Even as an avid fan of plain oatmeal I’ve spent years being skeptical about the latest trend of ‘overnight oats.’ But, in an attempt to try and cut my high-fat breakfasts down and also switch to an early morning diet I decided that there was no harm in at least giving it a shot. So — without further ado — here is the most basic and malleable recipe for overnight oats: skepticism edition:

What you’ll need

  • A mason jar (okay, so this isn’t mandatory, but it’s on trend so if you can make it happen, do, if not, no sweat)
  • A pack of instant oats — any brand, and I’d pick a flavor you already know and enjoy, I picked Quaker’s maple and brown sugar because that’s what was already in my pantry
  • Whatever fresh fruit you want, but if you want me to be specific, I picked blueberries, strawberries and bananas because they’re pretty easy to find
  • Milk or water — really, however you like to make your oatmeal, I’ve seen it with almond milk and other stuff, too

The steps here are pretty simple…

…and genuinely left me feeling like overnight oats were just…meal-prepped oats. But, I guess that doesn’t sound as good, so here you have it…

  • Cook your oatmeal like you usually do. If you’re trying to make this quick and easy I would recommend the instant oatmeal packs you can buy at the store and microwave. I personally like the maple syrup and brown sugar oats with 2/3 cup of milk, and I cook mine in the microwave for 2 minutes because I like mine relatively thick.
  • While your oatmeal is cooking and cooling back down, chop of the fruits of your choice. I like to keep it simple and also didn’t love the idea of mushy fruit in my oatmeal so I cut up some bananas and strawberries into bite-sized pieces and threw in a handful of blueberries. Really there is no magic amount of each and it’s really up to your preference, but for the sake of measurements I used half of a banana, three large strawberries, and maybe 10 blueberries.
  • So for the sake of experimenting, I tried putting these basic ingredients into the mason jar in a variety of ways to see what worked out best. I didn’t notice anything making a big difference, but putting the oatmeal at the bottom definitely made it look nicer in the fridge.
  • Last step — put in fridge and, most importantly, don’t forget it when you leave for work tomorrow morning. That’s it — enjoy!

*I have read online where people claim you can prep these days ahead, but I’m not quite there emotionally yet and I think to me, the fruit would gross me out after a few days, so on my personal recommendation I would make this quick recipe the night before and not leave it sitting for days in the fridge!

It’s worth noting that to me, the regular size mason jars were a bit overkill, and I ended up dumping them into a bigger bowl because it was too much of a struggle to try and get them out of the bottom of the tall mason jar. Unless you eat a ridiculous amount of oatmeal or want to add in a ton of extra goodies, I would recommend using these smaller 8oz mason jars.

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