Another overnight oats recipe? Well, yes. As a self-professed breakfast lover, I could honestly just eat brekky all day long. It’s funny to look back now and think about how I had long avoided overnight oats (or bircher, as some of you might call it) because I thought the texture would just be… well, kinda slimy and gross. How wrong I was. Once I actually tasted it, I was in breakfast heaven.
And yes, there are many different kinds of overnight oats. While the principle is the same (you mix all the ingredients together the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight, only to wake up to delicious breakfast in the morning, no further work required), simple alterations make for different consistency, texture, colour and taste.
These beauties are special. Dairy free, refined sugar free and nut free (if you omit the flaked almonds and use coconut milk or yoghurt), they are suitable for most diets. They are also super nutritious and filling, containing seeds, nuts (optional), probiotics and rolled oats. However, the real stars of these overnight oats are the frozen fruit pieces which you stir into the mixture the night before (with all the other ingredients) and which defrost overnight, resulting in super creamy fruity scrumptiousness. Now this is what I call delicious ingenuity.
Why are these overnight oats so nutritious?
Let me take you through the ingredients so you can make your own judgment.
Obviously! Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a whole grain (which can be gluten free) and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. What I love about oats is that, due to its high fiber content, they give you sustained energy which will make you feel full for longer.
I have been using either macadamia milk or cashew milk. Both are dairy free and delicious. However, if you don’t have either, feel free to use other dairy-free alternatives (such as coconut milk) or, if you don’t need this breakfast to be dairy-free, cow milk should work just as well. For nut free overnight oats, use coconut milk.
I have been using Nakula plant-based probiotic natural yoghurt here, just because I love the taste, the ingredients they use (coconut milk, almonds, cashews and added probiotics) and the fact that they add probiotics, to keep your gut happy. Again, if you don’t have any of this plant-based yoghurt, you could use coconut yoghurt (look for one with added probiotics and, again, this will make these oats nut free) or even natural Greek yoghurt – if you use the latter, the overnight oats will not be dairy free though.
Nuts and seeds
There is a quarter of a cup of seeds and nuts in this serving, which is great – as is the fact that there are a lot of different seeds and that variety, again, is great for your gut.
I have included pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds as well as flaked almonds here. They give it a bit of a crunch (they soften overnight) and contain a good dose of fiber as well as healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As such, they can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
You could always include other seeds you like (perhaps sesame seeds or flaxseeds/linseeds) but full disclosure – I haven’t tried those yet but can’t see why they wouldn’t work. Sesame seeds have a stronger flavour to them so they might change the taste profile slightly, so just don’t go crazy on your first try, ok?
Omit the almonds if you want to keep this nut free (you will also need to switch the nut-based milk and yoghurt to coconut milk and yoghurt, as noted above).
Maple syrup and vanilla
These are my sweetener and flavouring. With the addition of the frozen fruit, I think you could absolutely skip the maple syrup if you so desire (especially if you’re planning to top your overnight oats with more fruit or some delicious homemade jam) but my kids like these a little sweeter. There is only a tablespoon of maple syrup here so nothing too crazy, even if you decide to add it.
Finally, I add a half a cup of frozen fruit. More precisely, I have been using sliced frozen strawberries (no added sugar). This is simply fabulous. And I can say that because it wasn’t my idea (this recipe has been inspired by an overnight oats recipe from Lyndi Cohen, the Nude Nutritionist in which Lyndi has included (optional) frozen berries).
You see, you mix in the frozen fruit chunks with everything else the night before, they defrost overnight and in the morning, they are perfectly defrosted and ready to be eaten. Plus, the creamy overnight oats get a little shot of fruit juice in them, and that’s always a bonus.
While I’ve been super keen on my frozen strawberries, you could use other frozen berries, frozen mango chunks, frozen lychees, or anything else your heart desires. The world is your frozen fruit oyster.
Frozen fruit overnight oats [dairy and refined sugar free, nut free possible]
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup plant based milk (I use macadamia or cashew milk) (substitute with cow milk, if you don't need this to be dairy free, or coconut milk if you would like to keep this nut free)
- 1/2 cup plant based yoghurt (preferably with added probiotics, I use Nakula plant-based probiotic natural yoghurt) (substitute with Greek yoghurt, if you don't need this to be dairy free, or coconut yoghurt if you would like to keep this nut free)
- heaped 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 1/4 cup (total) variety of seeds (I use pepita, sunflower, chia and hemp seeds) and flaked almonds (do not use the almonds if you would like to keep this nut free)
- 1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries (or substitute other frozen fruit chunks)
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl the night before and leave in the fridge (covered) overnight.
- In the morning, stir and serve immediately. You can top it with fresh fruit, a bit of homemade jam, more seeds or nuts, or absolutely nothing because it is delicious just as it is.
This recipe makes one generous serve. It’s perfect for when you’re hungry or if, like me, you like to share with your kids. Usually I give them a few spoons each of this and feel good knowing they’ve just eaten all this goodness (in addition to their toast, cereal or whatever else they’ve having).
This recipe is dairy and refined sugar free.
For nut free, you will need to substitute coconut milk and coconut yoghurt for the nut-based milk and yoghurt I have used, and omit the flaked almonds.
This recipe has been inspired by an overnight oats recipe from Lyndi Cohen, the Nude Nutritionist).