Overnight oats – choose your topping!

by Tess Schulze

This recipe is super easy and versatile – you can probably make it right now with whatever you have in your kitchen and have breakfast sorted for the week! It takes a few minutes to combine your desired ingredients to make an affordable and healthy breakfast.

Oats are an absolute staple in my kitchen and I can’t ever seem to get enough of them. I use them in my homemade cosmetics, in baked goods, as a dairy replacement, and (of course) enjoy them for breakfast! Aside from being versatile and delicious, they’re also really good for you (and your skin). In this recipe, I will show you how to make simple overnight oats for breakfast that you can just grab on your way out the door!

I love this recipe because you can add whatever toppings you want – fruit, vegetables, nuts, and so much more. If you’re like me and you prefer variety, you can make up the oats ahead of time (it will keep for about 5 days in the fridge, 2 days if you add fresh fruit and/or veg) for the week and add the toppings in the morning. I’ll even toss some fresh or frozen fruit in the night before and give it a quick stir to let the flavours mingle.

The texture of the finished oats is so wonderful, it’s like having an oat pudding for breakfast! If you don’t like to have cold food in the mornings, you can easily heat your portion up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes before eating it. If you prefer savoury breakfasts, there are recipes for savoury overnight oats but they require a little more effort and aren’t ideal if you’re in a rush to get out the door in the mornings.

Overnight Oats

This recipe makes one portion.

Prep: 5-10 minutes

Setting time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes


100g porridge oats*

100ml water or milk of your choice (dairy or non)

1 tablespoon yoghurt, optional**

1 tablespoon sweetener (honey, brown sugar, etc), optional

1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Pinch of salt


—– Apple pie

60g chopped apple

2 tablespoons chopped nuts

½ teaspoon cinnamon

—– Raspberry Refresher

60g raspberries, fresh or frozen

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger***

—– PB&J

2 tablespoons nut butter

2 tablespoons jam

—– Carrot Cake

22g freshly grated carrot

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon raisins

2 tablespoons chopped nuts

—– Almond Joy

1 tablespoon chocolate chips

1 tablespoon chopped almonds

1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

⅛ teaspoon almond extract

—– Courgette Cake

66g grated courgette

2 tablespoons chopped nuts

1 tablespoon raisins

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg


Mix all of your ingredients together in a glass jar, stir well, cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours before consuming.

Add your toppings while doing the above step or add in the morning just before eating.

Keep in mind that the oats without any fresh toppings will keep for 5 days if kept covered in the fridge. If you have fresh fruit mixed in, the oats should be eaten within 2 days.

*Old-fashioned, or rolled, porridge oats are the best type to use for this recipe as they absorb moisture better than steel-cut oats.

**If you don’t have yoghurt, any other thick dairy product can replace it. I used half the measured amount and added sour cream to the recipe instead and it still turned out fantastic.

***Top tip: you can freeze fresh ginger for up to six months in a sealed, airtight container or freezer bag. Whenever you need it for a recipe, use a fine grater on the frozen ginger. It should be returned to the freezer immediately after every use or it will spoil (it also does not thaw well, it just goes soggy).

Published by manuelagrows

Community garden mentor at the Maxwell Centre

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