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What Are Overnight Oats?

Everything You Need To Know About Overnight Oats
Overnight oats is an alternative way of preparing oatmeal. Rather than the traditional method of boiling oats, overnight oats are mixed with milk and left overnight in the fridge, allowing the oats and seeds to hydrate. While you're sleeping, overnight oats absorb the liquid, soften up, and form a texture that makes for a great breakfast food. Add in some extras, like chia seeds, Greek yogurt, fruit, vanilla, flax, or peanut butter, and you have yourself a delicious and healthy breakfast. Having the perfect overnight oats recipe really is a matter of preference, but there are so many different options that, more than likely, it will not take you long to find the overnight oats recipe of your choosing.

Can you have overnight oats using quick oats?

Quick oats, also known as instant oats, or pre-packaged oats, are a great option for overnight oats. Quick Oats are very similar to rolled oats, except they have a finer cut, and are thinner. This increased amount of processing makes them easier to digest.

Can you have overnight oats using instant oatmeal?

Instant oatmeal is heavily processed and is steamed, rolled, dehydrated, and then toasted. As a result of it being so heavily processed, it takes little prep time, and is easy to digest. When you let these oats sit in a liquid of your choosing overnight, be prepared for them to turn into a super thick porridge.

overnight oats using instant oatmeal

Can you have overnight oats with regular oatmeal?

Yes, you can have regular oatmeal in the form of overnight oats, but it is important to be aware that regular oatmeal is not nearly as processed as instant oatmeal. Typically, regular oatmeal has only been steamed and grounded, and still retains its fibrous husk. Like instant oatmeal, it is in a powder-like form, but it is a lot thicker than its instant oatmeal counterpart. As a result, it will have a chunkier consistency than quick oats, and because of its minimal amount of processing, will have a lot more nutrients.

Can you have overnight oats using old fashioned oats?

Old fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats, are formed when the whole oat groat, the fiber-rich portion of the oat, is steamed and rolled flat. Old fashioned oats are harder to blend and do not turn into a mushy, more easily digestible texture, as many of the other oat varieties do. However, many people really like to use rolled oats when preparing their overnight oats. The increased texture and less mushy consistency often makes rolled oats the preference for overnight oats connoisseurs.

Can you have overnight oats with water?

Yes, you can have overnight oats with water, if you are okay with the taste being quite a bit more bland. Typically it is recommended that you eat your overnight oats either with milk, or a milk substitute, such as almond, rice, coconut, hazelnut, or soy. If you do decide to consume your overnight oats with water, make sure to add some extra ingredients, such as banana, nuts, or yogurt, for added flavor. The difference in taste is comparable to the difference between having cereal with water, versus cereal with milk. Both are viable options. Typically, one way is better than the other, depending on your preference.

Can you have overnight oats with milk?

Yes, and it is recommended. As mentioned above, whether you are preparing oatmeal, or plan on consuming overnight oats in a breakfast shake, using milk in combination with your overnight oats is ideal. It is a perfect combination of consistency and flavor. Eating healthy should taste good. It is preferable to use milk as the base for your overnight oats, as it allows the oats to absorb the milk, making for a delicious breakfast.

overnight oats with milk

Can you have overnight oats dairy-free?

Yes. There are tons of great-tasting ways to eat overnight oats dairy-free. As mentioned above, you can have overnight oats milk-free with any of the milk alternatives, such as almond, soy, walnut, hazelnut, coconut, rice, and hemp milk. All will have a variation of taste, but will taste pretty good nonetheless. Experiment with the different alternative milk options to see which type your taste buds take a liking to.

Are overnight oats healthy?

Yes. However, yes is stated very hesitantly here. Overnight oats themselves are very healthy. They contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, calcium potassium, pyridoxine, and niacin. Not to mention, overnight oats also contain protein and fiber!

Despite all of these health benefits, adding ingredients, such as sugar and Nutella, can quickly turn a super-healthy breakfast into one that would probably be better if you avoided. With the plethora of nutritious add-ons to choose from, there is no reason your overnight oats breakfast should not be super healthy.

Also, something to add is that the least processed oats will have the most nutrients. As a result, if you are aiming for health, choose the less processed oats, such as rolled oats, instead of the more processed ones, such as quick oats.

Other overnight oats ideas to try for breakfast?

ideas to try for breakfast

Overnight Oats Recipe #1 - Chocolate Chia Surprise

Serves 4

The ingredients you will need:

  • two very ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp of cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp of raw honey or coconut sugar
  • 3 cups of milk or milk alternative
  • 1 cup of rolled oats (you can choose other oat varieties here instead)
  • 6 tbsp chia seeds


  1. In one bowl, mix the banana, the cacao powder, and the sweetener. Make sure to mix everything really good so that it becomes a smooth paste. Add a little bit of water if needed to allow it to mix better.
  2. Mix in the oats and chia seeds.
  3. Mix in the milk.
  4. Stir continuously until it is well-mixed.
  5. Put it in the fridge overnight.
  6. If you prefer to have this warm, put the mixture into a saucepan in the morning and cook on low-to-medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Overnight Oats Recipe #2 - Green Sunrise

Serves 2

The ingredients you will need:

  1. 2 cups of spinach (kale can be used instead)
  2. 2 very ripe bananas (the riper it is the sweeter it will be)
  3. 3 tbsp of chia seeds
  4. 2 cups of milk or milk alternative
  5. ⅔ cup of rolled oats (use other oats if desired)


  1. Using a blender, blend the spinach (or kale), bananas, chia seeds, and milk.
  2. Add oats to a bowl.
  3. Pour contents from the blender on top of the oats.
  4. Place the bowl with the oats and blended smoothie in the fridge and leave overnight.
  5. In the morning, stir the oatmeal together and enjoy cold.

Want to save the hours of shopping and 30 minutes of prep time? Check out our delicious version at Oats Overnight.

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About Oats Overnight

Enjoy the benefits of eating breakfast with none of the work. Overnight oatmeal loaded with superfoods like flax, chia, maca root, and 20g+ of protein. No recipes needed. Life Is Hard, Make Breakfast Easy.