A salted caramel mocha in the form of creamy overnight oats. Technically, the salt’s optional.
I’m going to go out on a limb and just say it: I’m prefer salted caramel over regular caramel.
I realize that statement may seem like heresy in the foodie world (if such a world exists), but that’s how I feel. Sure, the salt adds a bit of pizzazz, but is it really tastier than the über-sweet original?
Moving on, the idea for these overnight oats came from the coffee shop we all seem to be in a love-hate relationship with: Starbucks. Except Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha is loaded with sugar and whipped cream, while this breakfast version has no refined sugar and definitely no whipped cream.
That being said, depending on what you add for toppings, the sugar content could spike dramatically…
These overnight oats are sweetened with a banana, dates and a little maple syrup – but trust me, you can’t taste the banana! The banana flavor is covered up by all that cocoa powder and coffee.
Regarding sweetness, I highly recommend you taste the oats just before serving. While these oats were definitely sweet enough for me, everyone has different palates – and different ingredients. The size and sweetness of your banana, the type of yogurt you use, and the bitterness of your cocoa powder will all make a difference. So if you try the oats and need them to be sweeter, just stir in some extra maple syrup. Easy.
If you were wondering, the reason why I think you should try it just before serving (as opposed to when you mix everything together), it’s because of the dates. Since dates slowly release their sweetness, the oats will be sweeter in the morning than they were the day before. The dates also add a bit of a caramel flavor, because they’re a magical fruit.
As I mentioned before, there’s no whipped cream in this recipe. You may be thinking, ‘So what’s that stuff on top of the oats!?’ It’s vanilla yogurt. You could always add a scoop of frozen banana ice-cream or frozen yogurt. And, of course, you could use whipped cream from the can if you’d like to.
I also topped my oats with some date caramel. Usually, date caramel is just blended medjool dates – Minimalist Baker has a tutorial for making date caramel. Notwithstanding, I like to mix my blended dates with some Greek-style vanilla yogurt (I usually go for a 1:1 ratio of blended dates to yogurt). That’s simply because I find date caramel a little too rich by itself.
If date caramel isn’t your thing, top the oats with some caramel syrup/topping. And, if you’re a salted caramel fan, also sprinkle over a good pinch of coarse salt.
Last but not least, since it’s Mother’s Day I’m morally obligated to remind you all to call your mothers. Or better yet, see her in person (if possible). Happy Mother’s Day!
This post was updated (with new pictures) in November 2015.
- For the overnight oats
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
- ½ cup cold coffee
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 - 2 tablespoons date caramel, or 2 - 4 chopped dates
- Date caramel or caramel sauce
- Coarse salt (optional)
- In a large bowl or container, mash the banana thoroughly. Stir in the yogurt, coffee, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add the rolled oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and date caramel (or chopped dates). 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, taste the overnight oats for sweetness, and stir in additional maple syrup if necessary. If the oats are too thick, also add some extra milk.
- Divide the oats between two bowls. Top each bowl with a dollop of yogurt and some date caramel or caramel sauce. If desired, sprinkle over a pinch of coarse salt.
Either a plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt will work. It doesn’t need to be authentic Greek yogurt, but make sure you use a thick, good-quality yogurt.
If omitting the chia seeds, leave out the milk.
To make date caramel, use a blender or food processor to puree 1 cup of soft medjool dates. If your dates are not soft and sticky, soak them in warm water for 10 - 15 minutes first. If the dates aren’t blending well, add a tablespoon or two of warm water.
If desired, stir in a few tablespoons of Greek-style vanilla yogurt (I like to use a 1:1 ratio of blended dates and yogurt)
The caramel can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge