With autumn comes cosy warm jumpers, crisp golden leaves, refreshingly cool air and caramel apple pie overnight oats! The perfect back-to-school breakfast, these healthy overnight oats take just 10 minutes to make the night before and are ideal for storing in a jar or container so you can grab them in the morning on your way out the door.
Are overnight oats healthy?
In a word - yes! Overnight oats are very healthy, nutritious and good for you. Oats are loaded with fibre which boosts healthy digestion, healthy carbs that slowly release energy to keep you full for hours and vitamin B which can enhance brain function. Not bad for a bit of grain, right?
And that's just one ingredient in overnight oats! These caramel apple pie overnight oats also have calcium from the yoghurt and milk, anti-inflammatory benefits from cinnamon and antioxidants from apples. I'd like to say there are loads of health benefits from the caramel sauce...but there are none. It will make you happy, though. Which is still good for your health!
Do you eat overnight oats cold?
I get asked this question a lot. Yes, you eat overnight oats cold. I guess it probably sounds a bit weird to someone who's only ever eaten cooked oatmeal. But cold overnight oats taste amazing!
You've got to leave them in the fridge for at least 4 hours - you can't just eat them as soon as you make them. When they're in the fridge, the oats absorb the yoghurt and milk, giving them a soft, almost pudding-like consistency. Seriously, once you've tried them, you'll love them! Especially if you first try them using this caramel apple pie overnight oats recipe.
Not cooking the oats helps them retain their nutrients and also aids you lower your bad cholesterol levels. So by opting for overnight oats instead of cooked oatmeal, you're actually eating a healthier, more nutritious breakfast.
Are overnight oats good for weight loss?
Yes, overnight oats are good for weight loss. Oats are super low in calories and super high in fibre - a winning combo that will help you lose weight. The fibre in the oats makes your body release energy very gradually throughout the day. This helps keep you feeling full until lunchtime and curb snack cravings.
If you do want to lose weight, you can't just eat caramel apple pie overnight oats every morning for breakfast and call it a day. You do have to do a little bit more work - like sticking to a healthy diet and working out. If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, check out these 20 healthy dinners and this free yoga for weight loss video class.
How can I make caramel apple pie overnight oats healthier?
These caramel apple pie overnight oats are only 360 calories. (I know, right?!) You should eat 350-500 calories for breakfast which puts these overnight oats at the lower end of the healthy breakfast calorie range. But if you want to cut the calories down even further, there are a few things you can do.
Switch the brown sugar for a calorie-free artificial sweetener. I know some people aren't big on artificial sweeteners, but I use them every day - in hot drinks and overnight oats. Simply stir a 1-tablespoon-of-sugar equivalent in with all the other ingredients and you'll reduce the calorie count by 50.
Leave out the caramel sauce. This will reduce the calorie count by a further 50 calories. But then you wouldn't have caramel apple pie overnight oats. You'd have regular apple pie overnight oats. But they're good, too!
What kind of oats are best for overnight oats?
Rolled oats are best when making overnight oats. They'll give you a creamy, smooth texture with just the right amount of bite. Delish! Avoid instant oats - they're so small that they'll almost fully dissolve in the milk and yoghurt when you leave them to chill. You'll end up with something more akin to a cold, gritty smoothie instead of overnight oats. Also steer clear of steel cut oats - they'll result in chewy, dense overnight oats.
More dessert-like overnight oats recipes
- Black Forest Overnight Oats - made with cocoa powder, dark chocolate and cherries.
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Overnight Oats - with a low FODMAP version for anyone with IBS.
- Carrot Cake Overnight Oats - an awesome healthy breakfast for Easter.
- Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats - one of the best flavour combos ever!
- Double Chocolate Cheesecake Overnight Oats - sounds super indulgent, but it's actually a healthy breakfast.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Overnight Oats - one of the few ways you can eat cookie dough for breakfast and still be healthy!
Caramel Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- ½ apple
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon separated into 2
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup fat-free sugar-free yoghurt you can use a vegan alternative
- ⅓ cup skimmed milk you can use a vegan alternative
- 2 tablespoons caramel you can use a vegan alternative
- Peel, core and halve the apple. Put one half aside and cut the remaining half into small chunks. Place in a microwave-safe container and toss with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, until all the apple chunks are coated.
- Cook the apple chunks in the microwave for 2 minutes, until soft.
- In a container with a lid, stir together the oats, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, yoghurt and milk.
- Top with the cooked apple chunks and a drizzle of caramel.
- Pop the lid on the container, place in the fridge and leave to chill for at least 4 hours for the oats to soften.