Vegan overnight oatmeals are easy to make and so tasty. They make for a perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack and are ideal for batch cooking. Follow my basics on how to prepare them and make your own personalized version. Also, check out two of my favorite versions: apple crisp and strawberry cream!
There is something quite satisfying to wake up knowing your breakfast is all ready for you in the fridge. I will make baked oatmeals or fruit parfaits when I have more time, but busy mornings are perfect for these jars of delicious oats.
Not only will these make your mornings more enjoyable, but they also taste delicious! There are endless flavors possible for overnight oatmeals and you can come up with new ones yourself quite easily. You only have to follow a few basic rules to make sure they are extra tasty.
What are overnight oatmeals:
Overnight oats are a mixture of raw oats, liquid (in this case non dairy milk), sometimes yogurt, seeds-nuts and added flavors (fruits, spices, sweetener, etc). After mixing these ingredients together, the next step is to let it sit in the fridge (usually overnight) until ready to eat.
Why making overnight oatmeals
As you already know, I am not the inventor of overnight oatmeals! These delicious no-cook oatmeal mixture have been around for a while and you might already have made them. There are a few reasons why people love them so much, and it is not only because they taste so good:
– Nutritious: They are packed with fiber and healthy fats. Also has a fair amount of protein to help you stay full longer.
– Easy to make: Just mix all the ingredients together and your breakfast will be ready in the morning.
– Can be prepared ahead: I love making them the day before of a busy morning.
– Versatile: Follow a basic recipe to get the texture right and then adjust it to your taste with plenty of flavorful ingredients.
Basics to overnight oatmeals:
#1 The ratio of oats vs liquid needs to be well balanced:
You want to reach the perfect soft but not too mushy pudding-like mixture. While the oatmeal is resting in the fridge, the oats will soak up the liquid to soften, which makes it more pleasant to eat. All this without any cooking time.
You have to remember that more liquid is needed to reach that final creamy texture, since lots will be absorbed by the oats. So, the mixture will appear thinner after you have just mixed everything.
Once the pudding is ready, verify to see if you need to adjust the texture by adding more almond milk (for thinner mixtures) or more oats or chia seeds (for thicker mixtures). Just be sure to let sit an extra 10 minutes afterwards.
Also, lots of vegan overnight oatmeals will also include coconut or almond yogurt. If you choose to do so, add less non dairy milk to compensate for the added yogurt.
#2 Get a load of flavor and texture in there:
Although I am deeply in love with oats, overnight oatmeals can be quite bland if not done properly. I love simply adding fresh fruits and spices to the oats and let it sit inside of the whole mixture for convenience, but there are different ways you can make your breakfast stand out!
– The easiest way to have your overnight oatmeal taste delicious is to add fresh fruits to it. It is also a great way to follow the seasons: cherries when summer starts, then berries and peaches mid-summer or apples and pears at the beginning of fall. Try adding oranges to your raw oatmeals in the middle of winter for a delicious zesty mixture.
– After the resting time and once you have adjusted the texture to your liking (if needed), add a layer of fruit jam in the middle of the jar, or simply on top.
– Adding nuts or seeds can improve dramatically the texture of the oats. I love mixing in sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans. Also, like mentioned above, chia seeds are amazing in overnight oats, but try adding sesame seeds or poppy seeds for a nice little crunch.
Nuts and seeds can either be mixed within the oats and liquid mixture or simply top the oatmeal when ready to eat.
– Don’t underestimate the power of dried fruits! A few dried cranberries, raisins or even blueberries will add not only more natural sweeteness to your breakfast, but also a pleasant chewy bite.
– Finally, but probably the most important is the addition of spices. They are essential to boost the taste of the oats. Especially if you are planning on grabbing the jar to go in the morning without any toppings, then be sure to add extra flavor to the main oat mixture.
Do not limit your spices exploration to cinnamon or vanilla! Cardamom goes beautifully with blueberries, consider adding a hint of nutmeg when using cinnamon or a dash of pumpkin pie spice mix will certainly put you in that autumn mood.
#3 They need some resting time, so be patient:
So now that you got the idea, you are all ready to make you own personalized version and devore your delicious no-cooking oatmeal, right?
Not too fast.
