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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Overnight Oats

Wake Up to Overnight Oats

We all know that oats are nutritious and good for our health. But for some, a bowl of hot oatmeal in the morning just doesn't sound appealing. Allow me to introduce you to the new craze: overnight oats! These uncooked oats are served cold with endless mix-in possibilities. It's a breakfast that sticks with you, fighting off morning hunger pains with its abundance of fiber and protein. And since you must prepare it the night before, it makes for a quick breakfast during the hustle and bustle of the morning. Plus, did I mention it's also easily portable?

Overnight oats start with the obvious: oats. Rolled (old fashioned) oats are the way to go. Steel cut oats are too chewy, and instant oats disintegrate into mush. Next, add liquid, which overtime softens the oats. Simple dairy milk will do, but so will almond, soy, or coconut milk. The oats need enough milk to be creamy when stirred in the morning, not tough as concrete. Use ½ cup liquid to ½ cup oat ratio. Yogurt can also be added for a creamy texture. When using yogurt, try a 1:1:1 ratio and adjust the liquid to your liking after stirring in the morning.

The fun part is choosing the mix-ins. Pumpkin puree, peanut butter, spices, flax seed, chia seeds and coconut can be added the night before, but try saving fresh fruit and nuts to top it off in the morning so you don't lose any crunch. Recognize that if chia seeds are added they will soak up more liquid so an increase in milk may be needed. Eating a mason jar full of overnight oats is a fabulous way to wake up in the morning, and it's a creative way to pack in a nutritious breakfast.

Try this recipe for overnight oats with fall flavor!  Rather have it warm? Check out my original warm Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal recipe.


Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats (Printable PDF)

½ cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon ground flaxseed (optional)

½ cup nonfat milk

2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons sugar-free maple syrup

1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (optional)

In 8 oz. container (pint size jar works well) stir together all ingredients, except pecans, until well combined. Cover and store in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Stir, and if desired, top with chopped pecans.

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 270 calories, 9 grams fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 39 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 11 grams protein

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