Basic Overnight Oats
This recipe has been a staple for me all summer, and I have been sharing it with so many people individually that I finally realized I might as well make it into a blog post! You may have seen this meal make an appearance on my Instagram account too…
I love oats and for good reasons: they are tasty, versatile, satiating and packed with good stuff like soluble fiber and over a dozen vitamins and minerals (phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, thiamin, zinc, copper and pantothenate to name a few!) (1).
I don’t like the idea of “super foods” because every food has something special to offer, but I do believe in the power of a balanced lifestyle that is rich in a variety of wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that we love. And oats in any form are a favorite for me! 😀
Like rice and potatoes, oats are also a hypoallergenic staple grain (starch) for people with celiac/digestive issues who do not tolerate gluten, as long as you’re watching out for cross contamination.
As much as I enjoy a classic bowl of cooked oatmeal, hot oatmeal is not often my first choice for breakfast on an 80-100 degree summer day…
That is no coincidence either: Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners point out that our bodies often feel inclined to go for more fresh, raw, cooling foods during the warm weather while we seem to crave more cooked, warming comfort foods in colder months. (By no means is this a “rule” but more of a subconscious intuitive eating mechanism that may kick in to help balance our internal state.)
Another reason I love overnight oats so much is because they are low maintenance, budget-friendly and very easy to make in bulk. As long as you remember to make them in advance at the beginning of your week or the night before, that is. 😉
I have made these dozens of different ways depending on what I feel like (and what I have on-hand in my kitchen). ***An important point to note is that you should not use instant, Irish or steel cut oats for this recipe – I opt for rolled oats to get the texture on point!***
I also add chia seeds to my version because they add more texture (and they give an extra boost of fiber and protein too, which provides me with more sustenance throughout the morning).
Below is my base recipe for a single serving. You can double it or make it in bulk, adjusting the ingredient ratios according to your desired texture. I encourage you to get creative and try out your own flavor combinations too!
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute of choice (you can use more or less depending on how you prefer the texture)
- 1 tablespoon or more chia seeds (more chia seeds will give you a firmer, more gelatinized texture the next day)
- Sprinkle of cinnamon, cloves, apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract or vanilla bean pods or vanilla powder
- 1 Tablespoon yogurt of choice
- 1 scoop protein powder or collagen peptides
- Up to 1 tablespoon real maple syrup or raw honey or sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter/nut butter/sun butter
- (The rest I don’t recommend adding in until the next day – see below for details)
Directions: Combine the above ingredients in a mason jar or sealed container. Mix well. Store in refrigerator overnight, ideally for 8 hours (or you can make in 4 hours if needed).
Once mixture has set, optional to top or mix with any of the following:
- Fresh fruit (I am on a strawberry kick right now)
- Dried fruit
- Shredded coconut
- Peanut butter/nut butter (if you didn’t add it already)
- Real maple or raw honey or sweetener of choice (if you didn’t add it already)
- Chocolate chips
- More milk or milk substitute
Got more ideas? I’d love to hear them. Please reach out or comment below to share your favorite ways to enjoy overnight oats! <3
- Nordqvist, Joseph. “Oats: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 3 Jan. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270680.php.