Growing up, I thought oatmeal was pronounced oat-me-o. For years, I called this porridge that kinda terrified me with its gloppy texture by the wrong name.
In my 20s, I decided to finally give oatmeal a try. I started safe with instant oats from Trader Joe’s, loading them with brown sugar and cinnamon. Eventually, I graduated to steel cut oats and began to add other grains.
The problem with steel cut oats, however, is that they take forever, and I didn’t generally have the time or will to wake up early to prepare my breakfast.
Then I discovered overnight oats, thanks to the incredibly talented Angela Liddon over at Oh She Glows. I’ve been making these for years, varying the ingredients regularly, and I never get sick of this breakfast.
I simply make the overnight oats at night before bed, put the mix in the fridge, add a few toppings in the morning, and go on my way.
During our bicycle tour, I’ve made a version of overnight oats nearly every single morning. They’re quick, don’t require us to fire up our stove, and provide plenty of fuel to cover the miles we travel before lunch.
So far, I’ve had no problem finding shelf stable plant-based milks in Europe and find a one-liter container lasts us two days. If it’s not cold enough at night to act as a refrigerator, we simply swap milk for water and add peanut butter or almond meal to make it a bit creamier. We’ve found that if the temperature is over 80 F or 20 C, then we don’t risk it. We learned the hard way one morning in Austria.
The below recipe is a basic variation I use. I make my own muesli and just store it in a gallon-size zip top bag. This can be used with store bought muesli as well. I use my MSR pot to make the oats, cover, and let them work their magic inside overnight.
These are fabulous topped with the Sweet and Simple Macerated Strawberries I created for Klean Kanteen.
Vegan Overnight Muesli
- 4 cups of rolled oats
- ½ cup of seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
- ½ cup of raisins or dried cranberries
- ¼ - ½ cup of other dried fruit such as goji berries dates, chopped apricots - anything you like!
- Mix everything in a gallon-size zip top bag and shake to combine.
Overnight Oats (Serves 2 human-powered traveler appetites)
- 1.5 cups muesli homemade or store bought
- 2 T of chia seeds
- 1 small handful of nuts about 12 - almond, pecans, walnuts - it’s your choice!
- 2 t cinnamon
- Almond milk or other plant based milk
- Add the muesli, chia seeds, nut, and cinnamon to your pot or other covered bowl.
- Stir to combine.
- Add enough almond milk to cover the muesli by about an inch.
- Stir to combine. If the milk is absorbed by the oats and you can see the muesli mix, add enough milk to cover the mix until only a few pieces of fruit or nuts and seeds are visible (see the last photo as a reference).
- Cover and let sit overnight.
- In the morning, the oats will have absorbed the milk your muesli will be ready to eat! Serve and add any additional sweeteners like maple syrup, top with seasonal fresh fruit and enjoy!