Let’s admit something: Not all of us are morning people. There are days where I struggle to leave my sheets, so infatuated with the calm coziness of my bed that I end up pressing snooze far more times than is acceptable. At the same time, I adore breakfast. I get cranky without breakfast. I forgot to put on deodorant without breakfast. Therein lies the dilemma.
But fear not, reluctant early-birds, for there is a solution. Introducing: Overnight Oats.
The first time I had overnight oats was at a sleepover with a good girlfriend. We had spent the night before running all over New York City, with plans to take on a yoga class first thing the next morning. Upon waking, we were groggy, disheveled, and anything but yoga-class-ready. We struggled to put on our stretchy pants and operate the French press. And then, overnight oats to the rescue! The oats were thick and creamy, nourishing in more ways the one. And eating anything from mason jar instantly makes me feel special.
Like oatmeal, overnight oats provide long-lasting energy without the sugar high and subsequent low. They’ve got a dessert-like texture, an adult yogi’s version of pudding. And they’re as easy as pressing the snooze button. Simply prep the oats the night before, stick them in the fridge, and in the morning you have a simple breakfast that provides you a hefty dose of nourishment.
Overnight Oats: Basic Tips
There are few things to take into consideration when crafting an overnight oat recipe. Let’s get started.
- Use great ingredients. One of the key elements in making a great overnight oat recipe is to use solid flavors. We suggest things like nut milks, fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt, nuts, and seeds.
- Use enough liquid. Liquid is vital to an overnight oat recipe. Too little, and the oats will absorb all of the milk and lose their spoonable consistency. It’s good to have a least double the amount of liquids compared to oats (so 1 cup of milk for every 1/2 of oats), but you can add a bit more liquid if you like a soupier consistency.
- Add mix-ins at the end. With the exception of chia seeds, things like nuts or fresh banana slices should be added at the end. That being said, if you don’t mind a brown banana (I don’t), go ahead and throw it in when prepping the night before.
- Double check your oats. Steel cut oats and instant oats don’t work well for overnight recipes, as they tend to be too chewy or break down in the milk. Instead, opt for old-fashioned regular or thick cut oats.
Below you’ll find some of our favorite overnight recipes. Mason jars are optional, but highly encouraged.
5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oats – Smile and Sandwich
This recipe combines some of nature’s best flavors to create a creamy, PB-inspired breakfast. Oats and peanut butter provide enough protein to satisfy your tummy, while the chia seeds add Omega-3 fatty acids. And with only five ingredients, it’s likely you’ve already got everything you need. Note: The more ripe the banana, the sweeter the flavor. Once your bananas achieve the perfect level of ripeness, you can stick them into the fridge to help preserve them for a bit longer.
Strawberries and Cream Oats – Laura Fuentes
Nothing makes me feel more like a storybook character than the strawberries and cream combination. There’s something so romantic about it; I feel as though I’m a child again, stirring the pink and white concoction as I sit at a cottage breakfast table. Frozen strawberries work well too, but prepare for them to be a bit slushier than they would be if you’re using fresh.
Brownie Batter Oats – Dashing Dish
Fruit recipes are all well and good, but sometimes you really need to eat dessert for breakfast. There have been times (note the plural) when I’ve made brownies specifically to eat the raw batter. Not the healthiest thing in the world, and the sugar crash wasn’t so fun. These brownie batter oats satisfy the sweet tooth while still serving as a healthy addition to your morning routine. And with 20 grams of protein, you’ll stay satiated well into the lunch hour.
Cherry Vanilla Flax Oats – Organize Yourself Skinny
The combination of flavors in this recipe make it a knockout. The tart cherries pair with coconut milk to create a fresh and tangy breakfast, while the flax and oats add a toasty nuttiness. In addition to great flavor, all of the ingredients involved are health whammies, so that you can move through your day feeling nourished and energized. Flax seeds and cherries are high in anti-oxidants, and Ceylon cinnamon has been known to help lower blood sugar.
Matcha and Vanilla Oats – RachLMansfield
I’m eternally grateful to the individual who thought to combine matcha and overnight oats; the result is an earthy and rich breakfast pudding that’s dancing with superfoods. Matcha is celebrated for its plethora of health benefits, and when paired with vanilla it creates a heavenly morning dessert.
What are your favorite overnight oat recipes?
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com.