Looking for an easy, convenient, and nutritious breakfast? Try these protein overnight oats (aka proats)! A nutritious and delicious breakfast could not be easier than this!
Why I love protein overnight oats (proats)
One of the biggest objections I hear about eating breakfast is time. No time to prepare it and no time to eat it before heading out the door.
I love proats because they're the perfect breakfast for the time-crunched! They're made the night before and all you have to do in the morning is grab it from the refrigerator.
Not only that but it’s got all of the nutrition bases covered.
- Carbohydrates from whole grain oats
- Protein from sunflower butter and protein powder
- Healthy fats from sunflower butter and flaxseed meal
- Calcium and vitamin D from fortified dairy-free milk
- If you add fruit, you add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
People with food allergies and intolerances have a wide variety of foods they’re avoiding but this base recipe can be easily adapted for your diet and is free of the top 9 allergens.
To make this quick breakfast, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Old-fashioned oats - If you’re avoiding gluten, you’ll want to make sure to use gluten free oats that do not have cross-contact issues with wheat.
Dairy free milk substitute - I have used both oat milk and soy milk for this recipe and both work well. One advantage of milk substitutes from legumes (soy, pea) is they have about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk. Most dairy substitutes are fortified with calcium and vitamin D but I recommend making sure whatever you choose has those nutrients included.
Dairy free protein powder - I used Orgain naturally unsweetened protein powder which is a plant-based protein powder with minimal flavor. I prefer unsweetened protein powders but you can use a flavored one if that’s what you have as well. If you’re making overnight oats for a baby or a smaller child, you can omit the protein powder or use a smaller amount.
If you want to give Orgain a try, go to their website and use the code KRISTI30 for 30% off your first order!
Sunflower butter - This adds additional protein as well as healthy fats to your breakfast. If you're not allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, you can swap almond butter or peanut butter for sunflower butter. Another top 9 allergen-free option is pumpkin seed butter which has similar nutrients.
Ground flaxseed - This is a great addition for added fiber and healthy fats, however, you can omit it if you’d like. If omitted, your overnight oats may be slightly less thick but still just as tasty!
Cinnamon - This is another ingredient that can be omitted if you don’t like it but I love the flavor of the cinnamon in these overnight oats!
Maple syrup - This is totally optional! I sometimes just skip it and add some mashed banana for natural sweetness. I also find that adding fruit on top adds enough sweetness without maple syrup. If you don’t have maple syrup or prefer another sweetener, feel free to swap in what you like (brown sugar, white sugar, honey, etc).
Fruit/toppings - I like to top my overnight oats with frozen berries. As they thaw, they add a little moisture to the mix which leads to a nice consistency. I like to add fresh berries if I have them on hand. You can add any kind of fruit you like! I will also sometimes put some unsalted sunflower seeds on top for crunch.
How to make proats
The process of making these overnight oats is pretty simple!
- Put all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Stir until mixed well.
3. Pour into a container (I like a half-pint mason jar which will leave some room on top for added fruit and other toppings)
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. If you let them sit for 2 hours, the oats will still have some chewiness which I happen to like. If you like less “bite” in your oats, then let them sit for at least 4 hours.
5. Top with fruit, seeds, gluten-free granola - whatever you like!
Recipe Tips and FAQs
Are overnight oats a good source of protein?
These overnight oats get a protein boost from plant-based protein powder and sunflower butter. Depending on the milk substitute you use, it will also add to the protein total.
For this recipe, I used oat milk which doesn’t have as much protein as pea protein milk but, with the protein powder and sunflower butter, this recipe provides about 20 grams of protein per serving. This will vary depending on the type of protein powder you use, too. This is definitely a good amount of protein for breakfast for most adults.
Is it bad to eat overnight oats every morning?
Not at all! If you like them there’s nothing wrong with enjoying them every morning! I always tell people I’d rather have you eat the same thing every morning than eat nothing at all. These overnight oats will get your day started on the right track, nutritionally speaking.
Can I add chia seeds to these overnight oats?
Yes, you can add chia seeds in place of the ground flaxseed. The consistency might be a bit thicker but you can add a little more milk to the desired consistency. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber providing about 5 grams of fiber in 1 tablespoon.
Can I eat overnight oats hot?
Yes, you can! I was not sure about eating cold oatmeal initially so I heated them up and they were good that way, too. I did find that I needed to add some more liquid to make them the right consistency for my taste.
More breakfast recipes
Proats (Protein Overnight Oats)
- ¼ cup old-fashioned oats gluten free if needed
- ½ cup dairy free milk substitute I used oat milk
- 2 tablespoons dairy free protein powder I used Orgain natural unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon sunflower butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup optional
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Transfer to a container such as a half-pint mason jar. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Eat cold right from the refrigerator topped with fruit, sunflower seeds, or gluten free granola. You may also heat them in the microwave for about one minute (you may need to add a bit more milk or water to your desired consistency).
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