DULUTH — Make these oats in the evening, refrigerate overnight and enjoy them in the morning.

According to a 2019 Mayo Clinic article, plant-based foods may prevent cancer by boosting fiber consumption. Young women who ate the most fiber-rich diets were 25% less likely to get breast cancer later in life, a study found. Other research finds that each 10 grams of daily fiber could lower the risk of colorectal cancer by 10%. A serving of regular oats contains about 33% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber.

These recipes are those I make on a regular basis and can be used as a starting point. You can add vegan yogurt, protein powders, ground flax seeds and endless combinations and quantities of fruits, spices and nut butters.

These overnight oats can be made with steel-cut oats, old-fashioned oats or instant oats. I prefer the texture of old-fashioned oats. The steel-cut oats really stick to the ribs and stave off hunger until lunchtime, but they still need a few minutes in the microwave before they become soft enough for my palate.

A small Bullet-type blender works well for incorporating nut butters and vegan cream cheese into the non-dairy milk. My favorite non-dairy milk for overnight oats is coconut-almond, but any non-dairy milk will work.

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I make my overnight oats in a large glass canning jar; however, a large bowl would work well, too.

Enjoy these oats cold or spoon a portion in a microwave and zap until warmed.

Almond Cherry Overnight Oats

Almond Cherry Overnight Oats. 
Contributed / Susan Alexander
Almond Cherry Overnight Oats. Contributed / Susan Alexander

This is my favorite overnight oat combination.

  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • About ¼ cup smooth almond butter
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup frozen dark, sweet, pitted cherries

Blend almond butter with non-dairy milk. Combine everything but the cherries in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Add the cherries and give another stir. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

I like my cherries whole, but you can chop them up if you prefer.

Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats. 
Contributed / Susan Alexander
Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats. Contributed / Susan Alexander

  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • ½-¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, or to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Blend vegan cream cheese with milk. Combine all ingredients, except the blueberries, in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Add the whole blueberries and give another stir. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

I like my blueberries whole, but you can give them a spin with the non-dairy cream cheese and the milk, if you prefer.

Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • ½-¾ cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend vegan cream cheese with milk. Combine all ingredients together in a large jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

Chai-Spiced Overnight Oats

Chai-Spiced Overnight Oats. 
Contributed / Susan Alexander
Chai-Spiced Overnight Oats. Contributed / Susan Alexander

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia sweetener or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chai spices (a mix of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and pepper)

Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

Maple Pecan Overnight Oats

Pecan Maple Overnight Oats. 
Contributed / Susan Alexander
Pecan Maple Overnight Oats. Contributed / Susan Alexander

  • About ¼ cup pecan butter
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • Chopped pecans for garnish

Blend pecan butter and non-dairy milk. Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving. Top each serving with a few chopped pecans.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. 
Contributed / Susan Alexander
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. Contributed / Susan Alexander

  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese and milk together. Combine milk mixture with remaining ingredients in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend peanut butter and milk together. Combine milk mixture with remaining ingredients in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1½ cups almond or almond-coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon Truvia or other sweetener (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings: vegan chocolate chips, shredded coconut, slivered almonds

Combine everything but the topping ingredients in a jar or bowl, mixing well. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Stir before serving. Top each serving with a few chocolate chips, shredded coconut and almonds before serving. This is good heated for 15 to 30 seconds in the microwave to slightly melt the chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam

Combine oats, non-dairy milk, chia seeds and peanut butter. To prevent the chia seeds from clumping, stir a couple of times during the first 10 minutes after combining the ingredients. Place the jar or bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Before serving, stir, then top with a spoonful of strawberry jam.

Susan Alexander
Susan Alexander

Susan Alexander is food columnist for the Duluth News Tribune. She loves gardening, farmers markets and creating delicious meals consisting of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits.