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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Overnight Oats, Two Ways!

(Originally posted from Pepper Lynn!)
My, how time has flown! Our sweet Elijah is 2 ½ weeks old and growing like a weed. He’s strong and healthy, and my heart is filled with gratitude that he could be part of our family. While the joys of this phase are numerous, so are the challenges. The honeymoon period has come to an end, and we are now figuring out how to juggle the needs of an active toddler and a very hungry boy. More change looms on the horizon as Dan prepares to take a job at a new company at the end of this month. It’s a crazy season, but the snuggles and smiles of my babies are definitely boosting morale.
It’s in times like these that I become acutely aware of my weakness and am so appreciative of friends and family members who have surrounded us with support. A steady stream of meals has freed me from having to plan nightly dinners, and the visitors have offered a welcome dose of adult interaction. Starting this Saturday, we’ll also have two consecutive weeks of live-in help (Dan’s mom is coming for a week, followed by my mom), which I expect will be a huge blessing in the sanity-saving department.

Not much (if any) of what I’m cooking right now would be considered “gourmet,” but simple recipes like these Overnight Oats are helping provide nourishing fuel when it is most needed. I first tried this meal a couple of years ago after reading about it on Oh She Glows and Kath Eats Real Food, and I’ve been making it ever since. If the idea of cold oatmeal turns you off, I can’t say I blame you, but I encourage you to give this a try. The oats have a nice chew, and since the flavors of the oats and yogurt are relatively neutral, they easily take on the flavor of whatever mix-ins you choose.
Nutritionally, this meal can’t be beat. Full of fiber and protein, it provides a strong start to the day and often keeps me full till 1pm. My favorite way to eat overnight oats is with pumpkin and peanut butter mixed in. Below, I’ve provided my recipe for that concoction as well as for a strawberry banana version, but feel free to add in whatever sounds tasty to you. (Oh, and did I mention these oats take about 2 minutes to prep? That’s my favorite part!)

Overnight Oats
Makes 1 large serving.
  • ½ cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or jar, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, stir in the mix-ins of your choosing.

Variation #1 – Pumpkin Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Variation #2 – Strawberry Banana
  • 2 to 2 ½ tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 small banana, mashed
Tips and Tidbits
  • The sky is the limit when it comes to the possible flavor combinations! In addition to the toppings I mentioned above, you could add any of the following: dried coconut, granola, nuts, ground flax seed, Nutella, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, or fresh or dried fruit.
  • If you don’t have Greek yogurt on hand, feel free to use whatever type of yogurt is available. You may want to reduce the amount of milk depending upon the consistency of the yogurt so that the final result is thick and creamy.
  • What are chia seeds? These tiny, dark colored seeds can be found in most health food stores and are a nutritional powerhouse of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Chia is also a complete protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids.
  • The craving for overnight oats sometimes strikes unexpectedly, and I don’t want to wait overnight before consuming a bowl of this healthful treat. In these instances, I reduce the liquid slightly and allow the oats to soak for at least 30 minutes. The more soaking time, the better, but a half hour is usually sufficient to soften the oats to my liking.



  1. I just learned started.eating chia seed. Cant wait to.try this

  2. These look simply delicious. How can I follow you on pinterest?

  3. For the Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Variation, do you still add all the same ingredients from the plain one too? Thanks!

  4. Would this work with steel cut oats?

    1. Wondering about this too.

    2. Yes it does tried it the other day.

  5. where do you buy chia seeds?

    1. I normally use Amazon especially for organic foods, the local stores are alright but prices are way too high! Added a link in the post to the exact seeds I use :)

  6. Can I use flax seeds instead?

  7. How much does this make? Looks like a 16 oz jar. Since Im not crazy about strawberry jam, think i will try it with blackberry jam instead. The pumpkin & peanut butter sounds good also.

  8. I thought this would be a decent breakfast, but dang it is loaded down with calories! Your variation #1 has over 650 calories in it, and that's assuming using 1% milk and non-fat greek yogurt (the lowest calorie version).

    No wonder you're full until 1pm

  9. I was told the oats should be cooked any feedback anyone?

  10. Not sure how anyone got 650 calories a serving from this. I used the recipe x4 and then divided it into 6 equal servings. I used Chobani yogurt, Soy Milk, Chia and Rolled Oats. Each of my servings came to 180 calories, 2.3 grams each of fiber/fat, and 9 of protein. That's a pretty healthy sized and filling breakfast for only 180 calories.

  11. Can you use steel cut oats for this??

  12. Yeah no steel cut oats unless you grind them up first. Old fashioned rolled oats. I do mine with almond milk (30cal/cup) and chia seeds and small amount maple syrup. I use a 3 to 1 ratio milk to oats.. Tasty every time

  13. Can you use quick oats? I grabbed the wrong oats at the store.