Updated March 2021
If you always find yourself rushing out the door in the morning, you have to try Simple Mixed Berry Overnight Oats for a quick breakfast on the go! These oats are gluten-free, packed with protein, full of fiber, and literally waiting for you in the fridge in the morning.
About These Healthy Overnight Oats
When I first started my journey to eat healthier, breakfast was the first meal I conquered. I felt amazing on the days I chose something healthy, and that mentality would continue with me for the rest of the day. I noticed I was ordering more salads and avoiding the vending machine, and actually felt full after my meals during the day. This was a big change for me since I historically didn’t eat breakfast at all—I relied on large mocha lattes for my fuel!
Maybe your go-to breakfast is something you can pick up at the coffee shop or that you can unwrap and eat in your car, like a trail mix or granola bar. Unfortunately, none of these options are really all that healthy.
Most convenience foods spike your blood sugar—even those trail mix bars! This spike in blood sugar so early in the day sends your body into fat storage mode, butthis is not what you want if you are trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss.
How do overnight oats help you accomplish these goals? Well, they take the “I don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast” excuse off the table! The oats are waiting for you in the fridge, easy to grab on your way out the door, and customizable to whatever your heart desires. The best part: you can make 2 or 3 days’ worth of oats at once and let them sit in the fridge. I don’t think it can get much easier than that!
This simple mixed berry version of overnight oats is a combination of gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, water, milk, and protein powder. I top the oats with frozen raspberries and blueberries. So easy! And all I have to do is measure and stir. I use a mason jar to tote my oats to work, but you can use whatever you have that has a tight seal, like Tupperware or Pyrex.
We all have busy lives. And it seems like every year gets busier and busier. Kids join more activities, there are more birthday parties to go to, and there are so many long days at the office. So our eating habits have to roll with the punches, but they shouldn’t have to suffer! Instead, it just takes a little effort beforehand to make sure you and your family are eating well, even when busy.
Berry Overnight Oats take the perfect meal prep because they don’t even require the use of a stove! Simply assemble the night before or on a Sunday. By morning, you have breakfast ready and waiting for you when you’re short on time. This breakfast is also perfect for road trips and camping because it can sit in the cooler.
Ingredients In Mixed Berry Overnight Oats
Let’s talk about some of these ingredients, in case they are new to you…
- Rolled oats (gluten–free) – Oats are a great source of soluble fiber. Why is this important? Well, they don’t spike your blood sugar since they are digested slowly and are full of soluble fiber, which can help you feel full longer.
- Chia seeds – These little babies are packed with fiber and expand to absorb up to five times their size in water, which means they fill you up on fewer calories. Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids as well, which can help reduce inflammation in your body, helping you feel better every day! Chia seeds are great in overnight oats, chia pudding, green smoothies, and in baking to replace eggs.
- Milk of choice – All overnight oats recipes will need a liquid to help soften the oats as they sit in the fridge. I like to keep this recipe dairy-free by using unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk. If you prefer cow’s milk, you can use that too.
- Protein powder – You can use whatever protein powder you have on hand. You may need to add more or less milk depending on the brand and type of protein you use. I use a vegan protein powder, but you could also use a whey protein here as well. Whey tends to upset my stomach, so I don’t eat much of it. I do have a tip though: Look at the sugar content on your protein powder. The sugar level should be low if possible. I try to keep sugars to 1 or 2 grams per scoop!
- Frozen berries – I love using organic frozen berries because I don’t have to rush to use them before they spoil, and buying frozen organic is usually much cheaper than buying them fresh in the store. When I see them on sale, I stock up! Remember, any fruit without thick skin should be organic, to avoid eating a ton of pesticides.
How To Make Overnight Oats With Frozen Berries
Start by finding a container with a tight-fitting lid. I like to use a mason jar or Tupperware for ease.
Next, place the dry oats and chia seeds into the container. Pour hot water over the oats and chia seeds and stir well. This will help the oats become soft and creamy.
Then, add your unsweetened milk of choice. Coconut milk is delicious, but I also like to use almond milk. It keeps the overnight oats dairy-free.
Finally, add your protein powder and berries. You can use frozen strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a combination of all three. Using fresh berries is great, too.
Refrigerate overnight and eat in the morning. You can heat the oats in the microwave or enjoy them cold. Be sure to remove to a microwave-safe container if you choose to warm up the oats, much like hot oatmeal.
Personally, I like to enjoy it both hot or cold!
Simple Mixed Berry Overnight Oats Variations
You may be wondering if you can make overnight oats without protein powder. Of course! You could use Greek yogurt and stevia sweetener, or regular yogurt, and sprinkle with hemp hearts or mixed nuts. This way, you are still getting some quality protein with your breakfast. Protein is essential to feeling full and satisfied!
