What are Hassle-Free Overnight Oats?
Basically, this is a no cook method of making a cold oatmeal by leaving the oats to soak overnight in the fridge (minimum time is roughly 2 hours but its far better to leave them for longer). By soaking the oats, you are allowing them to absorb the liquid and soften them so you can consume them without cooking. The traditional method of making oatmeal is obviously on the stove top or in the microwave.
By the time you wake up in the morning you have a ready to go, healthy and hearty jar of creamy oatmeal. It is very pudding like in consistency rather than a porridge. The best thing is that you reap of all the health benefits of oats in a quick and easy breakfast.
- Oats are extremely high in fiber roughly 4g per serving, which will fight off hunger for longer.
- They have more protein per serving than most grains at 5g, (tip for gym goers and fitness people, why not add a scoop of your favorite protein powder).
- They are a nutrient dense food.
Basic ingredients for Making Overnight Oats
Oats. This is non-negotiable, for obvious reasons. Don't bother with instant oats, stick with good old fashion plain oats. Feel free to use gluten free oats if you wish.
Milk. This is your liquid and you can replace it with water if you like. However, it is more common to use full fat, 2% or low fat milk. This can easily be substituted for plant based milk for those that require it.
Optional Ingredients for Your Oats
Chia seeds. These are nutrient dense and really make a great texture when left to soak over night
Greek or vegan yogurt. This boosts protein content and flavor
Vanilla extract. Adds great flavor and will elevate the oats.
Toppings. Anything from crushed nuts to chocolate shavings, let your creativity decide here.
Ratio is key here to get a pleasant consistency. Try the consistencies we suggest but don't be afraid to alter the quantities of liquid you use to find your perfect balance. Once you get it right, the sky is the limit and you can really focus on your toppings and flavors.
The best place to start is 1 part oats, 1 part liquid plus 1/8 chia seeds.
Always start by combining your dry ingredients first so oats and chia seeds, a mason jar is recommended but a bowl or multiple glass cup is perfectly acceptable. Next add your vanilla extract and your yogurt preference. Now we will add your liquid choice slowly mixing until there are no clumps. Next, we need to seal or cover the mixture and place it in the fridge overnight. In the morning cover it in your favorite toppings get a spoon and enjoy!
Protein Overnight Oats (Proats)
For those who have been focusing on increasing their protein intake, whether it is for gym or dietary reasons, adding protein powder may be the perfect solution. Overnight oats on their own are not a super-rich source of protein but they can be with just a few extra ingredients and with added protein powder. Adding protein to your oats (aka proats!!) will keep you fuller for longer. There are many flavored protein powders as well as unflavored whey protein, with many vegan vegetarian friendly powders as well.
Don't worry if you don't have or like protein powder, there are some great alternatives to boost protein content. A quarter cup of Greek yogurt will add roughly 4 grams of protein. Cottage cheese is another healthy source of protein, adding 7 grams per quarter cup. Last but not least are any nuts or nut butter, chopped or crushed nuts are a great topping while mixing nut butter into the oats can really result in a lovely flavor, with the added benefits of healthy fats which will make the oats even more filing.
Whether you are trying to eat healthier in the morning or looking for a hassle free breakfast to start the day, overnight oats are the perfect food to add to your diet.