Looking for a quick and easy breakfast that you can make in advance to grab-and-go in the morning?
Overnight oats are a scrumptious and nutritious breakfast that’ll keep you full for hours. The flavour combinations are endless, with my four favourite creations being chocolate, blueberry, pumpkin spice and peanut butter.
I love to start my day with a bowl of porridge. However, making a fresh bowl of oats every morning can be a tedious task. That’s why I swear by making my oats in advance, enabling me to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible in the morning (plus no cleanup, which is a MAJOR bonus). If you like your oats warm, place the overnight oats in the microwave (in a heat-proof dish) for 1-2 minutes on high.
The base ingredients for all these flavours are the same; oats, yoghurt, milk, sweetener, protein powder, vanilla extract, chia seeds and flax seeds. If you want, you can keep it super simple and omit the last 4 ingredients. Still, I prefer to add as many nutrient-packed ingredients as possible to my breakfast, ensuring I’m getting a healthy source of carbs, protein and fat into every meal. Then, you can go crazy with additional ingredients like cacao powder, peanut butter, raisins, or fresh fruit.
What type of oats should I use?
You’re probably aware that oats come in various shapes and sizes, from instant oats to steel-cut oats. But do you know what the difference between them is?
There are four types of porridge oats; instant oats, rolled (old-fashioned) oats, steel-cut oats and whole oat groats. The main difference is the level of processing in their production, which affects their texture, cooking time, nutrient content and flavour. Here’s a list, from least to most processed:
- Whole Oat Groats
- Steel Cut Oats
- Rolled (Old-fashioned) Oats
- Instant Oats
The less processed the oats, the higher their nutrient content and the slower they’ll be digested. Therefore, if you’re looking for a breakfast that’ll keep you full all morning, I’d recommend steel-cut or rolled oats rather than instant oats. They may take a little longer to cook conventionally, but as you’ll be soaking the oats overnight for this recipe, the cooking times irrelevant.
My favourite oats are jumbo, rolled oats as they produce a perfect oatmeal texture that’s not too chewy but also not mushy!
Overnight Oats Base Ingredients
Oats. Whether you use steel-cut, rolled (old-fashioned), or instant oats is completely up to your taste and texture preference. Personally, I love rolled oats, but all the above types are still a good source of fibre and plant-based protein.
Milk. I usually use unsweetened almond milk in my overnight oats. It’s low in calories, sugar, and a good source of calcium and vitamin E. Oat milk provides a thicker, creamier consistency that works especially well with chocolate and peanut oats.
Sweetener. I like to use natural, unrefined sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup or agave syrup. If your protein powder is also sweetened, reduce the amount of syrup you add to the recipe. I like to taste test before adding more.
Yoghurt. Yoghurt helps to make the oats extra creamy and indulgent. I’m currently obsessed with natural coconut yoghurt, high in protein and benefiting the gut from the addition of live cultures. Just make sure to check the label for added sugar or additives.
Protein Powder. I always use plant-based protein rather than whey as it sits better in my stomach and tends to be more natural. I’d recommend using vanilla protein powder for this recipe as it won’t interfere with the flavourings.
Chia Seeds. I love to sprinkle chia seeds on everything, adding a nutrient punch to any dish. They are jam-packed full of fibre, protein, omega-3 and antioxidants. They also soak up any additional liquid in the overnight oats, creating a thick consistency by morning.
Flaxseeds. You won’t even notice the ground flaxseed in this recipe, but your body will defiantly appreciate it. Flaxseeds are highly nutritious, packed full of dietary fibre, omega-3 and lignans, which may reduce your cancer risk.
Vanilla Extract. Depending on how much vanilla is in your protein powder, you might want to omit this additional vanilla extract.
What flavour combinations can you come up with?
I’m always looking for ways to switch up my morning oats, and I’d love to see your creations. Tag @fruitful_flora and add #fruitfulflora to your post to feature on my story. I’m thinking of something with chocolate and orange for my next batch…Print
For the Base:
- 1/2 Cup Oats
- 1 Cup Milk of choice (or Water)
- 1tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1/2tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
- Sweetener of choice (Agave, Maple Syrup or Honey)
- Tbsp Yoghurt of Choice
- 1Tbsp Protein Powder
- 1/2Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1Tsp Cocoa/Cacao Powder
- Sprinkle of Chocolate Chips/Cacao Nibs
- Nut Butter
- Handful of Blueberries
- Shredded Coconut
- Extra Chia Seeds
Pumpkin Spice Flavour:
- 1/2Tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2Tsp Cinnamon
- 1Tbsp Pumpkin Purée
- Handful of Pumpkin-Spiced Granola
- 2Tsp Peanut Butter
- Sprinkle of Nuts
- Handful of Raspberries
- Add all the Base ingredients to a jar/bowl and mix thoroughly
- For Chocolate, add the cocoa powder and some chocolate chips to the mixture. The next morning, top with banana, strawberry and cacao nibs
- For Blueberry, add the blueberries to the base mixture and stir. The next morning, top with banana, shredded coconut and chia seeds
- For Pumpkin Spice, add the spices and pumpkin purée to the base mixture and stir. The next morning, top with granola
- For Peanut Butter, add 1tsp peanut butter to the base mixture and stir. The next morning, top with raspberries and peanut butter
1 Cup = 250ml (metric measure)