Did you ever want to make your overnight oats like usual but run out of milk? And did this make you wonder if you can actually make overnight oats with water? The short answer is yes! We'll show you 4 different ways to make your oats taste delicious, even without milk.
Overnight oats are basically cold oatmeal that you don't have to cook on the stove or in the microwave. Instead, you let them soak up liquid overnight. The texture is very similar though. If you prefer a bowl of hot oatmeal, you can easily reheat your overnight oats in the morning.
Why you'll love these solutions
- There is a very high probability that you already have one of these items at home. In any case, you can always make your overnight oats with water.
- All these solutions are nutritious and make a healthy breakfast.
- You may discover new flavor combinations that you have not tried before.
- All these recipes are vegan if you use plant-based yogurt.
Ingredients you'll need for the base recipe
Rolled oats have the perfect thickness to make overnight oats compared to quick and steel-cut oats. Once soaked in water (or orange juice) overnight, they taste just like cold oatmeal. Use gluten-free oats if necessary.
Chia seeds are rich in healthy fats (omega 3) and make your overnights oats a little thicker. You can replace them with flax seeds or leave them out completely.
Yogurt makes the oats a lot creamier. Use plant-based yogurt if you're on a vegan diet or avoiding dairy.
3 different ways to replace milk
Water is the easiest way to replace milk in overnight oats. You can add a splash of maple syrup to mimic the sweetness of the milk. But keep in mind that the add-ins and toppings are key. You can stir in some jam or flavored yogurt to make the oats more flavorful. Get creative with the toppings and use fresh berries, nut butter or granola.
Orange juice is an amazing alternative to milk. You can use freshly squeezed orange juice or bottled juice. Simply let the oats soak up the orange juice overnight. They'll be just as creamy and have a zesty flavor.
Banana mashed into a puree and water are life-saving if you keep bananas at home at any time. If you like bananas in your oats anyway, you won't even notice that you replaced the milk with water. These taste best with some really ripe and sweet bananas.
Apple sauce and water are another great way to substitute milk. Note that your oats will taste like applesauce. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing! Add a dash of cinnamon and it will remind you of apple pie.
- Read our full guide on overnight oats, where we explain which oats to use, how long they last in the fridge and whether you can reheat the oats. It also contains our basic overnight oats recipe with the best oat to milk ratio.
- Always keep a jar of applesauce in your pantry. It could come in handy.
- Meal prep your overnight oats when you have some spare time to save time on busy mornings. You can make a big batch and divide it up into smaller containers for a simple make-ahead breakfast.
Step-by-step with pictures
These step-by-step pictures show you how to make overnight oats with water and applesauce instead of milk.
Add the rolled oats, chia seeds, water and applesauce to a glass jar (or another airtight container.) Give it a good stir.
Close the jar airtightly and place it in the fridge overnight. Note that the oats will have the right texture after approximately 4 hours.
The next morning, stir in some yogurt and add the toppings of your choice.
Our favorite toppings and add-ins
- Fresh fruit give your oats a vitamin boost.
- Dried fruit such as cranberries and apricots add a sweet touch.
- Homemade granola and coconut flakes are great to add some crunch.
- Add chocolate chips or cacao nibs if you have a sweet tooth.
- Hemp seeds, peanut butter and almond buttter are perfect if you want to increase the protein content of your oats (2 tablespoon of peanut butter contain about 7 grams of protein and 3 tablespoons of hemps seeds contain about 10 grams of protein). Alterntively you can add 1-2 tablespoons of (vegan) protein powder to your oats. Here's the overnight oats with protein powder recipe we use.
- Cocoa powder is a great add-in if you like your oats extra chocolatey.
Frequently asked questions
Quick oats, also sold as instant oats, can be used to make overnight oats. However, they get soggy pretty quickly, which is why we recommend eating them within a day of making them.
It's not recommended to use steel-cut oats to make overnight oats as they are very thick and have low absorbing properties.
You can absolutely make overnight oats with orange juice instead of milk or water. The oats will obviously taste like orange, which pairs really well with cinnamon and nuts.
An 8 oz or 16 oz Mason jar is a great container to make overnight oats. It leaves enough room for toppings and can be taken on the go if needed. Weck jars are a great alternative.
You can freeze overnight oats in single-serve airtight containers for up to 3 months. The best way to thaw them is to let them sit in the fridge overnight.
More overnight oats recipes
- Cinnamon overnight oats
- Chocolate raspberry overnight oats
- Overnight oats with vegan protein powder
- Tiramisu overnight oats
- Snickers overnight oats
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Overnight Oats Without Milk (4 Ways)
Overnight oats with water
Overnight oats with orange juice
Overnight oats with applesauce
- Add all the ingredients except the yogurt to a Mason jar or a bowl. Give it a good stir.
- Close the jar with a lid or cover the bowl with plastic film (or a sustainable alternative) and place in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- The next morning, stir in the yogurt. Add your favorite toppings (fresh fruit, granola, nut butter).
- Meal prep your overnight oats when you have some spare time. You can make a big batch and divide it up into smaller containers for simple preparation.
- Storage tips: you can store the overnight oats in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezing tips: you can freeze overnight oats in single-serve airtight containers for up to 3 months. The best way to thaw them is to let them sit in the fridge overnight.
- Nutrition facts were calculated for overnight oats with water.
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