Since lunch and dinner are known to take a bit of planning and prep, no-hassle breakfasts made ahead of time are the secret to low-stress morning routines. It’s no wonder overnight oats, chia puddings, granola parfaits, and other quick breakfast recipes are in demand for those on the go.

“Oats are so versatile,” says Kris Schlesser, founder of LuckyBolt, a local farm-to-front-door meal prep service that offers overnight oats and housemade granola as part of its weekly menu. “With overnight oats, the texture is more complex since they’re not cooked over heat, which can cause them to be sticky and homogeneous. The preparation of overnight oats gives you a rich, creamy texture, and the oats have a bit more chew,” explains Schlesser.

He says oats are trending right now because they’re healthy, and people are typically receptive to taking care of their bodies. “People will do the right thing if you make it easy for them—that’s our motto at LuckyBolt,” he says. “After everyone was done overindulging at the beginning of the pandemic, I think they thought it was time to balance things out a bit more at home.”

Images courtesy of Kai Oliver-Kurtain. Illustrations by Lulu Yueming Qu.

An Essential Guide to Overnight Oats

What are they?

Overnight oats are prepared rolled oats that are hydrated (not cooked) until softened, creating a porridge that can be spruced up with different toppings and flavors.

What makes them a healthy breakfast option?

Oats are packed with dietary fiber, which can help lower your cholesterol, and the preparation of

overnight oats makes them easily digestible. Using alternative nut milks can make for an even healthier version.

Are they easy to make?

Yes! Most people prepare them in the evening and let the oats soak in their fridge overnight for a quick grab-and-go breakfast, though the oats should be ready to eat after just a few hours.

Are they only served as a cold porridge?

Overnight oats can be heated in the microwave and served warm, added to smoothies as a thick and creamy oat base, or served as a hearty drink by adding extra liquid.

What are some popular toppings or added flavors?

Peanut or almond butter, nuts, seeds, fruit preserves, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and orange zest are all great options for toppings. Don’t forget to season with salt.

How long do they stay fresh?

Overnight oats can last in the fridge for up to five days and will keep as long as they don’t contain any added sugar.

Should I feed them to my kids?

Yes! Overnight oats are a much healthier alternative to sugary cereals and a good source of whole grains and fiber. Even picky eaters can usually find a flavor they like.

Ready to make your own nutritious overnight oats? Check out this recipe from LuckyBolt.

Should you have need to have someone take care of meal prep for you, try LuckyBolt.

Bring this story to life and put an overnight oats routine into practice with a recipe from LuckyBolt for Overnight Oat Porridge that's 100% plant-based and made from scratch.

Get the recipe for LuckyBolt's Overnight Oat Porridge

Plus, see what writer Kai Oliver-Kurtin comes up with when she starts making overnight oats.

Overnight Essentials: I Tried It—LuckyBolt’s Overnight Oat Porridge

Image: Courtesy Kai Oliver-Kurtain
About the Contributor
Kai Oliver-Kurtin
Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a San Diego-based writer who contributes to several national and regional publications, covering dining, travel and lifestyle.