One of my favorite parts of summer that I look forward to is making these fun breakfasts to have ready in the refrigerator all week long. Have you tried overnight oats yet? Basically, it is rolled oats combined with yogurt, your favorite milk, then refrigerated so the oats absorb all the milky goodness and turn into a breakfast pudding of sorts! You eat them cold (which is why we love them in summer) and they are so filling and good for you. There are endless options and flavors out there to try. I'm sharing my top six with all the how-to's and ingredients you will need. I think we should call these "Jars of Joy" because that is how they make me feel when I know there is one waiting for me in the morning!
Makes 2 servings (2 pint size jars)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal or chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Whisk together all ingredients in a glass measuring cup. Divide into 2 pint size jars. Add flavors and toppings desired (see below for favorites). Put on lid and refrigerate overnight. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Eat cold or warm.
Gather your ingredients for the basic vanilla recipe. After making this, you can decide what flavors and extras to add to make them super tasty! You will need old fashioned oats, plain Greek yogurt, milk (this can be regular milk, almond, coconut, any milk you desire), flaxseed meal or chia seeds (both equally delicious and nutritious), vanilla and salt. You can also use honey or maple syrup for a sweetener.
Measure out your basic vanilla recipe ingredients and combine them in a glass measuring cup. Each recipe makes two pint size jars, or two servings. You will need 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2/3 cup milk, 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or chia seeds (not only to these add health benefits, but they help it to thicken and get the perfect consistency of creamy and thick!), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Whisk all ingredients together.
Divide into two pint size jars, or any small container with a lid. You can add some sweetener to these if you want plain vanilla overnight oats. For our favorite combinations, see below!
Nutella Banana Overnight Oats
To one pint size jar of the vanilla recipe, add a tablespoon of Nutella and some banana slices. Stir to incorporate. You won't need any sweetener for this as the Nutella adds enough sweetness. Refrigerate overnight. Whenever I add bananas to my overnight oats, I make sure they are the first jars eaten so the bananas don't turn brown and mushy. When serving, top with a few more banana slices, and drizzle with some warm Nutella.
Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats
To one pint-size jar of the vanilla recipe, add 1 tablespoon cream cheese (I had whipped cream cheese, so I added a little more) and 2 teaspoons strawberry jam. I also like to add fresh strawberries, chopped. You will not need to add any sweetener to this if you use jam. Otherwise, you can add a little honey. Refrigerate overnight. Before eating, top with chopped fresh strawberries.
Almond Joy Overnight Oats
To one pint-sized jar of the basic vanilla recipe, add 2 teaspoons baking cocoa powder, 1-2 teaspoons shredded coconut, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. This one will need some additional sweetener, so I add about 2 teaspoons honey. Refrigerate overnight. Before eating I like to top with sliced almonds and a little more coconut.
Blueberry Pancake Overnight Oats
To one pint-sized jar of the vanilla recipe, stir in 2 tablespoons blueberries and 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, top with a few more fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
To one pint sized jar of the vanilla recipe, stir in 2 teaspoons baking cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon peanut butter. I add 2 teaspoons honey to sweeten this recipe. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, drizzle with additional heated peanut butter, if desired.
Cherry Chip Overnight Oats
To one pint sized jar of the vanilla recipe, stir in 1 tablespoon cherry pie filling and 1 teaspoon mini chocolate chips. You will not need additional sweetener for this one! Refrigerate overnight. To serve, top with a cherry and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.
There you have it! Our six favorite varieties of overnight oats. Each one is delicious and tasty in it's own way. I love the versatility of this recipe and the variety of options you can make. At the beginning of the week, I will make three of the vanilla recipes, fill 6 pint sized jars, and make each jar a different variety. I write the names on the lids and then kids can grab them for breakfast, a snack, or on the go. When my kids were doing swim team and we had early practice every morning, these babies were so handy to have on hand.
If you haven't tried overnight oats yet, I highly recommend them. It is not oatmeal. No warm mushy spoonfuls going on here. Just thick, healthy, breakfast "pudding" that tastes like dessert, but are breakfast!
Recipe Source: Vanilla recipe adapted from a recipe at wholefully.com