I'm a big fan of food that is served in individual portions. It plays to my desire to be prepared ahead of time and to my longing to be sure that I have made enough for everyone. I'm particularly a fan of desserts in individual dishes (think Affogatos, Easy Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecakes, Mini Banoffee Trifles, Mochaccino Pots) not least because by the end of dinner, I want the whole occasion to have morphed into a DIY event, and slicing or portioning is just not part of the dream.
Now Overnight Oats (a culinary cousin of Bircher Muesli) brings individual portioning to the breakfast table and it, in fact, ticks, not one, not two, not three but FOUR of my boxes for a gorgeous breakfast ♡
Why is Overnight Oats a winner of a breakfast?
- It's served in individual portions - Yes, I know that this isn't essential, but I've seen enough cauldrons of Bircher Muesli relatives in a hotel breakfast buffet to be certain that it is not visually appealing when it's served in bulk. And as above, individual portions mean I can be certain how many people I'm able to feed.
- I can prepare it at least one day ahead and it will sit in the fridge without any fuss until it's needed.
- It really is a nutritious and satisfying breakfast that even the most work-shy teenagers can get behind (ie Mum makes it and they can just take it out of the fridge and eat it).
- It tastes delicious + you can choose your own toppings or enjoy it naked (ie with no toppings). Or indeed, I guess there's nothing to stop you from actually eating it naked, but that's a story for another day…
What exactly is Overnight Oats?
It's a breakfast dish eaten cold, straight from the fridge and is made by soaking rolled oats in milk and yoghurt overnight. The end result is a creamy, satisfying breakfast to which you can add your choice of toppings.
What ingredients do I need for Overnight Oats?
- Rolled Oats - old-fashioned rolled oats work best here. Quick cook oats will also work but the end result has a little less bite-worthy texture.
- Milk - whichever type you prefer. If you use a non-dairy sweetened milk, you might want to hold off from adding any additional sweetener.
- Yoghurt - I like Greek yoghurt. It's creamier, less sharp and contains more protein. I've never made Overnight Oats with a flavoured yoghurt - let me know if you have!
- Ground Flaxseeds - this ingredient is optional but it adds a little extra dietary fibre and also those Omega 3s.
- Maple syrup or honey - these will give you a hint of sweetness. I'm not always looking for this but the option is there.
So how do I make Overnight Oats?
I'm a fan of making things easy and I love a recipe that I can remember -
Equal quantities of rolled oats and milk + half the quantity of yoghurt
Mix, portion and chill in the fridge overnight. It takes no more than 5 minutes to prepare and the transformation happens overnight in the fridge, while you sleep. I like that.
And how about the toppings?
Here are my favourite combinations -
- Raspberries + blackberries
- Berry compote (frozen berries warmed in a pan with a spoonful or two of raspberry or blackcurrant jam). Freezes beautifully - I use an ice cube tray.
- Sliced Medjool dates + sliced almonds
- Cape gooseberries + passion fruit
- Cinnamon apples (peel, core and cut up an apple. Add it to a pan with a little cinnamon, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a splash of water. Cook gently until the apples are a bit soft)
- Sliced banana, peanut butter and chocolate chips
Other topping ideas -
- roasted plums
- toasted coconut
- baked rhubarb
Things that I have learned about making Overnight Oats -
- This is a time when I find that using a standard cup measurement is the quickest and easiest method for measuring the ingredients.
- You can make this into a vegan breakfast by choosing a non-dairy milk and yoghurt.
- This is a very filling breakfast so don't go too large with your portions, unless you are feeding insatiable teenage boys.
- It will keep nicely in the fridge for 3-4 days, so making a batch at the start of the week will take you pretty much through to the end of the week.
- Any toppings which are crunchy but delicate (like toasted coconut, nuts or granola) will become soggy if you add them too early. Save these to add just before eating. The same also applies to bananas, obviously.
- This is a handy breakfast to have prepared if you have visitors to stay.