A simple breakfast of porridge oats layered with yoghurt and mixed berries that can be made the night before.
Overnight oats recipe
Overnight oats have become a bit of a legend in Slimming World circles, and when I tried them for the first time I could understand why. Layering up and leaving the ingredients overnight allows some of the yoghurt to soak into the oats, and the fruit to infuse with everything without creating the ‘soggy’ texture of porridge as the oats retain a little of their crunchiness.
This is so good that you could probably also pass it off as a pudding! I tend to use frozen berries as they are both cheap and convenient, and I think that defrosting softens them a little too so that they really work with the consistency of the other elements and infuse their flavours into the other layers.
In this post
- What are Overnight oats?
- What ingredients do I need to make Overnight oats?
- What oats are best for Overnight oats?
- What else can I add to Overnight oats?
- What’s the best container to make Overnight oats in?
- How to store Overnight oats
- How to serve Overnight oats
- How do Overnight oats work on Slimming World?
- Allergen information
- Overnight oats recipe
What are overnight oats
These overnight oats are a combination of porridge oats layered together in a jar with fat free yoghurt, to keep the calories down, and frozen mixed berries, all prepared the night before. During the night the yoghurt and juices from the berries soften the porridge oats ready for a quick, simple and healthy breakfast – ideal for those busy mornings.
You can of course use different fruits like I have here in this passion fruit and mango overnight oats recipe or experiment with flavoured yoghurts.
What ingredients do I need to make Overnight oats?
This recipe is super simple and only needs a few ingredients.
Porridge oats – Old-fashioned rolled oats are perfect for this recipe. I use the cheap basic porridge oats rather than jumbo oats because the overall consistency is much better with the smaller sized oats.
Fat free yoghurt – The fat-free version or low fat helps to keep the calories down in this recipe. I’ve used plain yoghurt but you can always mix it up with some flavoured varieties if you prefer, just make sure that if you are following Slimming World you check them on the app to see if they contain syns.
Frozen berries – Frozen berries are a really good option here as they tend to be cheaper and there a few different varieties on offer. The fact they are frozen doesn’t matter either because they will defrost in the fridge overnight. You can of course use fresh fruit and the method would be the same.
If I’m using plain yoghurt I do sometimes add some honey or maple syrup to get a bit of sweetness in there it depends on which frozen fruit I am using as some are naturally sweeter than others.
What oats are best for overnight oats?
The best oats to use are rolled oats (also known as porridge oats). They are perfect for soaking up the juices and any other flavourings to create a nice creamy texture without breaking down and becoming mushy.
Avoid instant oatmeal as this can get too mushy being left overnight. Pinhead (steel cut) oats should also be avoided as they go the other way and won’t be soft enough. I also avoid using jumbo (old-fashioned) oats for my overnight oats as the final texture isn’t as nice as with the porridge oats.
What else can I add to Overnight oats?
Seeds – There is such a wide variety of seeds to choose from that are easily available. Some good options are chia seeds, flax seeds, You can also give them a quick toasting in a frying pan to bring more flavour.
Nuts – Although this wouldn’t be a low calorie option nuts are a great addition. Things like chopped hazel nuts, walnut or almonds work well as well as cashews and pistachios. You can give these a quick toast to bring out more flavours. Remember to add these in the morning so they don’t go soft overnight.
Spices – Adding a pinch of cinnamon to a plain yoghurt or a small grating of nutmeg can just add that little extra flavour.
Honey – A small amount of honey will introduce a nice bit of sweetness.
Maple syrup – Just a small amount added to the oats or swirled through the yoghurt is all thats needed.
Toasted coconut – coconut chips or flakes can be toasted until lightly golden and fragrant.
Fruit – The list here is endless but fruits like strawberry, raspberry, chopped apple, mango, passion fruit or a combination of a few of these make nice fresh additions. Like in this recipe there are frozen fruit options available that are cheaper and normally come in a mixed fruit variety.
Dried fruit – Fruits like sultanas or chopped apricot can make a nice addition but its best to add them in the morning when you are ready to eat the overnight oats. Any dried fruit added the night before will soak up some of the liquid and could make them a bit squishy.
Extracts – A few drops of vanilla extract to a plain yoghurt works really nicely.
What’s the best container to make overnight oats in?
