Overnight Oats 101

As a student in an online cooking course, there’s no doubt that you’re familiar with the recipe section of Pinterest. Among all of the easy-to-prepare recipes is the notorious overnight oats. These aesthetically pleasing mason jars of oatmeal and various accouterments are tagged as being so simple anyone can do it. However, many people find when they attempt these “super simple” recipes, they get to work, excited to eat their oatmeal, to realize that’s watery, bland or tastes like glue. If you’ve given up on the overnight oat phenomenon after one too many failed attempts, here’s what you can do to perfect your recipe:

Get creative with your overnight oats.Get creative with your overnight oats.

Choose your oats wisely
many people love the nutty flavor of steel cut oats, but these oats are better for a leisurely Sunday morning than a quick breakfast on a Monday. This is because in order for them to get that chewy texture, steel cut oats need time to simmer in hot water. Cold water simply can’t penetrate the oats as effectively. When it comes to instant oats, though, you’ll find your overnight oats will be a big pile of goop in the morning. After all, it only takes a couple of minutes for you to get instant oats ready to go anyway. Your best bet is to use old-fashioned oats because they can hold up to being submerged in water or milk for so long.

Use the right amount of liquid
There’s a never-ending list of liquids you can use to soften your oats, and it seems that every recipe gives you a different amount to use. Whether you’re using water, milk, a milk substitute, yogurt or buttermilk, all you have to do is use twice as much liquid as oats, especially if you’re adding nuts, seeds or any other substantial mix-ins. If you find that that isn’t enough liquid for you, you can always add more right before you eat.

Don’t add mix-ins too early
Add-ins like fruit or seeds shouldn’t be added to your oats until you’re about to eat. Leaving these ingredients to sit in the oats all night will likely cause them to get mushy, and they definitely won’t add a good flavor or texture to your oats. You want these things to enhance the flavor of your oats, not contribute a funky flavor.

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