Oatmeal makes a great morning breakfast, but why do the work of warming it yourself when you can let physics do the work for you? Overnight oats is a magical make-ahead breakfast that saves you valuable time in the morning.
Learning how to make overnight oats is simple. Just mix together some oats, milk (or your favorite non-dairy alternative), and a few other goodies before you hit the hay. While you dream, the oats work all night to absorb the milk and flavorings to create a creamy, chewy breakfast treat. So good, it's almost like dessert.
Convenience isn't the only perk of overnight oats. This dish is also versatile, inviting a range of toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or a drizzle of honey. They're also packed with fiber and whole grains, which means they'll keep you feeling full and energized all morning long.
How to Make Overnight Oats
There aren't many breakfasts simpler than overnight oats. Have at least these ingredients handy:
- ½ cup of rolled oats (these are the best oats for overnight oats)
- ½ cup of milk (dairy or plant-based)
- 1 tablespoon of sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or your choice)
- A pinch of salt
- Optional add-ins like fruits, nuts, or spices
Mix these in a jar, stirring to ensure everything is well combined. Seal the jar and pop it in the refrigerator. Let it rest overnight, allowing the oats to absorb the liquid and flavors. In the morning, you'll wake up to a delightful bowl of creamy goodness.
Variations and Add-ins to Customize Your Overnight Oats
The fun part comes in making the oats your own by adding your favorite flavorings. Want a burst of fruity goodness? Toss in some sliced bananas, berries, or diced apples. Craving a bit of crunch? Add a handful of chopped nuts or granola. Feel free to experiment with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra flavor boost. Or you can switch up the textures in this versatile breakfast. How about making overnight oats with chia?
If you're stuck for ideas, try this Honey Peach Overnight Oats recipe, which uses vanilla and diced peaches to lend a syrupy, fruity flavor to oats overnight. We also like the addition of Greek yogurt. Cooking overnight oats with yogurt helps to thicken up an already creamy breakfast.
You can try variations and add-ins to take your overnight oats to the next level. Everything from chocolate (syrup or cocoa powder), through to a teaspoon of matcha powder or even an indulgent spot of peanut butter and jam can make tomorrow's overnight oats recipe a different breakfast treat from today's.
The Health Benefits of Overnight Oats
Overnight oats aren't just good for your taste buds. They also deliver some useful health benefits. Their beta glucan soluble fiber brings documented benefits, ranging from lower cholesterol levels and inflammation through to along with better blood sugar management. It also supports regular bowel movements and a healthy gut. Perhaps the best health benefit of all? Fiber-rich foods tend to leave you feeling fuller for longer, creating a breakfast treat that will help prevent you snacking your way through the morning.
How to Store Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are best on the first or second day after they sit overnight, but you can safely keep them for up to five days in the fridge (as long as the ingredients you used stay within their expiry date). If you're going to do this, remember that all the ingredients will keep softening for the whole time. Leave out those like nuts or granola that are best eaten crunchy — and you might need to reintegrate the liquids and solids with a quick stir after a few days.
This breakfast is so easy to make that it's best to just create each jar on the fly before you go to bed. If you're really pushed for time, pre-fill a few days of jars with oats and simply add your other ingredients before you turn in.
Tips for Perfecting Your Overnight Oats
To ensure your overnight oats turn out perfectly every time, try adjusting the liquid-to-oats ratio based on your preference. If you like your overnight oats thicker, reduce the amount of milk. For a creamier consistency, add a bit more milk. You can also experiment with different types of milk, such as almond, soy or oat milk to find your favorite flavor combination.
These overnight oats recipes will help your family start the day with a healthy breakfast that leaves them feeling full. And this time-saver won't force them to sacrifice an ounce of flavor.