Summer Cooking Hack: Vanilla Overnight Oats

The heat of the summer has hit my fair city within the last couple of weeks (and it’s not even August yet), which means I am working on ever inventive ways to cook healthy WITHOUT heat … it’s going about as well as you’d expect.

Enter overnight oats, savior of morning routines and completely and utterly devoid of anything remotely near the application of heat. I will admit, I was skeptical about how well I’d like overnight oats (and I’m usually not one to buy into the hype around a new “it” food). It will surprise none of you when I say that I have FEELINGS about oats, mainly: they should be thick enough to spackle walls with. Yes, dear reader, I like to CHEW my oats.

I live in fear of runny oats.

It’s easy to combat runny oats when cooking them, but overnight oats command a certain level of trust in science that can be hard at times. But here’s a helpful hint I’ve learned over the years: you don’t have to eat everything you make. GASP. I know, but look: trial and error is a real thing and some days your gag reflex’s level of nope over runny oats is high so it’s best if you don’t even try. #overshare

I am happy to report that after several rounds of tinkering, science won out and I’ve landed on the perfect mixture for me (but maybe not for you, and that’s okay) and while I won’t be eating overnight oats all the time, it’s nice to have something in my back pocket for days when the temperature is going to break triple digits.

Overall overnight oats are: chewy; nutty; have an added bump from a wee bit of protein; provide endless topping ideas; and are very much worth the time to find a version that works for you.

Oats not your thing, but you still want to try a different grain for breakfast? Got you covered with this farro bowl.

SIDEBAR: Do you like British / Aussie television? Are you a subscriber to Acorn TV? No? Seriously, GET ON THAT! You are? ARE YOU WATCHING LOCH NESS? Please say yes? I’ve one friend who is watching this show and I need more people to flail over it with me. All you need to know: Scotland, Loch Ness (ah, the Nessie jokes), serial killer. And if you’re not down with stupid amazing shows about serial killers and Scottish accents could I interest you in a show about the law system in Australia? Enter Janet King. Watch either these and come find me on Twitter – we’ll have a virtual klatsch.

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2.5 TBSP old fashioned oats
2.5 TBSP steel cut quick oats
¼ cup milk
¼ cup Greek yogurt of choice
1 TBSP Vanilla protein powder
various fruits and nuts of choice for topping


Combine oats, milk, yogurt, and protein powder in a bowl with a lid (or a mason jar if that’s your jam), stir, cover, and place in fridge overnight (I have found that about 12 hours is the perfect time for thick and chewy oats).

The next morning take your oats out, give them a quick stir, and top with all your favorite things.

Dig in.

Do you prefer your oats thick too? What recipes do you rely on when the heat is too hot?


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