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Tasty Basic Overnight Oats Recipe (and Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe!)

Tasty Basic Overnight Oats Recipe (and Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe!)

How do you make the breakfast of champions for those who don’t want to eat breakfast?

Crazy but true, one of the biggest challenges of my job is to get my athletes to eat breakfast on a consistent basis.

It sounds like such a basic task but trust me when I say it is much easier said than done.

In today’s article, I am going to explain the benefits of breakfast and also share with you my famous yet basic overnight oats recipe. Want to go for the gold and try it with steel cut oats?  Keep reading because I have an amazing but basic overnight steel cut oats recipe too.

If I can get the pickiest of professional athletes and the busiest of business professionals to commit to breakfast this recipe, I think that I can entice you as well.

What are the Effects of Skipping Breakfast?

Some are just not hungry in the morning. Some are starved but do not have enough time to whip something together. Others have the time but are unsure of how to throw a dish together other than a bowl of cereal.  Perhaps you can relate.

While skipping breakfast may work just fine for the Average Joe, it’s never a great idea for a highly active individual. There are only so many opportunities in a day that one can obtain enough nourishment to support training demands. When these little windows of opportunity are missed, disaster strikes.  Overuse injuries such as tendonitis and joint pain, fatigue, excessive muscle soreness, etc. are often avoidable with the right fueling strategies and more common with the wrong fueling strategies.

And by disaster, I mean constant hunger, strong sugar cravings, and fatigue accompanied by a sudden drop in blood sugar.  Let’s also throw in a little decline in energy mid-workout and midday brain fog.

So what’s a human to do? Start your day off with a tasty, balanced, and simple breakfast!

Why is a Great Breakfast so Important?

It’s time we start with the basics. There are two major reasons why eating a balanced breakfast is so important.

1) For starters, it’s called break-fast for good reason: you are breaking the fast that your body fell into as you slept all night. By breaking the fast with proper nutrition, you are able to jump-start your metabolism for the day. When our body’s engine is fully revved, you will likely notice a boost in energy, better concentration and an easier time maintaining weight.

2) Studies have shown that eating breakfast within a two hour period of waking can determine our body’s ability to digest and metabolize glucose (sugar) for the rest of the day. Think of it this way, eating breakfast trains our body to maintain stable blood sugar levels after we eat.

It is important to note that blood sugar rises after each meal which then signals our pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that shuttles blood sugar into our cells for energy. When we skip breakfast and our meal timing is sporadic, we essentially throw our body a curveball, thus making it extremely difficult to regular blood sugar and insulin levels.  Over time, this irregularity can lead to health complications such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

The MOST Essential Part of Breakfast is…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, in order for a meal to be balanced and for your breakfast to actually serve its purpose, you need to incorporate protein as well as quality fat. It sounds so simple, yet most of us fail to meet the mark each day and then wonder why we are so tired, sore, struggle with belly fat etc.- you fill in the blank. It is very much the “American Way” to down a pile of carbohydrates first thing in the morning and then run out the door.

For what it’s worth, here are the three breakfasts I pulled from my client’s food journals earlier today:

Client A: Cereal and skim milk
Client B: Fruit and a bagel
Client C: Pancakes w/ extra syrup

All. Carbs.

Anyway, I digress.

The reason why these oats are so magical is that they are quite balanced from a nutrition standpoint. This easy breakfast recipe includes:

Ample protein: Plant-based protein powder
Quality fat: Chia seeds & peanut butter
Carbohydrate: Old fashioned oats

Now, let’s dive into the actual recipe.

Remember, I Need a Breakfast That is Balanced but Can Also be Made Within Minutes

I hear you. Trust me, I feel the exact same way and that is why I designed this recipe.

And now, for the almond milk overnight oats!

Star Overnight Oats Players:

  • Old Fashioned Oats or Steel Cut Oats* (see below for more info):
    Rich in fiber, regulates digestion, keeps cholesterol levels in check, affordable and readily available.
  • Organic Peanut Butter:
    Tastes delicious, rich in potassium and magnesium, comprised almost entirely of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat in order you keep you satisfied.
  • Chia Seeds:
    Full of brain and heart-healthy omega 3 fats, ample source of fiber, awesome for hydration as they can retain approximately 9x their body weight in fluid.
  • Garden of Life Sport, Organic Plant Based Protein Powder:
    Pure ingredients, great taste, highly regulated, NSF Certified for sport product, thus making it a safe choice for athletes and non-athletes alike.

Does it Matter What Type of Oats I Use?

Great question. The answer is yes. Well, if you’d like to be a nutrition all-star at least.

Bronze Medal: Instant OatsInstant Oats Overnight

Instant oats finish the race in third place as they are the most heavily processed of all oats. Instant oats are pre-cooked, dried and then pressed thinner than other forms of oats. The plus side is that they literally cook in minutes.

