I have a new technique for you: Instant Overnight Oats. It’s the shortcut for the shortcut of eating oatmeal! Sometimes you just don’t have all night 😉
Instant Overnight Oats
Is that an oxymoron?! I think so.
We all know overnight oatmeal as the popular way to soak overnight old fashioned rolled oats (or instant or quick cooking steel cut oats) in milk and/or yogurt in the fridge overnight to make a no-cook, portable, high protein breakfast.
All too often though, I forget to make them the night before!
With two kids to get out the door, I am all over the quick breakfasts these days.
This technique came to me serendipitously (is that a word?!) because after mixing up my ingredients, I was pulled away from breakfast for 10 minutes to tend to the boys.
When I came back I realized I had a wonderful overnight oats consistency in much less time!
And so I’ve been making what I’m calling “Instant Overnight Oats.”
If you’re meal prepping or out the door, prep this quick breakfast in a couple of mason jars and grab and go!
The Types Of Oats
- Steel cut oats = cut only
- Quick steel cut oats = cut and steamed
- Old fashioned rolled oats = cut and rolled
- Quick oats = cut, rolled, and steamed
Oat nutrition is the same across the board.
The only difference is the surface area (which affects cooking time) and if they’ve been lightly steamed.
Oats are a whole grain and a great source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
And yep, you can eat raw oats! Soaking them gives them a slightly chewy texture.
What’s so cool about instant overnight oats?
Instant overnight oats can be served chilled or warmed up and are one of the most delicious, versatile, and easy-to-make breakfasts you can dream up!
They’re great for busy people, those who don’t like “gummy” oatmeal, people making breakfast at work, those wanting to lower cholesterol, and anyone looking for a protein-packed filling breakfast.
Plus the topping and mixin ideas are endless, suiting any flavor profile you can dream up.
There is no cooking in this recipe so you don’t need a microwave or stovetop! (Although you could heat them just a tiny bit in the microwave to take the chill out.) The only thing you need to make your oats ready to eat is a bowl and spoon.
Overnight Oats Dietary Variations
- Swap out cow’s milk for coconut milk or almond milk
- Use gluten-free oats to make this gluten free
- Stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt for added flavor
- Add Greek yogurt and/or protein powder for additional protein power
- Mix in chia seeds for fiber and thickness
- Drizzle nut butter on top, naturally, for more fat staying power and deliciousness!
How to make instant overnight oats
The main ingredient is obviously instant oatmeal.
One packet of instant oats will do or you can use a 1/3 or 1/2 cup of instant oats from a canister.
I keep plain on hand to minimize sugar and maximize creative flavor control, but if you are a strawberries ‘n cream girl, you can certainly use flavored.
Generally the ratio is 1:1 oats to milk, and I like a third component of yogurt for a 1:1:1 ratio.
Step 1: Add quick oats to an equal part liquid and stir together.
I used one packet of plain instant oats, 1/3 cup milk, and a little chocolate protein powder and peanut butter powder for flavors.
Step 2: Come back 10 minutes later and add any crunchy toppings you like.
Step 3: Add fresh fruit for more fiber and antioxidants
Step 4: Check out that texture!
Naked Nutrition sent me their powdered peanut butter and grass-fed whey protein to try out, and I’ve been adding them to this recipe and smoothies.
They make very pure ingredient products (hence the name naked). I’m talking ingredient lists of 1-3. Just what you need and nothing more!
The powdered peanut butter ingredient list is a list of one: “roasted peanuts.”
And the Vanilla Less Naked Whey has three ingredients: whey protein from grass-fed cows, vanilla powder, and organic coconut sugar.
This is by far the fluffiest protein powder I’ve ever used, and the vanilla flavor reminds me of marshmallows! You know I’m a huge fan of texture.
I love it in the vanilla version of Instant Overnight Oats too.
Note I usually use way less than a big scoop of powder in a non-blended recipe like this. Maybe 2-3 teaspoons at the most.
These crunchy toasted coconut flakes (from TJs) are pretty awesome too!
What breakfast mixtures have you been making lately?
Other quick single serving breakfasts:
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Mug Bake
- Deep Dish Single Serve Pancake
- The Original Oatmeal Pancake Recipe
- Smoothie In A Bowl
- 100+ Oatmeal Recipes!