until it’s well combined. Place a lid on your bowl or cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight just as we did before. And to show you how it starts to thicken up, this is what it looks like after two hours, but it will get even thicker the longer you leave it. I personally love it thick and creamy overnight, but if you like a more liquidy texture, you can always add a splash more milk, it’s really up to you. And with a basic batch of overnight oats, you can switch up the toppings every morning. So let me give you a few quick examples. Just add a portion of the overnight oats to a bowl or cup and top with fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. Or top with fresh blackberries and diced mango chunks with a sprinkle of pistachios. Or top with a sliced banana, fresh blueberries, and a sprinkle of pecans. As you can see, it’s super easy to top your basic overnight oats with any fresh fruit that you have on hand, but if you prefer mixed-in flavors, here are a few tasty flavor combinations for you. This first one is a simple pina colada flavor, and you already know the base ingredients of 1/2 a cup of rolled oats, 1/2 a cup of milk, 1/4 cup of yogurt, one tablespoon of chia seeds, and one tablespoon of maple syrup. And to that, you’ll add 1/4cup of small diced pineapple. I like it diced pretty small so that you get a little bit of pineapple with every bite. And then you’ll add one tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Give that a stir, making sure you get all those oats and maple syrup off the bottom, then add a lid and place it in the fridge. After several hours in the fridge, you can see just how much the overnight oats have thickened up, so much so, that I can invert the jar and nothing will fall out. Now, these mixed flavors were designed to not need any toppings, but, of course, you can always add some. I’ll just add a little bit more of what I put inside so you can remember the flavors. And in the case of this pina colada version, that’s more diced pineapple and shredded coconut for a tasty breakfast with tropical flair. This next batch of overnight oats is one of my personal favorites, and it’s a spin on PB&J. For the jam part, you can use a store-bought jam, chia seed jam, or just make a simple fruit puree, which is what I’m doing today. To make this raspberry puree, just heat raspberries in a pot on medium heat with a splash of maple syrup and vanilla extract. They’ll break down really quickly in just a couple of minutes, and you can help the process along by smashing them with your spatula. Transfer the raspberry puree to a container and then place that in the fridge until it’s cooled. Once the puree is cooled, you can add a couple of tablespoons of that to the bottom of your jar, and add one portion of already-mixed-together overnight oats. Then on top, add two tablespoons of almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter and give that a stir. I like it so it has a sort of fruit-on-the-bottom vibe, but you can completely stir it together. And then I’ll just chop up some pistachios to add as a topping once it’s firmed up, but right now, into the fridge it goes. For toppings on this, I’ll add a little drizzle of more almond butter, a handful of fresh raspberries, and a sprinkle of those chopped pistachios. If you’re new to overnight oats, this is a great flavor to start with as everyone always loves it. This next flavor is a strawberry protein overnight oats, and you’ll start with a basic recipe of 1/2 a cup of rolled oats, 1/2 a cup of milk, 1/4 cup of yogurt, one tablespoon of chia seeds, and one tablespoon of maple syrup. To that, add 1/4 cup of small diced strawberries. I love strawberries, but remember that these are just ideas, so if you have another favorite fruit, feel free to swap that in instead. And to give this version a protein boost, I’m adding one scoop of protein powder, but you could also use collagen powder. For a little crunch, I’ll add one tablespoon of sliced almonds and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. For another idea, if you’re not a fan of protein powder, you could swap that for cream cheese and give this a strawberry cheesecake flavor.
Once it’s all mixed together, I’ll pop it in the fridge and let it firm up. For toppings on this, I’ll add a dollop of yogurt, another sprinkle of strawberries, and more sliced almonds for a protein-packed grab-and-go breakfast. While apple cinnamon oatmeal is always a popular flavor, I’m doing a riff on that today and making spiced pear overnight oats. In goes the basic recipe of oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup. And to that, I’ll add 1/4cup of small diced pear. If pears aren’t in season where you’re at, you can, of course, use apples, but you know what’s also great, peaches, so grab what’s in season or on sale and then add that to the oats. For a little crunch, add one tablespoon of chopped pecans, and again, you can mix these in or add them on top, it’s up to you. And for that spiced flavor, add 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Give that a stir to mix everything together, add the lid and then place this in the fridge overnight. As a reminder, you do have to add any toppings, these mixed versions are good to go, but just so you remember what’s inside, I’ll add some more diced pear, chopped pecans, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for deliciously sweet and spiced overnight oats. Carrot cake is one of my favorite cake recipes and it’s so easy to recreate those flavors with overnight oats. And bonus, this version is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into your morning routine. Add the base overnight oats recipe to your jar, which I’m sure you have memorized by now, and then grate a carrot. You’ll want about 1/4cup of grated carrot, and I recommend using the smaller grating holes on your box grater. Add that to the oats, along with one tablespoon of shredded coconut, one tablespoon of raisins, 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract to sweeten it even more. Give that a stir to make sure it’s well combined, add the lid, and then pop it in the fridge.
For toppings, I’ll add a little bit more of the shredded carrot, a sprinkle of raisins, and some chopped pecans. This is a great way to satisfy those carrot cake cravings in a much healthier way. For our last overnight oats flavor, we’re going with a classic, and that’s banana bread. And I should also mention that while most people enjoy overnight oats cold, straight from the fridge, you can warm them up if you’d like, either in the microwave or on the stove. So if you’d like this flavor to resemble a warm slice of banana bread, go for it. To the basic recipe of overnight oats, you’ll add 1/2 of a banana that you’ve mashed, just place it in a bowl and use a fork to mash it to a smooth pureed consistency, and then add that to the oats. For a little crunch, chop up one a tablespoon of walnuts, and if walnuts aren’t your thing, you could use pecans as well. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of ground flax seeds, and then stir that all together, add the lid and place it in the fridge to firm up. For toppings, you can slice some fresh banana right before serving and add another sprinkle of ground flaxseeds. The flavor combinations for overnight oats really are endless, but I hope this gave you a few tasty ideas to get you started.