If you decide to use these for your overnight oat recipe, you may find that the oats are ready to eat in one hour vs 4-8. So, they’re certainly convenient as instead of making your oats overnight, you could start them when you first wake up and they may be ready by the time you leave.

The downside of instant oats is that their nutrition value is low, comparatively speaking, and in my opinion, the texture is not always appetizing. You can certainly use instant oats for your overnight oat recipe but please be warned that the texture is quite mushy.

Traditional Oats Overnight

Silver Medal: Rolled/Old Fashioned Oats

Rolled oats are made by steaming and then flattening the oat groat. This process allows for less cook time than steel-cut oats but more than instant oats. Rolled oats are infamous for absorbing liquid quick readily while still maintaining their texture. Hence why this is often the fan favorite when it comes to making dishes such as muffins, bars or overnight oats.

Gold Medal: Steel Cut Oats

And now for the winner. Steel cut oats are the most nutritious and they undergo the least amount of processing. Higher in fiber and protein while being very low in saturated fat? Don’t mind if I do! These little guys are so magical that I’ve decided to dedicate a little section just for them.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe

For the record, oat groats are technically another option as they are the most natural form of oat but they are not as readily available, harder to cook, and the texture does not excite most. For the inquiring minds out there, oat groats are the whole hulled kernel of the grain.

What are Steel-Cut Oats?

Steel-cut oats take home the gold because they are the least processed of all forms of oats. Less processing = more fiber for you and me. Soluble fiber to be exact. More soluble fiber = better heart, bowel, brain, and liver health. More soluble fiber also means better blood sugar control.

Fun fact #1: soluble fiber turns to gel once it hits liquid inside your body. The gel-like substance binds to the “gunk” you’ve accumulated, such as cholesterol, and takes that “gunk” along with it as it flies out your back end. Pretty cool huh? (I told you food is medicine).

When steel cut oats are manufactured, the whole oat groat is cut into pieces instead of being smashed or rolled like old fashioned oats. The texture, even when cooked, is more firm and chewy than the other forms as a result of minimal processing. Good news- that chewy texture means these little guys take longer to digest, thus allowing you to avoid a spike and then crash in energy. As you might have guessed, the cook time is the longest with steel-cut oats.

Fun Fact #2: Steel-cut oats are naturally gluten-free, thus making them an awesome choice for the active individual who suspects gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Fun fact #3: Have you ever heard the term Irish Oats or Scottish Oats? These terms can be used interchangeably for steel-cut oats.

I know what you might be wondering. Can I use steel-cut oats in my overnight oat recipe? The answer is YES! But, there are a few key points to consider:

  • If you would like to use the exact overnight steel cut oats recipe you see below (recommended if you are always pressed for time), then allow the steel-cut oats to soak in the mixture for at least 10 hours. Prepare them in the early evening and you will be good to go for breakfast the next day. They will be a tad bit chewy on day one but over the next few days in the fridge, you will find that the texture gradually becomes softer. Depending on your consistency preference, you may want to add a few additional splashes of almond milk and stir halfway through the process.
  • If you prefer your oats hot, try the slow cooker method. Take the recipe below but add two cups of almond milk instead of one as well as 4 cups of water. Let sit on low overnight. Be sure to spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray before adding ingredients!

Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

This is an amazingly easy way to make delicious oats overnight that will make your non-breakfast eaters love breakfast.  With only 6 ingredients and little time required to prepare, it will be a favorite for those serving it as well.  The recipe is for two servings, approximately 3/4- 1 cup a piece.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Almond milk overnight oats recipe, Basic Overnight Oats Recipe, Healthy overnight oats recipe, Overnight Oats Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Refrdigerator time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours
Servings 2
Author Kylene Bogden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 TBSP Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 TBSP Chia Seeds
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder Garden of Life Organic Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder tastes best
  • 1 TBSP Organic Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Pour oats, chia seeds, and protein powder into a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed. (Bowl should be able to hold at least 4 cups).

  2. Dump wet ingredients on top and stir until evenly mixed.

  3. 3. Let sit in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight if possible. (This tends to work best when made before bed on a Sunday night and then it can be enjoyed the first half of the week.)

  4. 4. Give it a little stir and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

ProTip #1: Blend nut milk, nut butter, protein powder, and jelly together in blender for a smooth, perfectly mixed consistency.

ProTip #2: Store your oats in an airtight container and you will find that this makes breakfast for 3 days.

ProTip #3: Double, triple or even quadruple the recipe if you are feeding friends and family.

ProTip #4: While most enjoy this delicious dish straight from the fridge (myself included), you can just as easily eat it warm! All it takes is 2-3 minutes on low heat in a saucepan or if you are really on a time crunch, 30-60 seconds in the microwave should do the trick.

