Hot Weather, Cool Kitchen: Overnight Oats

There are two import foods I can’t live without: peanut butter and oats.

Let’s talk about oats–I’ll get to the peanut butter later. Sometimes I buy Quaker Oats in bulk from online import stores; sometimes I buy Alishan or Alara jumbo organic oats at Diamond in Omicho Market; sometimes I get Nisshoku oatmeal from the regular supermarket, though I prefer bigger oats. At any rate, there’s a constant supply of oatmeal in my kitchen, which keeps my cereal-obsessed American self quite happy, especially in the dead of the Hokuriku winter when the morning oatmeal warms the kitchen and dining room.

But what about in summer?

Overnight Oats with banana, cherries, and sliced almonds.

That’s where overnight oats come in! It’s like making cold cereal — requires no heat and barely any effort, just 5 minutes before you go to bed!

I first encountered the concept via Homemade Adventure‘s awesome oatmeal series, and was interested because the blogger from whom she found the recipe likes to put her overnight oats in nut-butter jars (ugh, that word) to uses that last little bit at the end that’s impossible to get with the knife or spoon, and I was immediately incensed. How dare she have fancy nut butter when I have to pay through the nose for imported stuff and can’t find enough peanuts in one place to grind my own?! (I told you I was serious about my peanut butter.) Oh, it must be so nice having access to organic sunflower butter and chia seeds! HOW FANCY.

After my bout of jealousy, I also discovered that her trick lets me get the very last remnants of my precious peanut butter out of the jar. Hey, if I’m going to have peanut butter as my expat luxury item, this is the closest I’ll get to getting it all out short of sticking my head in the jar. Don’t test me.

Overnight oats in a peanut-butter jar with banana and whole peanuts

Edit: Before I had some line about aspiring to make it big with this blog, run a bakery, etc. I’m changing my wish. I read a lot of food blogs, but I have to say that it’s often very lonely for me out in Food Blogger Land as a queer feminist and an expat. I’d love it if you all would recommend me some food blogs that don’t pander to gender roles/socialization. I change my wish to starting a non-heteronormative food bloggers’ group. (And having a lifetime supply of good peanut butter.)

Maybe I’ll call the group Peanut Butter And Gender….

On to the recipe!

An easy trick to remember is that you want a 1:1:1 ratio of oats, milk, and yogurt, though you can certainly alter this to suit the size of oats, the consistency of the yogurt, or the desired final consistency of the oatmeal. Stay cool!

Overnight Oats
Serves 1.
Adapted from “Overnight Oats” at Kath Eats Real Food

Ingredients
50 g (1/3 US cup) oats (ôtomiru, オートミール)
80 mL (1/3 cup) yogurt (yôguruto, ヨーグルト)
80 mL (1/3 cup) milk or soy milk (gyûnyû, 牛乳) or (tônyû, 豆乳)

Equipment
A jar with lid, tupperware, or leftover nut-butter/jam/yogurt jar (about 300-500 mL)

Procedure
1. Mix oats, yogurt, and milk together in the container.
2. Add in any mix-ins (see below).
3. Store in refrigerator overnight.
4. Serve in jar; if making multiple servings, dish out into bowls.

Optional additions

  • Fresh fruit – add while mixing or before serving
  • Frozen fruit – add while mixing
  • Extracts- a few shakes of vanilla, almond, or coconut extract
  • Nuts – add before serving
  • Dried fruit – add before serving
  • Nut butter – use a nearly-empty peanut-butter jar or add a dollop of nut butter to the top
  • Jam or compote – ditto
  • Sweeteners – if you like your oatmeal sweetened (I don’t), add a little honey, sugar, or maple syrup
  • Spices – try cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg
  • Flavored/non-dairy milk: try soy milk, flavored soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk

Favorite combinations

  • Persimmons (either hachiya or fuyu) with cinnamon and walnuts
  • Diced apples and cinnamon with peanut butter or walnuts
  • Bananas and whole peanuts
  • Sauteed bananas, coconut milk, coconut extract, and cinnamon (also good on hot oatmeal)
  • Fresh cherries and almonds

21 thoughts on “Hot Weather, Cool Kitchen: Overnight Oats

    1. I’d never had a persimmon before I moved to Japan, but they’ve become one of my favorite fall fruits! The fuyu variety is firm and can be mixed in like apples; the hachiya turns to jelly when ripe, so I mix it in like jam. I’m always looking for new ways to eat oatmeal, too, so your series is great! Sadly, I’ll have to wait to try more of For the Love of Oatmeal recipes until it cools down here, but I’m eying that mocha oatmeal recipe! ^^

  1. This sounds great! I always get major cereal withdrawls and I like oatmeal but not when it’s this hot!! I need to scope out my local grocery for oats again, I know I saw some around town somewhere…This could become a new fave!

    1. Thank you! If you’re in Chiba, the big AEON grocery stores often have tons of imported food. I don’t know if you get Meji-ya or Yamaya in the east, but they also tend to carry oatmeal. If you can’t find it in stores for some reason, Foreign Buyers’ Club, Tengu, Yoyo Market, and other online retailers have oats. Enjoy, and thanks for the comment!

      1. I went to my local Aeon and bought some this evening! It was 388yen for a 300g bag…but there’s a few other supermarkets that I’ll check next time (I’ve heard the Besia in Cainz is good). I found some slivered almonds on sale, too, so I think it’s meant to be! I’m excited to have this tomorrow morning for breakfast :-) Thanks for the tips!

    2. WordPress won’t let me reply to your last comment, but that sounds about right for the price. I get 800 g bags for about 800 yen. I’m in love with the Alara/Alishan organic jumbo rolled oats now, but smaller oats work, too! Let me know how it works out ^^

      1. We hope you are still in Japan! If you are, could you please look on the backside of your “Organic Jumbo Oats”-package by Alara and tell us whats written there? Should be something like “We love organic food, because we care about climate change…” but we dont remember the rest.
        While we were travelling in Japan we ate those oats for breakfast every day and one of us would recite that text as if it was a prayer:)
        We have been looking for it for one hour on the internet already but we couldnt find it…:( Please help us !! :)

  2. This sounds great! I always get major cereal withdrawls and I like oatmeal but not when it’s this hot!! I need to scope out my local grocery for oats again, I know I saw some around town somewhere…This could become a new fave!

    1. Thank you! If you’re in Chiba, the big AEON grocery stores often have tons of imported food. I don’t know if you get Meji-ya or Yamaya in the east, but they also tend to carry oatmeal. If you can’t find it in stores for some reason, Foreign Buyers’ Club, Tengu, Yoyo Market, and other online retailers have oats. Enjoy, and thanks for the comment!

      1. I went to my local Aeon and bought some this evening! It was 388yen for a 300g bag…but there’s a few other supermarkets that I’ll check next time (I’ve heard the Besia in Cainz is good). I found some slivered almonds on sale, too, so I think it’s meant to be! I’m excited to have this tomorrow morning for breakfast :-) Thanks for the tips!

    2. WordPress won’t let me reply to your last comment, but that sounds about right for the price. I get 800 g bags for about 800 yen. I’m in love with the Alara/Alishan organic jumbo rolled oats now, but smaller oats work, too! Let me know how it works out ^^

      1. Ah, well that’s good to know…I can get quite a lot of breakfasts out of the bag at least! I’ve had it 3 mornings in a row already, haha, it’s great! I’d been struggling with new ideas for breakfast so this couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s a keeper :)

        1. So glad to hear it! I really miss the cold cereal from the US, too, so this recipe really helped make breakfast preparations easier!

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