Chia Cherry Overnight Oats are a healthy and easy to make breakfast that you can take on the go or enjoy as a snack!
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As I near the end of my tenure in the upper left USA, I find myself subconsciously compiling a list of favorites from the past two years: favorite scenic view (Mount St. Helens at Johnson Ridge Observatory), favorite restaurant (probably Basilisk for their fried tofu sandwich), favorite regional food (probably fruit), favorite fruit (still hotly debated), and on and on.
Cherries are one of my favorite parts of summer in the pacific northwest. They may even be one of my favorite parts of Oregon in general. There’s just something about that slightly sweet, slightly tart taste- the inevitable red fingers you get from eating overripe cherries, the enjoyment of coming up with new ways to remove the pit (I prefer doing it while eating the cherry and hoping that my mouth is dexterous enough to prevent choking).
In my year of fruit exploration (as noted early this summer in my Ginger Peach Yogurt Smoothie recipe) I’ve done a lot of fruit experimentation (which sounds a bit more exciting than it is!).
I’m already enjoying cherries as a snack between meal (paired with almonds, yogurt, or a chunk of cheese), so why not incorporate them into a meal? Cherries go perfectly with oatmeal, so chia cherry overnight oats are inevitably a great vegan summer recipe.
How do you make overnight oats?
Overnight oats are super simple to make. Combine 1 part dry oatmeal to 2 parts liquid and let rest in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight. The oats will soak up the liquid and double in size, creating a creamy and cold oatmeal.
For chia cherry overnight oats, add chia seeds and chopped cherries to the overnight oats prior to refrigerating. This allows the cherry flavor to steep into the oatmeal, and it makes a fun purple-ish color. Chia seeds breakdown to a softer texture in the overnight oats because they expand to multiple times their size when combined with liquid.
Are overnight oats healthy?
A healthy breakfast should keep you full and energized until your next meal or snack. That’s why chia cherry overnight oats, and oatmeal in general, are great breakfast options when made with the right ingredients.
- One serving, or 1/2 cup of rolled oats, contains about 5 grams protein, 4 grams of fiber, and the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin.
- Choose a plant-based milk that’s free from added sugars and higher in protein, like unsweetened soy milk (8 grams protein per 1 cup serving) or unsweetened pea protein milk (usually about 8 grams per 1 cup serving).
- An ideal meal contains carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Fat and protein help you stay fuller longer, in addition to being integral to your body’s overall function. These cherry chia overnight oats contain protein from the oats, plant-based milk, and chia seeds. Chia seeds also contribute omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which helps with satiety.
- Keep toppings to a minimum and try to choose unsweetened, whole food toppings. These oats use 1/2 cup cherries per serving, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and a dollop of coconut cream.
- Overnight oats are also great as a snack or dessert. Just cut the portions in half (including the toppings) and enjoy a healthy snack!
Interested in other overnight oats recipes? Check out these coconut blueberry overnight oats for more oatmeal inspiration.
Easy and healthy summer breakfast recipe using fresh cherries.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (such as unsweetened soy milk)
- 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and roughly chopped (plus more for topping)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave syrup (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 can (5.4 ounces) coconut cream
Combine the rolled oats, milk, chopped cherries, and chia seeds in a medium bowl. Add sweetener and almond extract if desired. Stir to combine. Stir again after 2 minutes to prevent the chia seeds from clumping together.
Divide the mixture into two pint sized jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make the whipped coconut cream, use a hand mixer to whip the contents of a can of coconut cream for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy like whipped cream. Add a dash of maple or agave syrup and almond extract for a sweeter flavor. Note that this method will only work with coconut cream*.
Top the chia cherry overnight oats with coconut cream and additional cherries. If needed, add additional milk to thin out the mixture. Enjoy!
*Note that this method will only work with coconut cream, not full fat coconut milk. If you are unable to find cans of coconut cream, follow this recipe to make whipped coconut cream from full fat coconut milk.