Basic Overnight STEEL CUT Oats Recipe

Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe

This recipe makes two servings, approximately 3/4- 1 cup a piece.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Healthy Steel Cut Overnight Oats Recipe, Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe, Steel Cut Oats Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Refridgerator Time 10 hours
Servings 2
Author Kylene Bogden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Traditional Steel Cut Oats May also look for oats under the name "Irish Oats" or "Scottish Oats"
  • 2 TBSP Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 TBSP Chia Seeds
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder Garden of Life Organic Vanilla Plant Based Protein Powder tastes best
  • 1 TBSP Organic Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Pour oats, chia seeds, and protein powder into a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed. (Bowl should be able to hold at least 4 cups).
  2. Dump wet ingredients on top and stir until evenly mixed.
  3. Let sit in the fridge for ~10 hours or overnight if possible.  Steel cut oats require much longer than Old Fashioned Oats. (Recipe tends to work best when made before bed on a Sunday night and then it can be enjoyed the first half of the week.)

  4. Give it a little stir and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

ProTip #1: Blend nut milk, nut butter, protein powder, and jelly together in blender for a smooth, perfectly mixed consistency.

ProTip #2: Store your oats in an airtight container and you will find that this makes breakfast for 3 days.

ProTip #3: Double, triple or even quadruple the recipe if you are feeding friends and family.

ProTip #4: While most enjoy this delicious dish straight from the fridge (myself included), you can just as easily eat it warm! All it takes is 2-3 minutes on low heat in a saucepan or if you are really on a time crunch, 30-60 seconds in the microwave should do the trick.

Why are These Basic Overnight Oats Such a Fan Favorite?

It is very interesting to me that I have been able to attract a variety of taste buds to this recipe. Even my athletes and clients from overseas enjoy this as much as the average American kid. Here’s why:

The taste is great. It’s a simple twist on an American Classic: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The consistency is fantastic if made correctly- not too chewy, not too soft.

basic overnight oats recipe

The recipe is versatile. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and the ingredients can easily be swapped. Maybe you decide to try almond butter instead of peanut butter or flax seeds instead of chia seeds for the next go around.

Most importantly, this concoction is time efficient. The recipe takes less than 7 minutes to throw together. It does not require any form of cooking and it can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled for the family or for you to enjoy throughout the week. The oats typically last in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze a few small batches and reheat to enjoy a warmer breakfast one morning.

Recommendations to Make the Most of This Quick and Healthy Breakfast:

ProTip #1: Blend nut milk, nut butter, protein powder, and jelly together in blender for a smooth, perfectly mixed consistency. Yes, it takes a few extra minutes but it’s worth it when you taste the flavor difference! Plus, who has time to stir and mash big chunks of unevenly mixed food particles at the crack of dawn each morning?

ProTip #2: Store your oats in an airtight container and you will find that this makes breakfast for 3 days.

ProTip #3: Double, triple or even quadruple the recipe if you are feeding friends and family.

ProTip #4: While most enjoy this delicious dish straight from the fridge (myself included), you can just as easily eat it warm! All it takes is 2-3 minutes on low heat in a saucepan or if you are really on a time crunch, 30-60 seconds in the microwave should do the trick.

Well, there we have it folks, a delicious breakfast fit for even the busiest of champions!

Have you ever tried overnight oats?  What has been your experience in trying different overnight steel cut oats recipes?  If so, what is your favorite flavor combo? We’d love to hear from you!

About The Author

Kylene Bogden

Kylene Bogden is one of the most well respected Functional Sports Dietitians in the United States. As a high school and collegiate sprinter, she experienced recurrent injury and fatigue. After years of constant struggle, she eventually learned that an abundance of processed foods and poor fueling strategies were the root of her performance issues. Kylene's personal journey as an athlete fueled her passion for finding a more progressive approach to sports nutrition. Since then, she has helped thousands of individuals dramatically improve overall health and athletic performance by taking a whole food approach. To learn more about Kylene's story and how a functional nutrition approach can help you to achieve your goals, simply click on the contact us link in the upper right-hand corner today!

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  1. Overnight Steel Cut Oats: 3 Ways - Daily Health Ideas - […] As shared by fwd fuel […]
  2. Why the Standard American Diet Causes Fatigue - FWDfuel - […] Give it a quick stir, put it in the refrigerator, and head to bed. Wake up, stir once more…
  3. The Ultimate Healthy Breakfast for Athletes - FWDfuel - […] Overnight Oats […]
  4. 10 Breakfast Recipes to Make When You’re Feeling Lazy - FabFitFun - […] Tasty Basic Overnight Oats […]

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Kylene Bogden Sports Nutrition Dietitian

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