These vanilla overnight oats will make fitting in a healthy breakfast totally doable for the whole family. Vegetarian, high-fiber, and gluten-free.
Vanilla overnight oats are the answer to those busy mornings. You know those mornings where everyone is running around trying to get ready. (Or perhaps moving ULTRA slowly.)
The mood is serious. You would love to make eggs or pancakes for everyone but there is no time for that. (Plus the kitchen sink is filled with leftover dishes from last night).
Fortunately, with a little evening prep, you can have breakfast ready, adding both nutrition and joy to your busiest mornings!
High Fiber Morning Fuel
Oats are one of my favorite ingredients. Not only are they delicious whether used whole in oatmeal or ground as flour in scones, they are packed with fiber, a type of carbohydrate that many people fall short on.
Fiber is important for staying regular, optimizing cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, and feeling full and satisfied after a meal.
This breakfast also features other fiber-packed ingreients: chia seeds, which also happen to be high in iron, protein, and healthy fat, fruit, and nuts.
In addition to fiber, these vanilla overnight oats are packed with protein thanks to the Greek or Skyr yogurt and chia seeds. If you stir in nuts, seeds, or nut-butter you will add even more protein. To further maximize protein look for a milk that is high in protein (soy, dairy, and certain plant milks).
Both protein and fiber will help you stay full longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
How to Make Vanilla Overnight Oats
To make vanilla overnight oats you simply stir together oats, milk, Greek or Skyr yogurt, chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. (Or simplify and sweeten by using vanilla yogurt instead of plain yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.) Ideally, make individual servings in mason jars, that way everyone can have their own and bring it along to work or school if they must.
Place the jars in the refrigerator and when you wake up you have a wholesome breakfast waiting for you. And if for some reason they don’t get eaten the next morning, no worries, they will keep for 3-4 days.
Don’t forget the toppings. You can add them the night before or put them in a little separate container if you plan to grab and go in the morning. But if you to decide to wait, as I usually do, it shouldn’t take longer than 3 minutes to add some toppings, especially if the berries are already washed and sliced.
How you choose to top them is up to you, you can go fancy and saute some sliced bananas or apples in butter and cinnamon. You can be a minimalist and eat it as is with a banana on the side. Or, you can boost the nutrient content even further by topping with berries, nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. The options are unlimited.
Vanilla overnight oats make a great breakfast for kids. Studies consistently show that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school than those who skip it. Older kids may enjoy getting inspired by the array of overnight oat combinations, toppings, and mix-ins featured on Pinterest and Instagram. Younger kids will love helping you make it the day before.
Vanilla Overnight Oats
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats certified gluten-free if needed
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk unsweetened
- 1/2 cup plain Greek or Skyr yogurt (you could use vanilla-flavored yogurt too, if so, skip the maple syrup and vanilla extract)
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup berries or banana
- 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds or try almond or peanut butter
- Combine oats through vanilla in a Mason jar or small bowl. Stir well and cover. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours). Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Top with fruit and nuts or other suggested toppings. Enjoy!