For many of us, the most important meal of the day is but a rare luxury. When stacked against 15 extra minutes of sleep and a to-go cup of burning hot coffee, breakfast almost always loses. But in the spirit of actually listening to the single piece of health advice that has stood the test of time, we’re willing to change our ways.
Enter overnight oats: the breakfast recipe that’s simple enough to earn a coveted spot in our hectic morning routines. What looks unnecessarily tedious on Instagram is actually just a combination of two basic ingredients that, when combined and left in your refrigerator overnight, essentially “cook” themselves.
What’s more, this meal is just as nutritious as it is simple—rolled oats is a great source of fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids. If you avoid the instant varieties and read the label carefully, there’s zero added sugar. Finally, the buffet of tasty topping options make it an incredibly versatile meal; you can quite literally dress your overnight oats according to which health benefits you want to receive. We tapped Sakara founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise for some topping inspiration (they even shared the insanely simple basic recipe you’ll need to get started):
½ cup plain, old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup milk or plant-based milk
½ tbsp chia seeds for added nutrients and fiber (optional)
A touch of a sweetener like honey or maple syrup for added flavor (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in the container of your choice.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of three hours or, ideally, overnight.
- Add the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
The Skin Savior: Goji Berries
The health benefit: Glowing skin and reduced inflammation.
“Goji berries are a source of vitamin C, zinc, selenium, and a whopping five carotenoids, which are a powerful class of antioxidants,” explains Tingle. “A handful of these chewy, medicinal berries offers ample skin benefits, a boost in immunity, and, according to traditional Chinese medicine, a strengthened liver and kidneys.” They recommend adding one handful of goji berries to your overnight oats in the morning.
The Digestive Kickstarter: Spirulina + Banana
The health benefit: Metabolic efficiency and improved gut health.
Both Tingle and Duboise are fans of spirulina—a tiny nutrient-dense algae that’s packed with thiamin; riboflavin; niacin; folate; and vitamins B-6, A, and K. “Spirulina is made up of 60 percent protein—more than most vegetables—making it a great topping to mix into your breakfast routine,” explains Duboise. “The deep green color also denotes chlorophyll, a verdant pigment known to oxygenate the blood and naturally detoxify the body.” What’s more, studies have linked spirulina to improved gut health, metabolic efficiency, lowered cholesterol, and lowered blood pressure. The two recommend adding half of one magnesium and potassium-rich banana to your oats for a dose of sweet to balance out the earthy flavor of the spirulina.
The Mood Booster: Hemp Seeds + Strawberries
The health benefit: Hormonal support and reduced inflammation.
“Hemp seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, in addition to omega 9 fatty acids and the lesser-known gamma linoleic,” explains Tingle. “Together, they offer critical support for your hormones and adrenals while reducing inflammation.” Combined with vitamin C–rich strawberries, this combination is both satiating and bursting with antioxidants. They recommend serving your overnight oats with 2 to 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds and 5 to 6 organic strawberries, chopped.
The Debloating Essential: Metabolism Powder
The health benefit: Improved digestion and debloating.
“This combo is a Sakara office fave,” divulges Duboise. Sakara’s metabolism powder is filled with active ingredients, Ayurvedic herbs, and amino acids and are “nutritionally designed to heal your gut, curb cravings, and de-bloat,” she explains. Made with a touch of cacao, this powder will turn your overnight oats into something that tastes indulgent, but will, in fact, be packed with functional, healing ingredients. Use one packet of metabolism power per serving of overnight oats.
The Stress Reliever: Dark Chocolate Granola
The health benefit: Stress relief and hormonal balance.
“Our cult-favorite dark chocolate granola is chock-full of nutrients—and it’s seriously addicting,” says Tingle. “First, we take selenium-rich Brazil nuts (an important mineral for hormone balancing), add cacao for a dose of antioxidants, and mix in ashwagandha. This adaptogen is known for nourishing and healing the adrenal system, which controls our stress response.” The two suggest adding two generous handfuls to your overnight oats.
The Immune Strengthener: Fresh Mango + Crushed Pistachios
The health benefit: Strengthened immune system and eye protection.
Known as “the king of fruits” in certain regions of the world, mangoes boast an impressive nutritional profile. Packed with vitamin C, copper, folate, polyphenols, and dietary fiber, they can help strengthen your immune system and protect your cells against free radical damage. Pistachios, on the other hand, are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin B6. These powerful nuts can protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light and age-related macular degeneration. Top your overnight oats with these two ingredients plus a dash of rose petals for a flavorful, nutrient-rich breakfast.
See more tasty ideas:
7 Instant Pot Recipes for When Your Weekday Energy Is Zapped
All the Makings of a Healthy Lunch Are at Trader Joe’s
5 Pantry Essentials Pop Up Grocer’s Founder Can’t Get Enough Of