In an confusing twist of events that's beyond all adult understanding, my 5-year-old decided he likes oatmeal. This ill-timed conclusion occurred once the weather settled in at a steady 80 degrees, and around the same day I decided to forgo all hot breakfasts--especially ones (ahem, oatmeal), I'd been trying to get him to eat all winter long. Oh the irony! But when a picky 5-year-old decides he likes something, you make it. Enter these overnight oats. They're so refreshing, can be prepared in advance, and are endless in their flavor possibilities. All it takes is a little advanced planning--overnight oats can be made 1-3 nights before you're ready to eat them so I usually make a bunch of individual servings in mason jars or tupperware (any lidded container will do), and we eat them throughout the week. You can substitute regular milk for coconut milk, almond milk, or whatever, and topping possibilities can include granola, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, or fruit. And that bit of advanced planning makes mornings so much easier. Just stick in a spoon and breakfast is done.
Here are my three go-to versions. All recipes are for individual servings, but you could also quadruple the recipe make a big bowl, cover it with plastic, then scoop out as much as you'd like. I also love serving these for breakfast when staying with a big group. So much easier than frying up eggs or pancakes in the morning!
MANGO COCONUT OVERNIGHT OATS (pictured) Combine 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, and 1 tsp honey. Stir together. Top with 1 tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconut and 1/2 cup mango chunks (I use frozen). Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
MIXED BERRY OVERNIGHT OATS Combine 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, a pinch of cinnamon, and 1 tsp honey or maple syrup. Stir together. Top with 1 tablespoon each ground flaxseed, sliced almonds (optional) and 1/2 cup mixed berries. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
CHOCOLATE BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS Note: Since bananas will brown, we stir this all together and add cocoa powder to disguise the color change). Mash 1/2 of a banana, then stir in 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder and 1 tsp honey. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.