Oatmeal, porridge, grits, gruel (really? would you eat anything called ‘gruel’?). You know… hot cereal. For all the names we give it, there are probaby hundreds of recipes for this cup of oats. I’ve tried different combinations myself. Steel cut oats; oats with barley and hemp seeds; chia and yogurt porridge; Nutty Quinoa ‘oatmeal’– just to name a few. And I’ve enjoyed them all. But this recipe for Overnight Oatmeal is so simple, it starts out, dare I say, pretty basic. But as I mixed everything together, I knew my family was in for a creamy treat.
The recipe builds from a healthy, hearty base right here. First of all, the base can be made in the refrigerator overnight or in a sauce pan first thing in the morning (I love the convenience of the overnight method). The combination of oats, chia seeds and unsweetened coconut blend deliciously with pure maple syrup, coconut and almond milk. We loved it just like this. But, we also loved…
…fresh fruits, nuts and extra added maple syrup. Any fresh fruit works, from berries to mangos, whatever you have around. And for a chocolatey treat…
…the sweet-tooth crowd will enjoy a smattering of mini chocolate chips or extra coconut. This recipe would be perfect for the star of a self-serve oatmeal bar with weekend guests, or just have it ready for busy weekday mornings.
Did I mention how good Overnight Oatmeal is with extra syrup poured on the top? For extra visual appeal, be sure to serve this in clear bowls or glasses. Drizzle honey for the same graceful effect.
Seriously, after just a little sample, “somebody” in my family was eagerly waiting to snatch up a finished cup before pictures were even taken. My husband loved it plain, I liked it warm, my 12-year old just wanted more. This is a great recipe to have in your breakfast repertoire for any day of the year.
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, more or less as desired
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (If you don't have real syrup, use what you kind you have)
- 1 14-ounce can lite or regular coconut milk
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Garnishes: strawberries, blueberries, mangos or other fruit of choice
- Almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts
- Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or flax
- Additional coconut, mini chocolate chips
- Additional coconut milk, maple syrup or cream
- Cook's note: The ingredients above are for a vegan option. Feel free to substitute the coconut and almond milk for regular whole milk. However, the coconut and almond milk add a fabulous flavor to the oatmeal.
- For Overnight Oats:
- In a large container with a tight-fitting lid, add all the oatmeal ingredients and stir well. Seal and place in the refrigerator overnight, or at least for 6 hours.
- For the hot, quick version:
- In a medium sauce pan, add everything EXCEPT the vanilla extract, heat over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until oatmeal has thickened and the liquid has been mostly absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Divide between four bowls and top with garnishes, as desired.
- For heating the overnight oatmeal:
- Using your preferred method, either:
- Place oatmeal in a medium sauce pan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until oatmeal is to desired temperature. If oatmeal becomes too dry, add more coconut milk till desired consistency is reached. Don't add too much because you want it thick and you can always add more milk during garnish. Or,
- Place oatmeal in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 30 second intervals until desired heat is reached.