These strawberry overnight oats are so easy to meal prep and taste like strawberry shortcake! It’s like having dessert for breakfast.
All it took was one 70 degree day for me to jump back on overnight oats breakfast wagon. I’ve been eating a few different combos over the past couple weeks and this one stood out as a true favorite. I think in part because the strawberries I picked up from the grocery were perfectly ripe and sweeter than any berry I’ve tasted this year.
One bite and I was quickly daydreaming about spring and summer produce. Asparagus, berries, zucchini, fresh corn on the cob… literally CAN NOT WAIT. In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy the massive container of strawberries I have in the fridge by making these overnight oats all week.
Strawberry shortcake is the quintessential summertime dessert and has been a favorite of mine since childhood so when I was brainstorming strawberry overnight oat recipes it immediately came to me.
I used my Strawberry Shortcake Quinoa Parfait recipe as a guide, tried a couple test batches and finally found the perfect combo that was reminiscent of strawberry shortcake. Obviously it doesn’t taste 100% like the dessert, but it does have the same flavors. I think the key is using sweet, ripe strawberries, as well as, almond and vanilla extracts. The extracts give the oats that pound cake flavor, while the strawberries and honey bring the perfect amount of sweetness.
Combine the strawberry and cake flavors with the creaminess of almond milk and Greek yogurt and you’ve got yourself a bowl of oats that tastes pretty similar to strawberry shortcake, yet still healthy enough to serve for breakfast! Plus it’s gluten-free, portable and perfect for warm mornings when hot oats aren’t appealing.
The base “recipe” for overnight oats is so simple! The hardest part is getting the right ratio of oats to liquid. I aim for a 1:1 ratio of rolled oats to milk, plus half as much yogurt. So for 1/2 cup of oats, I use 1/2 cup of milk + 1/4 cup of yogurt (or an additional 1/4 cup of milk). This seems to give the oats the perfect consistency, not too thick, but not soupy. For the liquid, I usually go for non-dairy milk like almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you have on hand and if you really want to experiment you can try using different liquids like fruit juice.
Given the name, you’d assume overnight oats need to soak overnight, but you can actually make them in 2-4 hours if you’re in a rush. While it does take some time for the oats to absorb the liquid, they don’t necessarily have to be soaked overnight. I recommend at least 8 hours for true overnight oats, but there have been mornings where I decide I want overnight oats for breakfast even though I didn’t prep them the night before. When this happens I’ll make them the morning of and let the oats soak for just 2-4 hours. With this quick soak, they’re not as soft as overnight oats that have soaked longer and they’re a bit more liquidy, but they’re still delicious.
When stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight oats should last for up to 5 days. They will soften more the longer they sit so I find they’re best on days 1-3, but they’re still safe to eat on days 4 and 5. With this said, overnight oats are great for meal prep. Feel free to make a whole batch for the week on Sunday. I like prepping them in wide mouth 16 oz mason jars.
Short answer, yes! You can definitely warm up overnight oats, but the whole point of overnight oats is to eat them cold like muesli. Even if you think cold oats sound strange, I recommend giving it shot before you write them off. Of course, if you simply can’t do the cold oats you can always heat them up. Just pop the overnights oats in your microwave, cooking in 30 second increments until the oats are warm throughout and enjoy.