Creamy, easy overnight oats made with a grated apple, cinnamon, coconut and lots of crunchy nuts.
Let’s face it: sometimes facing the morning is hard. Even people who love mornings have days when they wake up in a non compos mentis, zombie-like state.
Maybe you have a legitimate reason for being sleep-deprived. Maybe it was a case of spending ‘just five more minutes’ looking at social media that turned into several more hours. Or maybe you had a great night’s sleep but still woke up feeling like ‘blurgh’. It happens.
Those are the mornings when I give myself a mental high-five for preparing my breakfast the night before. It’s pretty exciting to walk into the kitchen knowing that your breakfast is waiting for you.
More importantly, there’s no chance that zombie-like me will turn on the stove and end up burning down my apartment building.
In other words, it’s a win-win.
Just in case you’re currently dealing with a case of brain-fogginess, don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day this weekend! Since this recipe makes two servings, why not share it with your dear mother? Or if your mother is not around, share it with a friend.
Failing that, save one in the fridge for the next day. Trust me, it works. Since this is a ‘Bircher Muesli’ style of overnight oats (meaning there are lots of nuts and/or seeds), I was worried the nuts would become soft if I left the second serving in the fridge for a day. But lo and behold, the nuts stayed crunchy.
But seriously, if you can, share this with your mother. She deserves it.
Admittedly, I won’t be having breakfast with my wonderful mother this weekend – but I have an excellent excuse: my parents are currently on vacation in Italy and France. And if that’s not a Mother’s Day present, then I don’t know what is. Except it’s not really a present from me, since I didn’t have anything to do with the vacation plans, nor did I help pay for it.
But, you know, close enough.
Anyway, back to this breakfast. While I love using shredded coconut, almonds, pecans, raisins and dried cranberries for my mix-ins, you can really add anything you have on hand. Hazelnuts, pistachios, dried figs – it’s all good.
As I mentioned a moment ago, this makes two servings, even though many of my recipes (so far) have been single-servings. After much experimentation, I decided this particular ratio of oats, grated apple, apple juice (or milk), yogurt and chia seeds is my favorite. And since measuring out ½ tablespoon of chia seeds seemed silly, it was just easier to make two servings.
Also, if this were a single-serving recipe it would call for half an apple, which would be pretty annoying. Sure, you could wrap the apple in plastic and use it later… but then you’d have to think of another recipe that called for half an apple. Just no, that’s not right.
Plus, with two servings you can either share with someone, or keep half in the fridge for the next morning – i.e. share it with yourself. You’ll appreciate it, especially if you wake up the next morning feeling like some kind of sleep-deprived zombie.
This post was updated (with new pictures) in November 2015.
- For the overnight oats
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
- ⅔ cup apple juice or milk
- 1 apple, coarsely grated
Mix-ins and toppings
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chopped nuts or seeds
- 2 - 4 tablespoons dried fruit
- In a bowl or container, combine the rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla extract, yogurt and apple juice (or milk). Add the grated apple, and mix until completely combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the lid on the container) and leave in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, stir approximately half of the shredded coconut, chopped nuts and dried fruit into the overnight oats. If the oats are too thick, also add a little milk.
- Divide the overnight oats between two bowls. Top with the remaining coconut, nuts and dried fruit, as well as some berries. Enjoy!
If omitting the chia seeds, reduce the apple juice (or milk) to ½ cup.
Use a good-quality yogurt. It doesn't have to be authentic Greek yogurt, anything thick and creamy will work well. Natural/plain, vanilla or honey yogurt should all be fine for this recipe.
If your yogurt is particularly sour, you may wish to add some honey or maple syrup