Get your breakfast ready the night before and you'll be in for a treat in the morning! These Banana Overnight Oats are my go-to Basic Overnight Oats Recipe. Naturally sweetened with banana, and gut-friendly with yoghurt and a long soak to ferment the oats, make-ahead breakfast is creamy, dreamy, and packed with good nutrition.
I've been on a bit of an overnight oats bender lately. It's possible that I've had a jar, with some variation in flavour and mix-ins, every morning for the past 4 months or so. There are worse benders one could go on, ammiright?
Everyone feels differently about breakfast, what to eat and when to eat it. My husband, for example, doesn't start eating until well into the afternoon. I, on the other hand, am one of those people who wakes up hungry and basically needs breakfast on the ready as soon as I open my eyes.
It took me far too long to jump on the overnight oats train. I'd see pictures of them and picture some gross, gummy, goop that was in no way appealing to me. All it took was one spoonful to change my mind and see how wrong I'd been!
Turns out that my little guy loves them as well! I can't even prepare them when he's still awake, because if he sees them he will Freak Out until he gets them, and it's hard to explain to a three-year-old that you have to let them sit overnight but we'll enjoy them in the morning.
These Banana Overnight Oats are my go-to Basic Overnight Oats recipe. It's the perfect template for whatever you want to add to it, but berries (fresh or frozen) is my favourite way to top them.
What's in this basic overnight oats recipe?
Here's my Banana Overnight Oats lineup:
- Oats! --> Who saw that one coming?! Rolled oats, please and thank you. Not the quick-cooking kind.
- Banana --> Can't make Banana Overnight Oats without banana!
- Yogurt --> I prefer to use a runnier yoghurt in this recipe as opposed to something like these Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt Cups.
- Plant-based milk --> Oat milk is my jam these days, but you do you.
- Chia seeds --> These little babies add omega-3's, dietary fiber, and help thicken things up.
- Vanilla extract --> Optional, but delicious. Related: Homemade Vanilla Extract.
- Berries and diced banana --> Toppings central!
How do you make overnight oats?
Super simple my friends. Simply place your mashed banana, oats, yogurt, plant milk, chia seeds, and vanilla into a bowl or a jar (I like to use these Weck jars, but any glass jar with a lid will do). Give everything a good stir, then place into the fridge overnight. Done!
Can I make banana overnight oats in advance?
I tend to mix up a jar of overnight oats every evening, as it takes only a few minutes to mash, mix, swirl, and throw the jar into the fridge. However, I've also experimented with making a big batch in bulk and those turn out just fine as well. I find that a batch will last 3-4 days happily in the fridge, so if you'd rather not have to make oats every day, that's a good option for you.
Do I have to use yogurt?
I like to make my overnight oats with a mixture of plain yogurt and plant-based milk. I just prefer the flavour this way, but there's no reason you skip the yogurt if you want vegan oats. I like to use yogurt because it kickstarts a little fermentation as the oats soak overnight, making the oats easier to digest and nutrients more bioavailable than without.
What kind of toppings work best?
These days I'm topping my overnight oats with the fresh berries that have just come into season, but throughout the winter months I use frozen berries, which I add on top of the oats before they go into the fridge for the night. In the morning they're melted and juicy and perfect for swirling through your oats.
Tips for optimizing your basic overnight oats recipe:
- Prefer your breakfast on the go? No problem! Just make your overnight oats in a jar with a lid that fits tightly, and you can toss them into your bag and take them along with you.
- Don't like banana? Lots of people feel this way. You can leave the banana out and add a splash of maple syrup for sweetness instead. I use about ¼ of a banana per serving, and I find that it makes them perfectly sweet but not too sweet without tasting overwhelmingly banana-y.
- Want to make vegan oats? No problemo. Either you can replace the yoghurt with coconut yoghurt, or leaev it out and replace with extra plant-based milk.
- Sensitive to gluten? Be sure to seek out oats that are labelled gluten-free, as oats are often processed in the same factories as gluten-containing grains.
- Prefer a warm breakfast? It's totally fine to gently heat your overnight oats in the morning.
- Forgot to make your oats the night before? Not to worry, a quick soak of 2 hours will do the trick.
Hey Nutrition Lady, tell me more about oats!
Folks, I'd be glad to! Oats are a cereal grain, and a member of the grass family Poaceae. What we know of as oats are the edible seed of the grass, which has been hulled, steamed, and rolled into their characteristic flat disc-like shape. Steel cut oats haven't been rolled, but are chopped into smaller pieces instead.
Oats are a good source of dietary fiber, including soluble fiber, which absorbs water as it moves through your digestive tract and help regulate the pace of digestion, which allows more time for nutrient absorption and digestion. Oats are also a good food source for the friendly bacteria in your lower intestine, where they are fermented and provide energy for our intestinal cells.
Oats are rich in indigestible carbohydrates called beta-glutens which help to lower blood cholesterol levels, and are also host to a number of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties. Due to the high levels of those beta-glucans, oats are also helpful in stabilizing blood sugar.
In fact, eating oats in the morning may help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the entire day. Oats are great source of manganese and molybdenum, and a good source of copper, biotin, vitamin B1, magnesium, dietary fiber, and are a decent source of protein.
So let's get at these creamy, dreamy Banana Overnight Oats. I hope that you love them as much as I do!
Other make-ahead breakfasts you might enjoy:
Banana Overnight Oats
- Place ¼ of a ripe banana into the bottom of a glass jar, and mash well using a fork.
- Add the oats, chia seeds, yoghurt, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well.
- Add the diced banana chunks (if using) and stir through the oats. Add the sliced strawberries to the top (do not stir through).
- Place a lid on the container, and place into the fridge to soak for at least 2 hours, but up to overnight.
This recipe was originally published July 24, 2014. It was last updated May 9, 2019.
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