A jarringly delicious breakfast

Why overnight oats may be the secret to spicing up your mornings

Emily DiSalvo, Arts and Life Editor

You may have seen the photos on Pinterest of a perfect batch of overnight oats. A delicate mason jar filled with rolled oats dripping with honey and topped with berries seems like the kind of breakfast you do not only want to devour, but also photograph. 

Overnight oats are a healthy way to start the morning.
Overnight oats are a healthy way to start the morning. (Emily DiSalvo)

I, too, have been enchanted by these images and the concept of just eating oatmeal the old way never seemed satisfying once I saw the potential of the overnight variety. Back when I was in high school, I tried making one and it wasn’t great. I became excited about all the different ingredients I could toss into the jar, and I think I overdid it. 

Just a few weeks ago, I tried again for the first time in years, and I think this time I perfected a base recipe and some tasteful ways to modify it.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. The container: The mason jar looks pretty, but any tupperware you have will work. Even using a jar of peanut butter with some residue in it will be convenient and add for a fun splash of flavor.  
  2. Oats: I use rolled, old fashioned or instant oatmeal. People on Pinterest will tell you one works better than another. I suggest going with whatever works for you. The dining hall has boxes of instant oat packets. One instant oat packet is a perfect serving size which helps me with proportions.
  3. Milk: Once you have chosen your oats, add in milk. Add an amount equal to the oats you have. In other words, a 50-50 ratio. I usually use vanilla almond or oat milk so that the underlying flavor is sweet and yummy. Stir the two together. 
  4. Yogurt: Add half of a single-sized yogurt cup into the mixture. I suggest making two batches at once so you don’t have a half a cup of yogurt left over. If you are like me and tend to avoid a lot of dairy, use oat yogurt or another dairy-free option. I suggest a bland flavor like vanilla or honey so it does not overpower any fruits or toppings you choose to add.
  5. Banana: At this point, your mixture is probably still quite liquidy. This is OK, and if you don’t like bananas, you can skip this step. Take one average size banana and split it between your two containers. Mush the banana into the ingredients you have so far and stir it all around. 
  6. Nut butter: This stage is optional, particularly if you are allergic to nuts. Add about two tablespoons of a nut butter of your choice to the mixture and stir it through. I have been using almond butter. 
Overnight oats can be made in a nearly empty peanut butter jar for added flavor.
Overnight oats can be made in a nearly empty peanut butter jar for added flavor. (Emily DiSalvo)

Once you are done stirring, cover the containers and leave them in the fridge overnight. The ingredients will become much firmer as the oats absorb the ingredients around them. 

In the morning, it is time to accessorize your oats. I usually add granola, but you can get creative. This recipe would also go well with some strawberries or seeds like flax or chia. 

If your creation does not look as beautiful as the ones you see on Pinterest, do not be discouraged. This is breakfast, not golden hour and the quality of your photos will not be judged. 

This recipe is healthy because oats are good for cholesterol and are high in many vitamins and minerals. The yogurt and the nut butter add protein, and toppings like granola or seeds add a wholesome touch. This breakfast will leave you feeling full for hours.