If you are a regular in my blog, you probably know that I am a huge fan of oatmeal. Hot, cold, sweet or savory, baked or in a smoothie, or as oat drinks. I love how easy they are to prepare not to mention quite filling and delicious. I made quite a lot of variations in the past 2 years, from sweet snd savory, although have a lot more sweet variations. But believe it or not, I like them both. I never thought I would like savory oatmeal, but surprisingly, I did. My favorite is the mushroom and spinach savory oatmeal, served with egg and spoonful of sesame seed oil. Oh dear! So good.
I want supposed to make a post about this, but since I made a meal prep for this, I thought why not share it. I have all this as a separate post and bigger serving for 2. I used the same base overnight oats base, divided it into 2 portions and made different variations. This is a double batch recipe. I used mostly 250ml mason jars to store them. This mason jars are so perfect in size, juts the right single serving portion, and I like how well they keep and stacked in the refrige
The base oatmeal is just rolled oats, milk, yogurt and honey. All the other ingredients are mix-in and toppings. This week I decided to go for a fruity variations since I have all 4 fruits on hand.
Before we go to each variations, let’s talk about the base oatmeal. this is as easy as mixing oatmeal, milk, honey and yogurt. I do not like the taste of uncooked oatmeal, so I always microwave the oats, milk and honey for 1 minute. After that, I add the yogurt and chia seed. Then shake, shake, shake and in to the refrigerator to store overnight. If you like a more loose and watery consistency, you can either add more milk or decrease the oats. I always follow the 1 cup of liquid to 1/2 cup of oats.
Now let’s talk about the variations. I made Mango, Blueberry, Strawberry and Banana. Except for Banana which is all year round available, the other 3 are seasonal Summer fruits. With Summer only few months, I want to make the most of these fresh Summer fruits.
I am not specifying the measurement for the garnishing and mix in, you can add more or less depending on your preference. This is a very flexible recipe, there very small room to make mistake with toppings and garnishing.
As I mentioned earlier, the base oatmeal recipe is the same for all of these 4. My favourite variation is the Mango. Here I have a homemade Mango Filling at the bottom, you can also use fresh diced Mango or Mango purée,. Next layer is oatmeal, then diced Mango then oatmeal again and diced Mango. I like the combination of coconut and Mango so I sprinkled some shredded coconut. You can also use coconut chips .
- Base Overnight Oatmeal
- Mango Filling or Jam
- Fresh sliced Mango
- Shredded Coconut
Next is a simple Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Overnight Oatmeal. The bottom layer is a homemade Strawberry Chia Seed Jam, but you can also use Strawberry purée or diced Strawberry. Just like the Mango, just have the oats and Strawberry layered alternately. Always have toppings for a more pleasing look and extra delicious treat. I
- Base Overnight Oatneal
- Strawberry Chia Seed Jam or regular Strawberry Jam
- Fresh Diced and Whole Strawberry
Next is Nothing But Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal. The base is just fresh purred Blueberry, then layers of oats and fresh Blueberry. A little bit of flax seed on top to garnish. I used my mini food processor to purée the Blueberry, about 1/4 cup or more .
- Base Overnight Oatmeal
- Blueberry Puree
- Fresh Bluberry
- Flax Seed
Last but not the least, Cinnamon Banana Overnight Oatmeal. This one was actually just an extra. I had some left that are not that much to fill this 250ml mason jar. So this one have extra cinnamon powder, sliced banana, chopped dried Cranberry and Apricot and a bit of shredded Coconut. I even added some fresh diced Mango when I ate it.
- Base Overnight Oatmeal
- Sliced Banana
- Dash of Cinnamon Powder
- Dried Cranberry and Apricot
- Shredded Coconut
- Flax Seed
One thing I like about doing this breakfast meal prep is because it makes morning less busy, breakfast more enjoyable and easy. You can have it to go if you are in a hurry to leave and have it with you to go. You can eat it straight from the jar or if you are at home and want a more cozy feel, you can transfer it in a serving bowl and add more garnish like tie one I did here. I like doing this for ones that I used fruit puree or jam because I like them fully mixed.
What Are Overnight Oats?