To get that harmony in flavor and texture, the oat mixture needs to rest. You need to allow some time for the oats to soften and the spices to diffuse into the liquid. Honestly, I have done many raw oatmeals with not much waiting time, which was fine. But I recommend to let it sit in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is best).
How to build a personalized overnight oatmeal
The idea is to first get the right ratio of oats, chia seeds (if using) and liquid (non dairy milk) to reach the optimal texture.
Here is the basic raw oats recipe:
Start by mixing the equal amount of oats and non dairy milk together (1:1). If using chia seeds: add an extra 1/4 cup of non dairy milk per tablespoon of chia seeds used. Then, add the extra ingredients of your choice to flavor your raw oats (fruits, spices, liquid sweetener, nuts, etc).
For example, for one person with an average appetite:
3/4 cup of raw oats + 3/4 cup non dairy milk
+/- (1 tbsp chia seeds + 1/4 cup milk)
+/- 1/2 cup chopped fresh fruits
+/- 1-2 tbsp liquid sweetener
+/- 1/2-1 tsp spice
*Note that this recipe will fit in a classic mason jar of 12oz.
After all the ingredients have been well mixed together, let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight (or at least 2 hours).
Tips in the making of overnight oatmeals:
– I love using mason jar when making them. Simply add all the ingredients, put the cover and shake. Having the mixture already stored in a air-tight container makes it convenient to simply grab and go. For this method to work well, choose a jar slightly bigger so there is enough space for the ingredients to move around when shaking it.
– If you try to limit the use of added sweeteners, then add 1/2 to 1 mashed bananas.
What type of oats can be used when making these?
I always choose old fashioned raw oats when making these oatmeals. I love how the flakes keep most of their texture, which is better than using quick cooking oats. In that case, the mixture will become super soft and too mushy. Also, although possible to use steel-cut oats, using old fashioned style is a quicker way to reach a softer texture.
How to efficiently prepare many overnight oatmeals at the same time?
Overnight oatmeals are perfect if you love to batch cook like I do. Just make a few jars of different flavors and let them sit in the fridge until you need them.
To do this in a efficient way, simply align your jars, then add the basic ingredients (oats + liquid +/- chia seeds: see basic recipe above) in each of them. Then, vary the nuts, fruits and spices you add to each of the jars to have a different mixture for each of your mornings.
How to feel full longer after eating overnight oatmeals?
Other than simply eat a larger amount, the secret is either to add more protein or fiber. Here are some additions to make to the mixture to help you avoid that 10 am hunger spike:
– One or two tbsp of hemp seeds.
– A large spoon full of almond butter or peanut butter.
– Extra chia seeds or nuts (don’t forget to add an extra 1/4 cup of non dairy milk for each extra tablespoon of chia seeds!)
– Protein powder. This not my thing, but if you have some, add a little for an easy protein boost. This might change the overall taste, though.
How long can overnight oatmeals be stored in the fridge?
Basic overnight oats can be stored for up to a week in a air-tight container in the fridge.
If making overnight oats with fresh fruits mixed in, then plan on eating them within 3 days. Or leave the fruits out and add them as a topping just before eating.
My favorite flavors: Apple crisp and Strawberry cream.
These overnight oatmeals are so delicious they often make it to my meal planning schedule. The apple flavor is perfect all year long, although especially delicious when in need of the autumn vibe. I mostly keep the strawberry version during summer when the berries are at their peak of yumminess. Follow the specific recipes below to be able to enjoy them too! Oh and check out these Pumpkin overnight oats for another delicious fall recipe!
I hope you are inspired to the make your own amazing overnight oatmeals. If you have any questions or think of anything I have forgotten to talk about, please leave a comment below so I can share an answer with everyone. Also, be sure to share your most delicious personal adaptation of overnight oatmeals so we can all try it too!
Apple crisp and Strawberry cream overnight oatmeals
For the apple crisp overnight oatmeal:
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 apple peeled, grated and chopped small
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
For the strawberry cream overnight oatmeal:
- 1/2 cup strawberries chopped
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- For each overnight oatmeal, mix all the ingredients in a jar and let sit in the fridge overnight (or for at least 2 hours).
- Adjust the texture if needed after the resting time: add extra almond milk or extra chia seeds for either a thiner or a thicker oatmeal. Top with more fruits if desired. Enjoy while still cold.