This nutritious cherry overnight oats recipe is easy and quick to prepare and will keep you full for hours! Meal prep tonight for breakfast tomorrow.
As a Registered Dietitian, you’re probably not surprised to hear that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Eating a nutritious breakfast has numerous health benefits, including improved concentration, energy, and weight management.
Oatmeal is my absolute favorite thing to eat for breakfast. I love oatmeal in many forms – stovetop oatmeal, baked oatmeal, and overnight oats! For days I know I’m super busy, I plan ahead and meal prep overnight oats the night before. That way, I have a healthy homemade breakfast waiting for me when I get up!
These cherry overnight oats are thick, creamy, and packed with nutrients. This recipe is gluten free, vegetarian, and can easily be made vegan.
Ingredients in cherry overnight oats
Here is everything you need to make this overnight oats recipe:
Old fashioned oats provide the best texture in overnight oats. I do not recommend using quick oats or steel cut oats.
Ingredient and dietary restriction substitution ideas
Make it dairy free and vegan. Use your favorite plant-based yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt.
Make it nut free. Use another milk, such as hemp milk, and swap the almonds for hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Use vanilla extract instead of almond extract. The almond extract adds a cake-like flavor, while vanilla will just enhance the other flavors of the recipe.
How to make overnight oats
Overnight oats are incredibly easy to make! It takes just about five minutes to prepare this recipe. You’ll start by mixing together the oats and chia seeds in a jar or tupperware container. Add a pinch of salt along with the almond milk and greek yogurt. Stir it all together.
Then, stir in the slivered almonds, dark chocolate chips, and pitted cherry halves. Mix it up very well, cover, and put it in the fridge. Overnight oats need to be refrigerated for at least a few hours in order for the oats to absorb all the liquid, but they don’t technically take the entire night to absorb.
Storing overnight oats
Overnight oats can be prepared days ahead of time. The longer they sit in the fridge, the softer the oats become, so overnight oats are best eaten within five days of preparation.
Wash cherries and remove the stems. Hold a cherry with two fingers, and put the smaller end of the chopstick in the stem hole. Gently but firmly push the chopstick down into the cherry, which will push the pit out the other end.
You then have a whole pitted cherry! For this recipe, cut the cherry in half.
Do you eat overnight oats warm or cold?
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, right from the fridge! There is no need to cook the oats, because they absorb so much liquid making them soft and chewy.
That being said, you can definitely heat up overnight oats in the microwave if you want them to be warm. The flavor and texture won’t change much!
Cherries nutrition benefits
Cherries are a nutritious fruit to include in your diet. One cup of sweet cherries provides:
265 mg phosphorus (27 percent of your daily needs)
0.6 mg manganese (30 percent of your daily needs)
Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Even though plant-based sources of omega-3s are inferior to animal sources like salmon, chia seeds are still rich in healthy fats.
Oats nutrition benefits
Whether you’re eating oatmeal, granola, or overnight oats, you’re consuming a highly nutritious food! One half cup of dry oats provides:
4 grams of dietary fiber
6 grams of plant-based protein
1.9 mg iron (10 percent of your daily needs)
108 mg magnesium (27 percent of your daily needs)
1.7 mg manganese (86 percent of your daily needs)
13.6 mcg selenium (19 percent of your daily needs)
Oats are a very good source of soluble fiber. Eating 5-10 grams of soluble fiber a day can help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.