FAQs About Berry Overnight Oats
Why Do Overnight Oats Need To Sit So Long?
Overnight oats get their name from needing to sit overnight in order for the oats to soften to a pleasant consistency. Rolled oats are used in this recipe, which are less processed and more nutritious than a quicker-cooking or more processed oatmeal. Because the oats are thicker and less processed, the fridge time needs to increase. That’s why this is the perfect meal to make the night before so that no effort is required in the morning!
Are Overnight Oats Like Regular Oatmeal?
Overnight oats are very similar to regular oatmeal cooked the traditional way: over the stove. Heat and liquid soften the oats much quicker than overnight oats, hence why making oatmeal the traditional way is faster.
I personally like the texture of oats soaked overnight in the fridge compared to traditional oatmeal. The oats that sit overnight soak up the liquid and become creamier without the use of dairy. The result is a lovely texture that is creamy and silky.
Can You Make Savory Overnight Oats?
Most popular overnight oats recipes are sweet varieties, some even mimicking popular desserts. However, you can absolutely make a savory overnight oat recipe. Oat savory porridge is very popular for breakfast in many parts of the world, often served with a boiled egg or herbs. Make it a complete breakfast by crumbling some bacon on top, or even adding some shredded cheese!
What Are Some Substitutes For Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds add texture and nutrition to this dish, but you can certainly substitute them for another seed variety. You can even add chopped nuts! I just really like to have seeds or nuts in the overnight oats for texture. Hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or flax seeds are welcome substitutions as well. Biting down on seeds is a pleasant difference in texture compared to the creamy oats.
How Nutritious Are Overnight Oats?
Basil overnight oats are extremely nutritious and are perfect for your first meal of the day. They have a high amount of potassium, manganese, thiamin, and vitamin B-12. Just one serving has 10 grams of protein! When you add ingredients like frozen berries, nut butter, or other flavorings, the health benefits go up even more. Just be sure that your add-ins are low in refined sugar, and that your fruits are organic and whole.
Can Overnight Oats Be A Dessert?
Overnight oats can be a whole, healthy dessert if you want! There are so many overnight oat recipes that have the same flavors as classic desserts, such as carrot cake, peanut butter cup, or cheesecake. For a healthy, portion-controlled dessert, overnight oats are the perfect end to a healthy meal. Even without added sugar, they can still satisfy a sweet tooth.
Can I Use Quick-Cooking Oats?
If all you have in the house are quick-cooking oats, they can be used in a pinch. However, this recipe was written with rolled oats because they are more whole and sturdier. If you use quick oats, they will get softer much faster, leading to a mushy consistency in the morning. Some may like the texture to be this way; however, I prefer to have some texture left in my oats after sitting overnight.
What Is The Difference Between Steel Cut Oats And Rolled Oats?
The amount of processing the oats go through determines the name and texture of the oats. Steel cut oats are minimally processed and left raw, so the oat is round and has a chewier consistency. Rolled oats are steel cut and then run through a machine roller, flattening them to their signature shape. Steel cut oats have a nuttier flavor and give more mouthfeel. Rolled oats have slightly less calories and carbs than steel cut oats.
What Flavor Of Protein Powder Should I Use?
There are so many flavors of protein powder out there right now. If you have a favorite flavor, it likely comes in protein powder form. The basics are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or peanut butter, but there are also unique flavors that would add an interesting flare to the berry overnight oats. Some great options are birthday cake, root beer float, cereal milk, mocha cappuccino, or cinnamon bun. When making this recipe, I have used strawberry, vanilla, and flavorless varieties, all of which were delicious!
Simple Mixed Berry Overnight Oats
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries
- Add the rolled oats and chia seeds to a mason jar (or any container with a tight fitting lid). Pour the hot water over the oats and chia and stir well. Add the unsweetened coconut (or milk of choice), protein powder and frozen mixed berries. Stir and place in the fridge.
- Enjoy in the morning.
- Tip! You may need more or less milk depending on the type of protein powder you use. If you need more, add it one tablespoon at a time until you get the texture you love. Next time you make this add that to the recipe. If it is too runny, add 1 tbs. protein powder and stir. Going forward only add 1/3 cup milk and see how that goes!
More Great Recipe Ideas…
These recipes are some of my favorites!
- Like these Berry Coconut Energy Bites. They are another perfect make-ahead healthy breakfast for busy people.
- One of the kids’ favorite side dishes lately is this Kidney Bean and Baby Corn Salad! It is super healthy and really filling.
- The kids have also been asking for these Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog Cups, which are so simple and delicious.