Overnight Oats 101

 

If you’ve never heard of overnight oats before, let me give you a quick brief. Overnight oats are a no-cook method of making delicious porridge. Instead of cooking your oats with liquid on the stove, you simply mix rolled oats with liquid and your choice of spice, and let it rest in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, you have a creamy, raw porridge that is perfect for easy grab-and-go breakfasts. It is so simple to make. You can make it in a jar the night before, so when rushing in the morning, you can grab it and eat it on the way to work or at your desk.

Rolled oats are a whole grain and contain dietary fibre, and you can include lots of fresh fruits, nuts and spices in the toppings to ensure you get a balanced breakfast including phytonutrients (the important nutrients we get from plants), proteins and healthy fats!

Oats with toppings like the ones in these recipes are not only far tastier but are also a far healthier choice than sugary cereals (which often lack fibre and contain lots of sugar)!

So, should you swap out your dosa or idli with sambar for overnight oats?

Definitely not every day! The vegetables, lentils and fermented rice and gram flour that make up a South Indian breakfast have fantastic health benefits (just aim to eat proportionally more sambhar than filling up only on idli). I would never tell anyone to give up their morning dosa!

But sometimes, you need a delicious breakfast which is portable.

Also, even more importantly, a variety of foods is the key to sustainable health. Switching up your breakfast sometimes can prevent you from eating habitually, and support you to eat more mindfully as you savour the different flavours.  

Overnight oats are a great option when you need an easy, portable breakfast, especially if it will replace the muffin that is your normal on-the-go breakfast option.

There are so many different combinations you can experiment with, so enjoy getting creative and using whatever fresh, local produce is available in your local store for the toppings.

But first, you need to understand the base recipe.

Base overnights oats

This is delicious on its own but really it serves as the base for getting creative and making various toppings, so this healthy breakfast option never gets boring. 

75g Rolled Oats

200ml of milk (I prefer almond milk)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

½ teaspoon honey, jaggery liquid or coconut sugar (optional)

Pinch of salt (like a tiny pinch)

Squeeze of lemon 

how to

Mix everything together in a glass jar (you can use a bowl if you don’t need it to be portable!), stir well to ensure everything is combined well. Leave enough room for toppings at the top of the jar! Pop in the fridge overnight. Done.

In the morning, top with your favourite nut butters, seeds and fruit! That is it!

I have included 3 of my favourite variations below, but please also get creative and use the base recipe to invent your own!

 

Turmeric and Almond Overnight Oats with Chikoo

 
Turmeric Overnight Oats with Almonds and Chikoo

I feel turmeric is having a real moment in the global spotlight. Everyone in London is drinking turmeric lattes (that is a thing, and actually really great).

Here in India its health properties have been known about forever.

It has anti-inflammatory effects and is an antioxidant. These oats celebrate this classic Indian spice. 

 

Ingredients

75g Rolled Oats

200ml of almond milk

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

½ teaspoon of honey

Pinch of black pepper powder (a tiny pinch. Black pepper vastly increases our body’s ability to absorb the curcumin in the turmeric. You won’t be able to taste it apart from a little kick!)

Squeeze of lemon

Toppings

1 ripe chikoo, peeled and sliced

Chopped almonds (Optional- soak your almonds in water for 8 hours. Soaking almonds can make them easier to digest for some people)

1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

How to

Mix all the oats ingredients together, stir a couple of times and pop in a jar or a bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

In the morning, take the bowl or jar out of the fridge and arrange the sliced chikoo over the top. Mix the remainder of the toppings together and scatter over the top. Mindfully enjoy the contrast of flavours and textures, eating slowly and consciously.

 

Mango and Coconut Overnight Oats

Mango and coconut overnight oats India

Ok this one requires you to wait for mango season, so I am sorry to those of you that might be reading this out of season.

But start dreaming of this, this is the perfect breakfast once mango season starts.

 

Ingredients

75g Rolled Oats

200ml of coconut milk

½ teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Squeeze of lime

Toppings

½ of a mango

Fresh coconut or coconut flakes

5 fresh mint (pudina) leaves

Pomegranate seeds

How to

Mix all the oats ingredients together, stir a couple of times and pop in a jar or a bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. If the coconut milk is the kind that comes in a carton or can for cooking with, it may be a little thick and you will want to mix it with water until you get the consistency of cow's milk to ensure the texture of the oats is right in the morning.

In the morning, chop the mango into small pieces and either grate the fresh coconut or sprinkle over the flakes. Finely shred the mint leaves and scatter along with the pomegranate seeds over the top.

Banana and Cinnamon Overnight Oats

75g Rolled Oats

150ml of cashew milk

½ banana

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Squeeze of lemon

Toppings

The other ½ of the banana

1 tablespoon of almond butter

1 tablespoon soaked and dried sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon of raisins

How to

Mash the banana until it is a paste and mix well with the cashew milk, cinnamon and vanilla.  Mix all the oats ingredients together, stir a couple of times and pop in a jar or a bowl and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

In the morning, slice the banana thinly and arrange around the edge of the bowl. Spoon the almond butter into the middle and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and raisins.

Did you enjoy making any of these recipes? Which one is your favourite? I’d also love to hear what you normally eat for breakfast! Do you like mixing it up or sticking to a routine every morning?

Please leave a comment below or get in touch via my contact page

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