Overnight oats are one of my absolute favorite weekday breakfasts. Most of the leg work is done the night before, which means they are quick to grab and go in the morning. Overnight oats are also extremely versatile and can be customized depending on your preferences and what you have on hand. The concept is simple- soak oats overnight in liquid and chia seeds. Then in the morning you have breakfast because the oats soften in the liquid overnight and the chia seeds hold it all together. I always use the same base recipe as follows:
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup plain low fat kefir
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Mix well and let set in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add a splash (1-2 tablespoons) of your milk of choice. I usually use unsweetened soy or almond milk.
The amount in the recipe can be adjusted based on your personal nutrition needs, but try to keep the ratio about the same for optimal texture.
If you like your oats a little sweeter, I recommend adding sweetness by:
Half a mashed banana- this works great if you use frozen bananas thawed for 20-30 seconds in the microwave
Up to 1 tablespoon of honey, maple syrup, or silan (date syrup)
Use flavored kefir instead of regular, as the flavors typically contain sugar
½ tablespoon balsamic glaze (mixed into the base recipe in the morning)
1 nectarine, diced
½ cup strawberries, diced
2 large basil leaves, chopped
Tropical toasted coconut
Instead of almond/soy milk, add a splash of coconut milk to mix into base in the morning. I also recommend adding half of a mashed banana into the base for sweetness.
¼ cup tropical trail mix- this is the kind that will often include dried papaya, pineapple, and cashews. The one I found had dried papaya, pineapple, golden raisins, peanuts, soy nuts, and coconut.
½ cup fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon shredded coconut or coconut chips
Banana walnut bread
Add half of a mashed banana into the base in the morning, along with:
2 tablespoons walnut pieces
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt (this is tiny- about 1/16 teaspoon if you’re measuring)
Top with other half of the banana, sliced on top
Peanut butter and jelly
1 cup of thawed frozen mixed berries, mix into base in the morning
1 tablespoon peanut butter on top or swirled throughout
Chai spiced pear
Mix chai spice blend into base in the morning. Top with a diced up pear. This is one of the recipes that I feel benefits most from a little added sugar, so I added about a teaspoon of honey.
Chai spice blend:
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of black pepper
The additional liquid can be omitted in this recipe because of the pumpkin. In the morning, mix into oats:
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
a whole mashed banana
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or make your own blend
Top with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
1 whole apple, diced and sautéed in:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Sprinkle of cinnamon
I actually do not recommend sweetening this recipe, since the tart base goes well with the sweet apples.
Cherry almond vanilla
Mix 1 tablespoon almond butter and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract into the base recipe in the morning.
1/2 cup cherries, quartered
2 tablespoons slivered almonds