Before we dive into how to make overnight oats and the many endless variations that you can make, let us first get to know overnight oats in a high level view. So you ask, what are overnight oats? I asked the same question when I first saw numerous overnight oats recipe in Pinterest. Overnight oats are a mix of oats (normally rolled oats), liquid (normally milk or non-dairy milk substitute), a sweetener ( the likes of honey, maple syrup or plant based sweetener) and yogurt (often plain greek yogurt). The mixture is left overnight in the refrigerator to soften the oats, hence the name “Overnight Oats”.
Is it Safe to Eat Uncooked Oats Like Overnight Oats?
One thing that makes overnight oats appealing to most people is the simplicity of making it. Overnight oats do not require any cooking, the overnight soaking process is what soften the oats. The “No Cook” characteristic is what makes it appealing to most people especially for busy people who are often on the run and do not have time to prepare breakfast. This very same characteristic (no cook) is also the reason why some people stay away from overnight oats, the idea of eating uncooked oats seems to be questionable to some people.
I did my own research because I was one of those people who question the idea of eating uncooked oats, plus the uncooked taste of the oats is not really appealing to me. Here is what I found.
Uncooked oats contains phytic acid (also known as phytate) which is in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans and binds to essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, and iron, preventing your body from being able to absorb them. This means that if You consume too much phytic acid, you can have issues with mineral deficiencies. So does this mean we need to be worried about eating raw oats? Not really.
- The overnight soaking process will remove some of the phytic acid (if not all)
- Soaking oats also helps to break down the starches, so they’re easier to digest than un-cooked oats.
Bottom line, we have the green light to GO ahead and enjoy them. But if you are still worried and hesitant, do as I did. Microwave the oats and milk for full 1-2 minutes to slightly cook and softened it, then leave it overnight in the refrigerator to further soften and breakdown.
How to Remove the UnCook Taste in Overnight Oatmeal
I was not a fan of overnight oatmeal, but I gave it a chance and tried it few times. Although I love cooked oatmeal, I find overnight oatmeal to have the grainy “uncooked” taste which I do not like. After several attempts and several variations, I finally accepted that overnight oatmeal is not for me. Time to move on, there’s more to life than overnight oatmeal 🙂 And so I thought that was the end of the story, apparently not because here I am writing about this overnight oatmeal smoothie. But I did change something to address my issue of that grainy “uncooked” taste. Instead of using cold milk, I microwaved the mixture for 1 minute on high power. This somehow cooked the oats and removed that “uncooked” taste that I do not like, plus I do not have to worry about eating uncooked oats although it is ok to do so. Maybe its just me, if you do not have that problem you can skip the microwave part. I have to tell you, this smells absolutely amazing, I can literally imagine myself eating an actual chocolate. This is pure chocolate indulgence for breakfast, I am so ready for breakfast. Are you?
How To Sweeten Overnight Oatmeal
There are several options of how you can sweeten overnight smoothie, and they are just like how you would sweeten a regular smoothie. Honey is my first choice to sweeten this drink, but maple syrup, agave, regular white sugar or any plant based sweetener will work too,. Please note that the amount of sweetener depends on the type of sweetener that you use, do not use the exact measurement of honey when substitute it with any of the other sweetener option. When doing the substitution and you are not sure how much to add, add it gradually and adjust as needed.
What Type of Milk to Use for Overnight Oatmeal
Just like the sweeter, there are several options that you can use for milk. Regular milk is the basic, any fat percentage works but remember the higher the fat the creamier the taste of the drink. You can use non-dairy milk substitute like oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk and cashew milk. If you are using a homemade oat milk, it is not recommended to re-heat it before soaking the oats. Homemade oat milk tends to get thick when heated, so juts be aware of this.
What are the Basic Ingredients for Overnight Oats?
All you need is a good overnight oats base recipe and from there you can make endless variation. Here are the base ingredients that you need.
- Rolled Oats – For better texture and consistency, do not use quick cooking oats.
- Milk – You can use full fat cow’s milk, or non-dairy milk like Almond Milk, Oats Milk, Coconut Milk or Soy Milk
- Sweetener – Here you can use honey, maple syrup, brown or white sugar or any plant based sweetener. Remember that the measurement varies depending on the type of sweetener you choose to use. Adjust as necessary.
- Yogurt – Plain greek yogurt is the most common as it has a thicker consistency which makes the mixture creamy. You can also use flavored yogurt like Vanilla or Coconut. Even the one with mix in fruits like Peach, Strawberry, Cherry will work too, just make sure to select a flavor that will work well with the variation that you are making. Take note that using a flavored yogurt produces a lighter consistency as when using plain greek yogurt which produces thick consistency.
