Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same boring flavors.
Overnight oats have become a popular breakfast, and for good reason: They’re cheap, easy, and versatile—and most importantly, they speed up your morning routine. You make them at night before bed, and in the morning, they’re ready to eat.
There are many health benefits of oatmeal, but you can sabotage your healthy breakfast if you’re not careful. For example, adding a bunch of brown sugar might be tasty, but most Americans already eat more added sugar than recommended, according to the American Heart Association. (Here are other common mistakes that sabotage your oatmeal.)
Instead, get clever with your overnight oats. Using fruit as a natural sweetener is one way to keep your overnight oatmeal healthy and reduce your sugar intake. To make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut eating the same breakfast, here are 10 fun and healthy ways to flavor your overnight oats:
1. Banana Bread Overnight Oats
Banana bread is delicious, but so is the batter (although raw batter and dough is not safe to eat, unfortunately). Why not capture that flavor in banana bread overnight oats?
Combine oats with mashed banana, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It will be just like eating banana bread batter (without the risk of Salmonella). Find out how to make banana bread overnight oats from Fit Mitten Kitchen.
2. Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
Can't wait until Thanksgiving for your next dose of pumpkin pie? Cure your craving with this easy and healthy breakfast. You don’t even need to have pie crust expertise.
Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to your oats. You can also use chopped dates instead of maple syrup. Check out this recipe for pumpkin pie overnight oats from the Oatmeal Artist.
3. Piña Colada Overnight Oats
Sometimes you need a bright and tropical start to your morning (especially in mid-February when it’s 5 degrees and snowing outside). This rum-free piña colada overnight oats is surprisingly healthy and oh-so-flavorful.
Combine oats and light coconut milk with frozen pineapple chunks and unsweetened shredded coconut. Find out how to make piña colada overnight oats from Flavor the Moments.
4. Strawberry Lemonade Overnight Oats
Nothing says summer like strawberry lemonade. If you think oatmeal is a winter food, you’ve gotta try this strawberry lemonade twist.
Add diced or pureed strawberries, fresh lemon juice, and maple syrup (or chopped dates) to your oats. Check out how to make strawberry lemonade overnight oats from the Food Duo. (If strawberry isn't your thing, you can also switch it up with raspberry lemonade overnight oats or cherry limeade overnight oats.)
5. Apple Pie Overnight Oats
Apple pie is good all year round. This oatmeal makes a patriotic breakfast on July 4th, or a cozy, soul-warming breakfast as the temps fall on October 4th.
Combine oats with diced apple or applesauce, apple pie spice, and vanilla extract. Find out how to make apple pie overnight oats from 100 Days of Real Food.
6. Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats
Chocolate and bananas are a great and underrated duo. If you love chocolate-covered bananas, chocolate-banana milkshakes, or banana bread with chocolate chips, you’ll love this overnight oatmeal.
Add mashed banana, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract to your oats. You won’t need to add sugar because the banana is a natural sweetener. Check out this recipe for cocoa banana overnight oats from Delicious As It Looks.
7. Orange Creamsicle Overnight Oats
Orange and vanilla create a delightful combo that is often reserved for ice cream. Capture that beloved flavor duo in a healthy breakfast instead.
Combine oats with orange segments with unsweetened vanilla yogurt (try almond yogurt or coconut yogurt for less “tang”). You can also use unflavored yogurt and add vanilla extract. Find out how to make orange creamsicle oatmeal from the Breakfast Drama Queen.
8. Peach Blueberry Pie Overnight Oats
Here’s another taste of summer. Blueberries are great in oatmeal. They *literally* burst with berry flavor and add fun texture.
Add diced peaches (frozen works, but fresh is better), blueberries, and cinnamon to your oats. Check out this recipe for peach and blueberry overnight oats from Flavour and Savour.
9. Mango-Coconut Overnight Oats
It’s like a piña colada, but it has one advantage: Mango has a creamier texture than pineapple, so this oatmeal ends up being pretty luscious.
Combine oats with diced frozen mango and light coconut milk. That’s it! Find out how to make coconut mango overnight oats from the Busy Baker.
10. Zucchini Bread Overnight Oats
This one is especially unique. If you love zucchini bread—or you have zucchinis in your garden and you don’t know what to do with all of them—try grating them into your oats.
Add shredded zucchini, cinnamon, raisins, and maple syrup to your oats. Check out this recipe for zucchini bread overnight oats from Lemons and Zest.
Whether you eat your overnight oatmeal cold or heated up, nothing beats a breakfast that’s ready to go when you are. Here are more speedy breakfast ideas for rushed mornings.
5 whole grains to keep your family healthy. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on June 25, 2019 at https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/five-grains-to-keep-your-family-healthy.)
Looking to reduce your family’s intake of added sugars? Here’s how. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on June 25, 2019 at https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/looking-to-reduce-your-familys-added-sugar-intake-heres-how.)
Oats. Cambridge, MA: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (Accessed on June 25, 2019 at https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/.)
Power up with breakfast. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2017. (Accessed on June 25, 2019 at https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/power-up-with-breakfast.