Although the days of overnight oats’ Instagram fame may be gone, for some people they remain a dietary staple. As it is something I get asked about a lot, today I’m going to be sharing my tips and advice on how to make the best overnight oats.
Lets start with the basics, what are overnight oats? Is it just a fancy word for porridge? How is it different to bircher muesli?
Overnight oats are oats that have been combined with liquid and normally other ingredients and left, as the name suggests, overnight to soak. When the oats are given longer to soak, they absorb all the liquid and become super creamy. They’re typically eaten cold, which is a key difference to porridge, although the ingredients can be similar. Overnight oats are normally more creamy and decadent than bircher muesli, and are made with dairy-type products, whereas bircher muesli can use fruit juice or water to soak the oats.
What do I need?
-A container. This can be a bowl or tupperwear of some sort.
-OATS!!! These can be whatever sort, rolled, instant, porridge, anything works so play around to find your favourite.
-Your favourite milk substitute. I tend to use almond, although anything works. Apparently oat milk works particularly well (unsurprisingly).
-Dairy-free yoghurt. I recommend using a slightly sweeter flavour if you like a sweet taste, as it saves having to add additional sweeteners later. My favourite is vanilla flavour.
Optional (but recommended) extras:
-Chia and hemp seeds.
-Fruit. Literally any soft fruits (tinned, fresh, frozen) work here, play around with different combinations to find your favourite. If you use harder fruits like apples, I would recommend cutting them up into very small pieces.
-Your favourite spread. I like to use almond butter to add some more protein and a slightly nutty taste to the oats, although I’ve also tried Biscoff to make a super sweet luxurious bowl!
-A sweetener. If an unsweetened yoghurt was used then you may choose to add another sweetening option such as sugar, maple syrup or agave nectar.
There are loads of other ingredients that you could play around with, such as seeds and nuts, protein powder, spices and flavourings (cinnamon is my favourite) and any other topping ideas that you could dream of.
Although this seems like an intimidatingly long list, it is important to know that making overnight oats is definitely as complicated as you want it to be and at their core they are actually incredibly quick and simple to make!
So how do you make them?
- Start by measuring out your oats. I like to use a small mug size, although this is adjusted based on how hungry I am!
- Then add your dry add-ins like chia and hemp seeds (I use about a tablespoon of each). Give them a little stir to mix them up with the oats.
- Add enough ‘milk’ to cover the oats. Give them a good mix so that the oats don’t get stuck together. The consistency should be that of thick custard, you don’t want them too dry or liquidy at this point.
- Then add the yoghurt. I like to use a couple of large spoonfuls. This is a really important step as the yogurt is what makes the oats creamy dreamy!
- If the oats are too dry, add some more milk. You want quite a liquid consistency, you should be able to pour the mixture!
- Now add the fruit. I like to add some at this point, and some just before I eat them. At this point I add any fruits that might impart or absorb flavour such as anything tinned or berries. Stir to combine.
- Cover your oat mixture and allow them to soak overnight. I leave mine in the fridge.
- In the morning, uncover your oats and give them a good stir. Decide how you want the consistency. If they feel a bit dry, add some more yoghurt. If they are too thick, add some more ‘milk’.
- Time for the fun part! I add almond butter (a spoonful), cinnamon (a liberal sprinkling) and any extra fruit that I want. Make your oats as Instagrammable/ aesthetically pleasing as you want!
- Dig in!
This recipe is for a super healthy and well balanced breakfast that will fill you up. If you are in a rush, you can easily make your oats in an on-the-go container to take and eat with you.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you make it, or if you would like me to add step-by-step images to the instructions.