First time I saw overnight oats recipe, I thought: well, that should be weird – cold oatmeal? Of course, once I tried it, I fell in love with it and now it’s my go-to recipe when I need a super-quick breakfast.
I usually go for overnight oats when I know that my morning next day is going to be busy. And since I’m totally not a morning person, it takes me forever to wake up and get ready for the day. That’s when a few minutes spent prepping the overnight oats the night before are saving my day. Literally.
Why overnight oats?
- It’s quick. Assembled in no time the night before = no cooking in the morning.
- It’s versatile. Plain classic recipe is good on its own, but can be tweaked easily with fruits and berries, cocoa powder, coconut milk, pumpkin spice.
- It’s a delish. It almost feels like you are eating desert for breakfast, but it’s healthy and nutritious. And it’s a great alternative to hot oatmeal in summer weather.
I don’t think I need to explain how to prepare overnight oats. You probably know it already. But even if you do, there are a couple of tricks to consider.
Basic overnight oats
I usually have two types of oats in my pantry: rolled oats – for granola and overnight oats, and quick oats – for a regular oatmeal and smoothie bowls. I feel like bigger rolled oats keep their texture better and prevent the overnight mixture become a texture-less mush.
Milk, or other liquid
Just like with regular oatmeal, I combine milk and oats in proportions 2:1. So for half a cup of oats I’d take a cup of milk and lactose-free alternative. As a matter of experiment I would recommend trying overnight oats with kefir instead of milk.
It’s kind of a mandatory ingredient in my mind. 1 Tbsp per 1 cup of milk. Chia seeds help me reach desired consistency. And who’d say no to all the antioxidants and Omega-3 that chia seeds are full of?
My most frequent sweetener is raw honey. If maple syrup was widely available in Russia and did not cost a fortune, I’d definitely use it. Of course you could use sugar in overnight oats, but in my mind it kinda defeats the purpose of healthy eating.
Amount of sweetener depends on your own preferences, but it somewhat turns around 2-4 Tbsp per ½ cup of oats.
I read up a tip once for nice creamy texture of overnight oats, and I want to share it with you.
Ground flax seeds
It is a must to add 1 Tbsp of cracked or ground flax seeds per cup of milk. Just like chia, flax seeds swell in liquid making jelly-like texture.
You can omit flax seeds and replace 1/3 cup of milk with the same amount of plain yogurt. This will make texture thicker and really creamy.
That’s where your imagination is limited only by the selection in a store. Top it with seasonal fruits and berries, make a chocolate delish by mixing in cocoa powder, make it with coconut milk – it’s all up to you!
- ½ cup rolled oats, heaped
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp honey, or more to taste
- In a medium bowl, airtight container or a jar mix dry ingredients, add milk and mix well. Add honey and stir in. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but best overnight. Serve cold as is or with your favorite toppings.