Convenient, creamy and flavorful, overnight oats is a fun breakfast option. Even better with some options to reduce carbs if you want!
Is there anything as synonymous with healthy breakfast as overnight oats?
Well, while it’s got a great reputation, when I asked my dietitian sister about it, her reaction was “that’s a lot of carbs.” Yes, it’s probably fine for an 18-year-old track star, but when you’re older and tending toward pre-diabetes… maybe not the best choice.
So, when I decided to make overnight oats anyway, I knew I needed to go the extra mile and add some “makeover” options. Just for readers like me whose 18-year-old track star days are behind them! While it’ll never be keto-friendly, now it’s a breakfast for the masses.
What are Overnight Oats
The Cambridge Dictionary defines overnight oats as “a breakfast food consisting of oats that have been left overnight in water, milk, or yoghurt, often with fruit or nuts added.”
The soaking is done for a couple of reasons. First, you can prep a tasty and healthy breakfast the night before–and who couldn’t use the extra time in the morning! And second, soaking a grain like oats may improve digestibility (though this point is sometimes contested since rolled oats are already steamed and rolled).
Carb Reduction Options
As I’ve mentioned, the one downside to this breakfast might be the high carb levels. Happily, this is very easy to adjust with a few tweaks. My reductions are as follows:
- A little less oatmeal but some added healthy ground flax: 7 g carbs reduction
- Almond milk instead of reduced fat dairy: 3 g carbs
- Stevia (or other non-caloric sweetener) instead of 1 T maple syrup: 13 g carbs
23 grams few carbs? Count me in!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. Creamy and flavorful with vanilla and cinnamon, this is delicious as is and even better with your favorite added toppings
Easy. Just mix a few ingredients the night before and breakfast will be waiting in the morning.
Healthy. With lots of healthy ingredients like oatmeal, yogurt, and flax, this will get your morning off to a great start. Even better if you top with fruit!
What You’ll Need
- Rolled oats. You can also use quick oats, though the texture will change some.
- Ground flax seed. This adds nutrition and a slight nutty flavor. You can also use extra oatmeal.
- Chia seeds. This adds nutrition and creaminess.
- Almond milk. This adds nutrition and hydrates the oats.
- Yogurt. This adds nutrition and hydrates the oats. Some people feel the acidity may help improve the digestibility of oats.
- Sweetener (optional). If desired, this can be sweetened to taste with maple syrup, sugar, stevia or the sweetener of your choice. I use stevia.
- Vanilla. This adds flavor and helps reduce the sweetener needed.
- Cinnamon. This adds flavor and helps reduce the sweetener needed.
- (Optional) Fruit, nuts, etc. For topping.
- No special tools are needed.
Step by Step Directions
Mix all ingredients (except toppings) in a lidded container (or mix separately and pour into a lidded container). Cover the container and place in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 2-4 hours.
When ready to serve, you can use original container or transfer to a new bowl. If needed you can adjust sweetener or liquid at this point. It can be eaten plain or topped with your chosen toppings.
How to Serve
These can be eaten from the original container or transferred to another bowl for serving. It’s tasty right out of the jar, but give me half an excuse to load something up with fruit, and I’m so there.
I did three topping variations:
- blueberry and mandarin
- apple with pecans and homemade caramel syrup
- strawberry with blackberries and orange zest
But the sky’s the limit!
Other topping ideas include granola, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, home roasted pepitas, dried fruit and more!
Variations and Special Diets
Another say to create different flavors of Overnight Oats is to add other ingredients when you mix up the oats. Some things to consider include peanut butter, jelly, cocoa and chocolate chips. Depending on the add-in, you may want to add additional liquid.
This is already vegetarian. You can easily make it vegan and dairy-free by using plant-based milk and yogurt.
And if you’re looking for other fruity breakfast ideas, how about this Blueberry Baked Oatmeal!
Preparation and Leftovers
I have always made my Overnight Oats the night before, but I’ve heard this can be eaten after as little as 2-4 hours.
They will stay good refrigerated about 5 days. It’s best to add the toppings the day of, though with very fresh fruit, that may keep a few days too.
Tips & FAQs
I have only made this with rolled oats (aka old-fashioned oats). Steel cut oats are different enough, so that I recommend checking out a tested recipe. Quick oats are an option however. These can be used with this recipe but will result in a softer, less chewy final product.
If you aren’t sure how much sweetener you’d like or will be swerving someone else, you can omit it and add it when served.
What should I store my overnight oats in? I used a wide-mouthed 8-ounce canning jar, which just fit the ingredients. But any jar with a lid will do–or a nice pyrex storage container. I prefer glass so I don’t need to worry about anything leaching from the plastic, especially if I may store it longer than just overnight.
And if you’re really psyched for oatmeal now, take a look at some more recipes from my friends!
- Baked Oatmeal with Berries from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries from Blogghetti
- Chai Tea Overnight Oats from Palatable Pastime
- Chocolate Baked Oatmeal from Jen Around the World
- Homemade Instant Oatmeal from The Spiffy Cookie
- Overnight Oats Lower Carb Option from Art of Natural Living
- Pebble Top Oatmeal Bread from That Recipe
- Rasmalai Oat Pancakes from Magical Ingredients
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 Tablespoon flax seed ground
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup yogurt or more almond milk for vegan or even lower carb
- 0-1 T Sweetener or maple syrup or sugar I used 10 drops stevia
- ¼ t vanilla
- ¼ t cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients (except toppings) in a lidded container (or mix separately and pour into a lidded container). Cover the container and place in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 2-4 hours.
- When ready to serve, you can use original container or transfer to a new bowl. If needed you can adjust sweetener or liquid at this point.
- Top with your chosen toppings or enjoy plain.
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