Publication date January 19, 2024
The Easiest Overnight Oats Vegan Recipe
Craving clean ingredients and a creamy taste without the dairy? Look no further! This overnight oats recipe is your ticket to healthy breakfasts (or even satisfying snacks!) all week long. Plus, it's so simple, that even your kids can help (bonus points for extra morning cuddles!).
No matter if you're a busy bee rushing to work or you are home with small kids demanding your early morning attention, this vegan goodness will have you nourished and ready to rock your day.
What are Overnight Oats?
As you may have guessed by its name, overnight oats are simply oats left to soak overnight instead of cooked in the morning, making them perfect for a quick nutritious breakfast.
It’s a bit similar to making cold brew coffee instead of a regular cup of hot coffee in the morning. You just leave it to 'brew' overnight in the fridge to save time in the morning. And just as with coffee, the result of the overnight method is not just colder but tastes very different too. Some even say that it tastes better – especially on hot summer days.
Are Overnight Oats Healthy?
So are these overnight oats really healthy or just taste good? The answer is simple, Yes it’s usually healthy to add it to your diet. But, you need to keep in mind that whether it’s healthy or not depends on what else you put in them, including what oasts you use.
The most common type of overnight oats is just oats soaked overnight in milk. Oats are generally a great source of protein and fiber, as well as assorted vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, manganese, and phosphorus among other things. But, processed oats, such as quick oats, contain considerably less protein and fiber than regular or rolled oats.
As you already know, there’s plenty of calcium and protein found in mink too, including many vegan alternatives, and adding chia seeds means more protein and fiber, as well as omega-3 fats. If you’re looking to cut down on fats, you can also even use water instead of milk.
Why we love this Overnight Oats Vegan
Aside from the above-mentioned benefits, here are a few more reasons why we love the overnight oats vegan recipe:
- It’s inexpensive, healthy filling, and easy to make and customize with toppings.
- Overnight oats can be eaten cold, straight from the fridge, or you can heat them if you like.
- You can use a mason jar or other storage container to take your oats on the go if needed.
If you haven’t tried overnight oats, I hope this inspires you to gather your ingredients and give it a go!
What ingredients are in the Overnight Oats Vegan Recipe?
Before we dive into the steps to make a delicious vegan overnight oats recipe, here are a few ingredients that you’ll need to grab:
- Oats – The most important! Usually, old-fashioned rolled oats work best. Quick oats can also be used but will be really mushy. You can also use steel-cut oats and yield a stiffer texture (I prefer the Overnight Steel-Cut Oats for the recipe).
- Non-dairy Milk – In this recipe I’m using vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk, but oat milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc., will work too. For decadence, you can try coconut cream or homemade vegan cream. And when in a pinch, you can also use water in place of milk!
- Flax seeds or chia seeds – Ground flaxseed and chia seeds not only help thicken the oats overnight, but they also add heart-healthy omegas. (You can add as per your preference).
Healthy Oatmeal Toppings
You can make numerous additions to overnight oats to boost their taste and nutritional profile.
Certain types of ingredients even make this popular morning porridge a good option to support weight loss goals. On that note, here are a few healthy oatmeal toppings you can try:
- Yogurt – Make your overnight oats extra-creamy by adding 1/4 – 1/2 cups of unsweetened vegan yogurt (plain or vanilla flavored).
- Sweetener – Pure maple syrup is a great sweetener option, containing healthy manganese and zinc. You can also use coconut sugar, organic pure cane brown sugar, date sugar, or coconut nectar.
- Fruits – I often add some sort of fruit, whether fresh or dry to my overnight oats vegan meal. Fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are low in sugar, making them a healthy option. You can also add sliced bananas, diced apples, or applesauce. But, if using dried fruit, stick with unsweetened such as raisins, currants, barberries, blueberries, or cranberries. Chopped dates, apricots, and cherries are also great additions.
- Nuts & Seeds – This one is my favorite, the addition of nuts, seeds, or nut butter adds protein. Many nuts and seeds contain essential omegas that are beneficial to heart health, making them another good reason to add a small handful. You can add any combo of pecans, walnuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almonds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds.
How to Make Vegan Overnight Oats
So now that we’ve discussed ingredients, toppings, and other additional things important to make perfect vegan overnight oats, it’s finally time to know how to make it. Here are three simple steps to get you started:
- Take a small container and mix the oats, optional flaxseed meal or chia seeds, and plant milk of choice. If you’re adding yogurt and sweetener, you can add it here or add it when you serve it.
- Cover and place the container in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- When ready to eat, finally, top with optional toppings, sweeteners, and extra non-dairy milk.
Tips For Perfect Overnight Oats Vegan
Here are a few tips that you can consider to make delectable overnight oats:
- Use mason or ball jars: Some mason jars have measurement lines on the side that can be helpful for easy measuring. Also, they are great for make-ahead grab-n-go meals.
- Add protein powder: Add 1/2 scoop of protein powder for an extra protein boost. A vanilla-flavored powder can be a great option.
- Warm it up: Overnight oats are generally served chilled or at room temperature, but you warm them in the microwave on those chilly days.
- How to store Overnight oats: Keep leftovers or meal-prepped serving sizes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Can you freeze overnight oats? Yes, oats can be frozen for up to 2 – 3 months and thawed before serving. To freeze, remember to leave a little headspace for expansion and store without toppings. Let thaw in the refrigerator for around 12 hours.
Favorite Flavor Combinations to Try
There are many flavor combinations you can try to keep your oats interesting, below are a few of my favorites:
- Strawberries and Cream: Top your vegan oats with fresh sliced strawberries, vegan Cream, pure maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cardamom.
- Blueberry, Pecan & Applesauce: Top overnight oats with fresh blueberries, pecans, Unsweetened Applesauce, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and coconut cream or almond milk.
- Berries and Cream: Top oats with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Sprinkle with cardamom, and drizzle with coconut cream or plant milk, and maple syrup.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly: This is another protein-rich flavor combination. Use 2 – 3 tablespoons of your favorite Almond Butter and Berry Chia Jam or Blueberry Compote with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and coconut cream or plant milk.
- Peanut Butter, Banana + Chocolate Chips: For a healthy, protein-rich meal, serve soaked oats with 1 – 2 tablespoons of nut butter over the top with sliced banana, a sprinkle of chocolate chips (or cacao nibs), a drizzle of maple syrup, and coconut cream (or almond milk).
- Cherry, Chocolate & Coconut: Serve oats with dried cherries, mini chocolate chips (or cacao nibs), toasted or shredded coconut, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Adjusting Overnight Oats for Diet
You can easily adjust your overnight oats vegan for different dietary needs. Here are some tips based on common dietary goals:
- Gluten-Free: Make sure the oats you’re using are labeled as certified gluten-free, meaning they are processed in a facility that does not process gluten-free foods.
- Low-Fat: Skip the seeds and nuts, or limit them to 1 tablespoon. Skip shredded coconut, and use plant-based milk instead of any cream.
- Low-Sugar: Use low-sugar fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Add unsweetened dried fruit. Limit maple syrup to 1 – 2 teaspoons and you can also add vanilla extract and spices for added flavor.
- Nut-Free: Add seeds only, such as pepitas, chia seeds, or hemp seeds. Replace nut butter with sunflower butter.