Personally I like to use an old (cleaned out) jam jar or a Kilner jar for my overnight oats because they are airtight when sealed and can be popped in the dishwasher once I’ve eaten everything up.
There are however a few things that you will want to consider when choosing your ideal container.
Container size – You need something that will be big enough to contain the three layers (obviously!) but you will also need to take into account that the oats will swell as they absorb the liquid and flavours. So something between a 10 – 14oz size is perfect.
Opening size – By this I mean the hole in the top where you can get your spoon in. A wider opening is preferable here. If the opening is too small it can make it slightly harder to put the layers together. It can also make it difficult to get everything out from the corners.
Material – You can go either glass or plastic here.
- Glass is great because it doesn’t stain which can be a problem when using berries. It also doesn’t hold onto odours or flavours.
- Plastic on the other hand doesn’t have the breaking issues of glass and is transportable if you are taking your breakfast to work with you.
The lid – Make sure your container lid secures well especially if you are planning on taking your overnight oats in your bag for a meal on the go. It will also need to be airtight, you don’t want any odours from the fridge affecting the freshness of this morning delight.
Any metal lids need to be fully dried after washing to make sure they don’t rust as this can contaminate the lovely overnight oats.
How to store overnight oats
Overnight oats will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
It’s worth considering making up a batch and storing in the fridge ready for the week.
Fridge – Once you have prepared your overnight oats, cover with an airtight lid so any smells from the fridge don’t transfer to your breakfast.
If you are adding extras like dried fruit, nuts or seeds, these are best added when you are ready to eat to prevent them becoming soft.
Freezer – Although you can freeze overnight oats I wouldn’t. Firstly the containers take up a lot of space. You also need to make sure that your container is freezer safe especially if it’s glass. The main reason though is that the yoghurt changes consistency when frozen and becomes thinner and less creamy if the yoghurt separates. It can also become gritty as the water expands.
How to serve overnight oats
My personal preference is to serve them cold straight from the fridge. You can always toast some nuts or seeds if you want a temperature mix.
If you really would prefer them warm you can give them a quick blast in the microwave for around 30 seconds (make sure that you have transferred them to a microwave-safe container first), then add any extras on top.
How do overnight oats work on Slimming World?
Overnight oats are always a popular breakfast if you are following Slimming World, and the reason for this is that you can have 40g of oats for your healthy extra B allowance daily, so you can have a really filling and syn free breakfast.
Fat-free yoghurt is syn free, although if you are using a flavoured yoghurt you will need to check if it contains syns.
Frozen or fresh fruit is also syn free, although please be aware that if you puree it, then technically you would need to allow syns for this.
If you add honey or maple syrup to sweeten your overnight oats then you will need to syn this. Honey has 1 syn per level teaspoon and maple syrup has 1/2 syn per level teaspoon.
What allergens are in Overnight oats?
Gluten – This comes from the oats.
Milk – Although yoghurt has less lactose it may still affect you if you suffer from a milk allergy.
You will also need to assess possible allergens if you are adding additional toppings such as nuts.
DISCLAIMER: This information is given as a guide and is by no way definitive. It’s still really important you check all the ingredients you are planning on using to make sure that they don’t contain allergens if this is something that affects you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT: OVERNIGHT OATS
What texture should overnight oats be?
As the oats soak up the yoghurt and any juices from fruits they will become soft and creamy but they need to be left for 4-5 hours or preferable overnight for this to happen. If the texture of the oats is too hard it means that they haven’t been left long enough, there isn’t enough liquid being used, or you have used the wrong type of oats.
If the oats are too wet then it might be worth removing some of the liquid from the frozen fruits before adding them.
Do I need to put Overnight oats in the fridge?
Yes you should put them i the fridge until they are ready to eat. If the soaked oats are left at room temperature they could start to ferment and spoil.
How long should you wait to eat overnight oats?
Theres nothing stopping you eating your overnight oats straight away but you really want to leave them overnight so the oats have a chance to soak up some of the yoghurt and berries juices and soften. If you are preparing a batch then the longer they stay in the fridge the softer the oats will become.
Overnight oats make a great breakfast that is quick and easy and health and ideal if you are watching your calorie intake. With all the variations there’s never a reason to get bored with this healthy breakfast option.