- Salt – Salt adds a nice taste to the oats.
- Topping and Add-On – Pick whatever topping you like. Most common are fresh fruits, but dried fruits gives a nice texture too. Nuts and granola adds a nice crunch, while chia seed and flax seed makes the consistency extra thick.
How to Make Overnight Oats?
- Soak the rolled oats in milk, yogurt and sweetener
- Leave overnight in the refrigerator
- Add toppings and Enjoy!
Can You Microwave Overnight Oats?
Definitely. You can microwave the oats before leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. This removes the “uncooked” taste which sometimes makes it unpleasant to eat (at least for me). If you like your overnight oats hot, microwave it before serving it, then add the topping as desired. Overnight oats can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
Overnight Oats Flavor of the Month: Mango and Coconut Overnight Oats
Nothing fancy and complicated. Just simply Mango + Coconut, and more Mango on top. I used coconut milk to give this a more coconut flavor, but any regular milk will work as well.
Tips in Making Overnight Oats
- Use Old Fashioned Rolled Oats for better texture
- Follow the ratio of 2:1 for liquid and oats. Too less liquid and you will end up with a dry oats, and too much liquid will end up to runny oats.
- Soak at least 4 hours, although overnight or 8 hours is recommended for better texture
- Do NOT add the toppings during the soaking process. Add the topping once you are ready to serve it, this way the toppings stays fresh and crunchy
- 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Milk
- 4 tablespoon plain Greek Yogurt
- 4 teaspoon Honey or any sweetener you prefer
- 2 tablespoon Chia Seed
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder (optional)
The options are endless, here are few ideas that you can start with
- Fresh Fruit: kiwi, bananas, strawberries, apples, raspberries, peaches, blueberries, plums, figs, mango,
- Nuts: walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, peanuts
- Seeds: chia, pumpkin, hemp, flax, sunflower
- Butters: peanut, cashew, almond, chocolate hazelnut
- Other Stuff: mini chocolate chips, cocoa powder, plain or flavored yogurt, peanut butter, coconut chips, shredded coconut
- Milk – Can be substituted with non-dairy milk like Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Oats Milk or Soy Milk. You can also use just water or fruit juice like Orange.
- Honey – can be substituted with maple syrup, brown or white sugar, or any plan based sweetener like Stevia. Measurement varies depending on the sweetener, adjust as necessary
- Greek Yogurt – can be substituted with flavored yogurt, make sure to choose the flavor that will work well with the variation that you are making
Ratio: The base oatmeal recipe can be used for any variations and flavoring. The important thing is to follow the ratio of 2:1 for liquid and oats. There are variety of ways to make it or flavor it, be creative and enjoy!
- To remove the “uncooked” taste, microwave the milk, rolled oats, chia seed and honey for about 1 minute. Add the yogurt then stir. Store in a covered container. Leave in the refrigerator overnight or at least minimum 4 hours.
- If you do not mind uncooked rolled oats, you can skip the microwave and simply mix everything together (except the Mango) and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
- Make the Variations: Remove the conatiner from the refrigerator and shake or stir. To make the variations, divide the oatmeal into 2 portions.
- Very Mango Overnight Oatmeal:
- Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Overnight Oatmeal
- Nothing But Blueberry Oatmeal
- Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal
- Some rolled oats might require more liquid to soften. If you find your mixture too dry or thick and the oats are not yet soft, add a little bit more milk. Adjust the consistency according to your preference.
- It you are mixing it directly in the jar or container where you intend to store it, make sure to use bigger jar. This makes the mixing easier, or you can even just shake it to mix it. This is very convenient especially if you are having it to go.
- You can also mix everything in a big bowl and just transfer it into a jar or container for storage in the fridge.
- For best result, add the mix-in and toppings the day that you want to eat it.
- This recipe makes 2 servings, or 4 if you are using 125ml mason jars. I made 2 batches so I have 4 variations and stored them in a 250ml mason jars.
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Categories: No Bake, Recipe, Small Batch Recipes
Great ideas! I love overnight oats, and the possibilities seem endless!
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True! Nice option for Summer too since it’s cold oatmeal
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