You don’t actually need an entire night to enjoy overnight oats in the morning. In fact, with a little help from a secret ingredient, you can have soft and creamy cold oats for breakfast in under an hour.
Most days, Matt and I have this for breakfast. Depending on what kind of fruit and toppings we have in the house, we’ll switch it up — but it never gets old.
My perfect combo? Extra thick rolled oats or museli topped with fresh berries and my homemade almond butter, which is pictured here. (You can make your own make-shift museli, which I often do, by just adding dried fruit like raisins or dates and chopped almonds and/or sunflower seeds to your rolled oats. Voila!)
This cold cereal for breakfast is satisfying, healthy and keeps you full for hours.
About that secret ingredient? It’s chia seeds. These superfood sprinkles help jumpstart the oats as they absorb the liquid. In my house, we use almond milk. I make a batch each week! I know it sounds like it would be difficult and kind of crazy, but it’s actually easy. (Check out the recipe here. Soon enough you’ll be scoffing at Silk in the grocery store.)
This post is going to also be the first of my new approach to recipes here on the blog. If I’m honest, I hardly ever follow recipes. Typically, I search for recipes online for inspiration and tweak it as I see fit. I think you’ll be surprised to find how well you can do on your own. I only really pay attention to measuring when baking or making something totally new, but I like to get a grasp for the general idea and take it from there. This is also how you become more of a just-through-it-together kind of cook — by becoming comfortable and familiar with flavors, cooking methods and tasting. Always tasting!
So, instead of providing exact measurements of salt or olive oil (or in this case, milk for overnight oats) I’m going to try and share my kind-of recipes and guide you through the dish. That way, you won’t get lost if your phone or tablet dies, and you can learn how to make it your own!
We’ll start with an easy one: Cold cereal.
Do you remember making microwave oatmeal as a kid? You were not measuring milk or water — you just filled your bowl with enough liquid to cover the oats. That’s the same idea here. First, you start with oats. The typical serving of oatmeal is about 1/2 cup, which is what I use, but you can just eyeball it. Start with as much oats or museli as you like, and add chia seeds. I usually just sprinkle some on top, like a few teaspoons. If you’re unfamiliar with chia seeds, they are omega-3 rich tiny seeds that are full of antioxidants and fiber. They’ll soak up the liquid and puff up — they get sort of jammy and can even be made into a pudding as they sit in liquid.
Then, channeling your microwaving-oats childhood self, you add just enough liquid — whether that’s almond milk, dairy, or a mix of yogurt and milk — to cover the oats completely. Place the bowl in the fridge and wait at least 30 minutes if you can. You can eat them earlier, but the longer they sit the creamier the result will be. (Overnight really is the best, but it’s still delicious under an hour.) Once they’re soft and creamy, and you’ll notice the oats have soaked up the liquid, add your toppings and enjoy! Easy, right?
I love to add fruit — like strawberries and blueberries — with almond butter, which I also make on a weekly basis. It’s healthy, delicious and completely satisfying. If you can find a great brand of Museli (I love Bob Mill’s Museli) try that too. Museli has seeds, nuts and fruit already in it, giving you even more nutrition and flavor. Topping with granola is also a delicious addition, and gives it a nice texture!
- Honey, peanut butter and banana
- Blackberries and Greek yogurt with honey
- Raspberries with chocolate granola on top
- Chocolate milk overnight oats?!!
- Layered with chia pudding or jam
- Coconut, almonds, dates and honey
Feel free to try different liquids here, as I mentioned the very-exciting chocolate milk overnight oats variation. SO good! I’ve done hazelnut and pistachio milk, as well as good old fashioned regular milk and greek yogurt with honey — it’s all good.
Overnight (or not) Oats
- rolled oats or museli
- milk, almond milk, or any dairy/non-dairy alternative
- chia seeds
- fruit, almond butter or any toppings you like!
Place oats (1/2 cup or so) and chia seeds in a jar or bowl. Cover oats completely with milk or non-dairy alternative. Place in fridge, and let sit for at least 30 minutes*. Top with fruit, honey, almond butter or whatever your overnight-oats heart desires and enjoy!
*If you forget about your oats and it’s been more than 8 hours or a full day, I’d recommend tossing it.