If you’ve been looked at food topics on Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media recently, you’ll probably have seen lots of beautiful pictures of overnight oats. Yes they are super-photogenic 🙂 but they’re also a delicious, nutritious, and fun breakfast! Not to mention a great option for those of us on gluten-free or dairy-free diets.
“Overnight oats”, as they’re known in the US, are actually nothing new. When I was living in Europe, I came across them often in the form of Bircher Meusli. They just didn’t come in a pretty mason jar. The original recipe was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner as a combination of raw rolled oats soaked in water overnight, lemon juice, cream, apple pieces, and hazelnuts or almonds. The doctor created the dish for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar “strange dish” that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps.
We love today’s overnight oats because you can really be creative with your ingredients (including protein sources), spices, and non-dairy milk alternatives. The basic recipe calls for equal quantities of raw rolled oats and a milk/non-dairy alternative, plus whatever ingredients you like, mixed together in a jar and allowed to sit overnight refrigerated. But you could get adventurous with dried vs fresh fruit, sweet vs savory toppings, and different spreads (nut butters, nutella, lemon curd, apple sauce, seed butters).
You can add your ingredients the night before if you want them to get all mushy and mix together, or if you want some toppings to stay crispy (like corn flakes or fresh fruit) you can add them in the next day. You could even add a bit of coffee/espresso powder for that extra kick in the morning!
Below are a selection of delicious variations from KathEats.com. For dairy-free alternatives, just replace the milk and/or yogurt with your favorite non-dairy alternative! We hope you enjoy!
1) Knock On Wood: 1/3 cup oats, milk, greek yogurt, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, pinch salt, pinch cinnamon, half banana, 5 strawberries, all soaked together raw in the fridge overnight.
2) In a Jar: 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds, Pinch salt, 1/2 banana, peanut butter on the bottom, Honey Clusters cereal on top the next day
3) Barney Butter Jar: Add into the near-empty Barney Butter jar: 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup greek yogurt, half banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, Pinch salt, Sprinkle cinnamon, your favorite crunch cereal on top.
4) Pumpkin: 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 banana, Pinch cinnamon + allspice + salt, your favorite crunch cereal and a spoonful of peanut butter on top.
5) Pillow Top: mixed with frozen raspberries and blackberries (that thawed overnight), chia seeds, cinnamon, 1/3 cup oats, milk, yogurt, pinch of salt, your favorite granola and sunflower butter on top. (Tasteful Pantry potential substitution…if you can have dairy, add a spoonful of Nutella instead of sunflower butter on top for an extra bit of decadence!)
6) With Crumbled Muffin: 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 banana, blueberries, raspberries, and some crumbled muffin or granola bar on top.