Overnight oats are not a new trend or hard to make, as you probably already know. You pop some oats in a jar or bowl with chia seeds, your favorite spices, some non-dairy milk and let them sit overnight in the fridge. While this simple breakfast staple is a nutritional and time-saving dream, you can take things a step further and improve the nutrition of your oatmeal with one simple change.
Why Soak Oats in Yogurt to Begin With?
Many people enjoy soaking oats with dairy yogurt. The purpose behind this being that live, active cultures from yogurt (any kind) help pre-digest the oats, making them more digestible, and the probiotics in the yogurt even “eat” up some of the carbs in the yogurt, making them lower in overall carbs. Even if you’re not dieting and watching carbs (since they’re necessary for good health), the digestive benefits alone from soaking oatmeal with yogurt is huge- it actually makes the entire difference between digesting oats properly or having a sensitive tummy to one of everyone’s favorite breakfast. However, you do not need to soak your oats in dairy yogurt to get these benefits. It’s overall best to avoid dairy (especially if you have GI issues and lactose intolerance.) What you can use instead, is coconut yogurt!
Why Choose Coconut Yogurt:
The benefits of coconut yogurt are plentiful and it’s easy to find. You can buy some at the store (choose unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla as the best option) or just make your own! You could also use any other non-dairy yogurt, but coconut is special when it comes to nutrition. Coconut is preferable since it’s not as allergenic as soy, has more fiber than other types, and it gives oats a delightful sweeter flavor, while also supporting your body with beneficial medium-chain-triglyceride fats. Coconut has also been linked to an improved mood just like oats.
Here’s how to make your overnight coconut soaked yogurt:
1. Add 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of rolled, old-fashioned oats (not instant or steel cut) to a mason jar or your favorite oatmeal bowl. Choose gluten-free, organic oats if you’re sensitive to gluten.
2. Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds, some cinnamon, vanilla, stevia or a touch of maple syrup, and even some canned pumpkin, chopped apples, berries, banana, etc. if you want. Cranberries are delightful in the fall and winter, along with pecans and walnuts.
3. Add 1/2 to one full 6-ounce container (or about 1/2 cup) of coconut yogurt.
4. Pour 1/2 cup non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond on top. Coconut would work great too.
5. Give it all a good stir, seal it or cover it so no air gets in, place in the fridge, and go to bed.
6. In the morning, you’ll have a thick, delicious bowl of coconut overnight oats that digests seamlessly, keeps you full, and gives you so much energy! (Add coffee and you’re in serious business, friends!)
- You can leave this soaking for two days, but don’t leave it longer than that since it gets soggy. Make it daily for an easy breakfast on the go, or even enjoy as a filling afternoon snack.
- Feel free to add nut butter, coconut flour for a cake-like flavor, flax, pumpkin seeds, or whatever else you enjoy in your oatmeal.
Nutritional Benefits of This Breakfast:
- Oats contain B vitamins, magnesium, protein, iron, and potassium. One half cup of rolled oats will give you 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, and over 300 milligrams of magnesium and potassium.
- Chia seeds provide fiber, magnesium, potassium, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids (much more than salmon!), antioxidants, iron, complete proteins, and B vitamins.
- Unsweetened almond milk contains twice the amount of calcium as non-dairy milk, is fortified with Vitamin B12, and is much lower in calories than cow’s milk.
- Coconut yogurt provides you with probiotics to support your immune system and healthy fats to fuel your brain.
- Add-ins like pumpkin, apples, berries, and spices will add even more antioxidants plus vitamins and minerals.
All of these ingredients are also cholesterol-free and 100 percent cruelty-free! See more of our breakfast ideas for even more plant-based ideas!
Do you soak your oats with yogurt?
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Image Source: UO Flickr/Flickr