When it comes to food, I often get on a kick where I’ll make one thing I really enjoy for a week or two and happily munch away until I either get tired of it or find something else that interests me. For the past week, I have gotten back into making overnight oats. They are delicious, filling, and as nutritious (or not) as you want to make them.
Today, I’m going to cover the basics of making overnight oats and what you can add to the oats to improve their flavor and nutrition, because let’s face it, oatmeal by itself is about the nastiest food known to Western Civilization.
Making Overnight Oats
The absolute bare minimum you’ll need for making overnight oats is a container you can seal (bonus points for mason jars), oatmeal, and water. What you’re going to do it add the water and oatmeal in a 1:1 ratio into the jar, mix it all up, seal it, and throw it in the fridge overnight night (hence the name “overnight oats”). You can add more water to the mix, depending on how runny you like your oatmeal, but my own experiments have shown that a 1:1 ratio is nearly perfect, maybe just a smidge more liquid over the oats.
But that alone isn’t incredibly nutritious OR delicious. There are many things you can add to customize your overnight oats to your personal tastes. For the sake of this post, I’m going to split them down into some basic categories and offer some suggestions.
Liquids & Consistency Modifiers – Changes the texture of the oats or are alternatives to the water used to soften the oats
- Regular/Almond/Coconut Milk (Adds some flavor, makes the oats a bit creamier, and slight modifies the macros of your overnight oats)
- Regular/Greek Yogurt (This can really up the sugar levels depending on what type you get. Check the nutrition facts first)
- Eggs (Just seeing if you’re paying attention, although…)
- Peanut Butter (I’ve never added this to my overnight oats, but I’ve seen recipes that have and can see the argument for it)
- Coconut Oil (For a boost of healthy fats and to slightly alter the consistency)
Spices & Flavorings – While typically not a serious boost to the nutrition profile of your overnight oats, these items can spell the difference between enjoying your breakfast and choking it down.
- Flavored protein powder (Good for adding flavor and a boost of protein)
- Cocoa powder (Not the Nestle chocolate milk crap)
- Vanilla Extract (Absolutely love this stuff in my overnight oats)
- Cinnamon (Another must. Also helps with your insulin response)
- Instant Coffee (Goes great with the other items on this list)
Toppings – Most everything else falls into this category. This is the extra stuff that you add into the overnight oats. Your imagination is the only limitation here, but here are a few things I like to add to my overnight oats.
- Dried Fruit (Raisins, dried cranberries, etc)
- Fresh/Frozen Fruit (Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, but not grapefruit)
- Nuts & Seeds (Sliced almonds, pistachios, etc)
- Coconut shavings
- Chunks of dark chocolate
As you’ve probably guessed from reading many of my posts, I like efficiency. My life is hectic enough without adding long drawn out processes to muddy up the waters further.
I find that if my something is too time consuming or convoluted, it eventually gets scrapped. This has happened more times than I care to count with both my diet and fitness regimens. I work better with simple, effective, and efficient methods.
That’s why I love overnight oats. They are all the above. Just add your ingredients into a jar or bowl, mix it all together, and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Doesn’t get much better than that! No cooking required.