A breakfast dessert, you can call it that way. This Caramel Apple 🍏 Pie Overnight Oats is so creamy with bits and pieces of chopped fresh Apple inside and out and some chopped toasted Pecans. More than the Apple, the Caramel Sauce is actually what I really love about this overnight oats.
It is Fall season once again! let’s have a good head start and make this Caramel Apple Pie Overnight Oatmeal. At first I was hesitant about this variation. I like Apple but I am not crazy about it, same goes with Caramel. But these two when put together is like a match made in heaven for me. The crunchy tangy Apple plus the smooth, creamy Caramel Sauce complemented each other. I had small amount of leftover vegan Coconut Caramel that was thinking what to use for. I thought of using it on my toast which is definitely great, reminds me of Coconut Jam. But I have to say using it for this overnight oats was a better choice and definitely something I don’t mind doing again.
I used my homemade Caramel Sauce, but any caramel sauce will work. I understand it could be hassle to make a Caramel Sauce just to use 2 tablespoon of it. So if you can find a small jar in grocery, go for it. But if you have time, then go ahead and make it. There are several ways you can use Caramel so don’t worry about leftover. Just some ideas, pancakes, sundae and ice cream, French toast, oatmeal, cakes and cupcakes or for fruit dip.
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 2 minutes to slightly cook and softened it, then leave it overnight in the refrigerator to further soften and breakdown.
What are the 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, caramel sauce 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: Caramel Apple Pie Overnight Oats
It doesn’t have to be Fall for us to make this Caramel Overnight Oatmeal. This is just like any other oatmeal that you can make any time of the year. People seems to love making Apple dishes during Fall because of the abundance of Apple, although Apple is available all year round. This variation is as easy as any of my overnight oatmeal recipes. This uses the base ingredients of oats, milk, yogurt and sweetener. What makes this special and sinfully delicious is the Caramel sauce that was mixed with the oats and drizzled on top. Apple is quite hard which makes it ok to mix it with the oatmeal and have it soak overnight. I usually add fruits mix-in when I am serving but this one is an exception. I mixed chopped Apple to the oats and I also top some when I ate it. Instead of using honey for sweetener, I used the caramel sauce to give it more caramel flavor. The best part of this overnight oats is the topping. Chopped fresh crunchy Apples, chopped toasted Pecans, and the caramel sauce that I simply cannot get enough. I made my own caramel sauce, sometimes I used the dairy free caramel sauce and sometimes I used the regular caramel sauce. Either way, its delicious. It is so nice to have extra for dipping some of the sliced Apples.
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
- 2 tablespoon Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Milk (any milk will work)
- 4 tablespoon plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup Apple – diced
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
- pinch of Salt
- toasted Pecans (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, caramel sauce 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,oats, salt and 1 tablespoon (or more) of caramel sauce for 2 minutes. Add the yogurt and 1/4 cup diced Apple. Save some for toppings. 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 just mix rolled oats, caramel sauce, yogurt, pinch of salt and Apple.
- When ready to eat, add sliced Apple, chopped nuts and drizzle with Caramel Sauce.
- Serve hot or cold. If you are serving it hot, microwave the mixture first before adding the toppings.
- 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.
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