Welcome the New Year with this easy and healthy no-cook breakfast recipe. Stir up old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and your choice of milk right in a jar. Chill in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning you’ll have thick, creamy delicious oats. Serve warm or cold topped with diced apples, dried figs, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey.
How to Make Overnight Oats with Almond Milk
The idea behind overnight oats is to let them soak in milk, plumping old-fashioned or rolled oats so they’re soft. You can use whole milk, soy milk, or oat milk, but overnight oats with almond milk is one of our favorites. The nutty flavor of almond milk is a natural pairing with oats. So many kinds of almond milks are available—unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate, or even toasted coconut. For this recipe we would recommend using unsweetened almond milk so the sweetness comes from the fruit and honey. If you like things on the sweeter side, you could always use vanilla almond milk that’s already sweetened and skip adding in the vanilla extract.
One thing to note here is that almond milk typically isn’t as thick as whole milk and chia seeds add both essential omegas as well as help thicken. Chia seed pudding is a healthy dessert and breakfast in its own right. In overnight oats, chia seeds help the oats gel as well as adding nutrition.
Fruit First: Overnight Oats with Apples + Figs
If you’re trying to cut back on added sugar, using fresh and dried fruit together adds texture and sweetness. Dried mission and golden figs are naturally sweet and they add a chewy bite to overnight oats with apples adding a fresh crunch. You could chop up a tart apple like Granny Smith, but Pink Lady, Fuji, Opal, or Honeycrisp apples add a sweet and tart flavor. And, we all know cinnamon and apples are a natural pairing. Walnuts are great in the oats, but you can also use toasted almonds or pecans.
Stir + Chill Breakfasts
Prep time for overnight oats with apples takes about 5 minutes. The real time here is inactive time, letting the oats chill and gel. So, you could prep ahead by doubling the recipe below. Chop the apples in advance (make sure to squeeze lemon juice over them so they don’t brown if not using right away). Chop the walnuts (and think about toasting them in advance too). Chop up the figs. Now, you could either make a week’s worth of overnight oats in one big covered container and just scoop out oats each morning to top with the fruit. Or, you could portion all the dry ingredients in pint glass jars and stir in liquid ingredients, so they’re ready to go. They will only need the fruits and nuts added in on the morning you’re planning to eat them. With a little planning, breakfast on-the-go is a cinch!
Cinnamon Apple Fig Overnight Oats with Almond Milk
- 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup almond milk (or other kind of milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup apple diced
- 1/4 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs
- 1 tablespoon walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- For each serving, add 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, and a dash of cinnamon to a jar or container.
- Combine the milk and vanilla extract and divide evenly between the containers. Stir until combined, then seal tightly and refrigerate overnight (minimum of 4 hours).
- The next morning, top the overnight oats with diced apples, figs, and walnuts. Drizzle with honey and serve.
- Make this recipe vegan by substituting almond milk for the liquid and maple syrup for the sweetener.
- Chia seeds give overnight oats a thick and creamy texture like pudding. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit more milk the next morning before topping with fruit, nuts, and honey.
- These oats can be eaten warm or cold. For warm oats, place in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds before adding the toppings.
- Overnight oats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Recipe and photos by Sheila Thigpen