Overnight oats have become a popular breakfast for on-the-go mornings, making the first meal of the day good-for-you and as easy as reaching in the refrigerator before heading out the door. Whether or not you have been part of this craze, consider what coffee and chocolate can add to make any day – or recipe – better …
And that’s why this version of overnight oats uses brewed coffee and cocoa powder to infuse a definite mocha hit to oatmeal. Simply brew a little extra coffee, with or without caffeine, for this recipe whenever you make a pot, and plan to stir the ingredients together in a portable container anytime in the evening before you head to bed. Using Greek yogurt makes the oatmeal extra thick and creamy, but milk works just fine, too. And you pick the dairy fat level you prefer. If you want to use a sweetened yogurt or non-dairy milk with added sweetener, simply reduce the amount of added honey. Also, nonfat dry milk is included to boost calcium, vitamin D and protein levels (all good things), but it may be omitted if you’d like.
Banana and pecans add natural sweetness and crunch. I like to top the oatmeal just before eating for maximum nut crunch and unchanged banana color, but feel free to add them along with the other ingredients for convenience. Finally, you can change it up to include your favorite fruit, nuts and other toppings. My good friend definitely would add a splash of heavy cream. And I say, go for it! This is one good-for-you breakfast that will make mornings taste ever-so-much better.
Mocha Banana Pecan Overnight Oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt or milk
1/4 cup strong brewed Community® coffee
2 tablespoons instant nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped, toasted pecans
In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt, coffee, dry milk, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Top with banana and pecans just before eating.
Makes 1 serving
- Plan to brew extra coffee whenever you make a pot to use for this recipe.
- Yogurt or milk will work when making these oats; the oatmeal will be less thick and creamy when using milk.
- Double the recipe for two people, dividing ingredients into separate portable containers. Or keep the second one for another morning; overnight oats will hold several days in the refrigerator.
- These oats don’t have to be consumed cold; gently warm them in the microwave if you prefer.
- Feel good about what flavors these oats: Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavanols, and cassia cinnamon may help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
- Go to Java ‘N’ Health: Fact Vs. Fiction to find out what research says about the health benefits of coffee.
Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.