The holiday season (ie. cookie season) is here! We love gingerbread cookies and wanted to incorporate them into breakfast so these gingerbread overnight oats were born. Made just like your favorite overnight oats recipe but spiced with molasses, cinnamon, and ginger.
As a dietitian, I know that there are so many benefits to eating a healthy breakfast but as a mom to an energetic toddler – sitting down for breakfast like I did pre-kids is not happening anymore. Overnight oats have been a lifesaver! They’re easy to meal prep in advance, versatile, and are loaded with health benefits.
Gingerbread cookies are a favorite around here and the same spices in gingerbread work well in oatmeal too. (Check out my gingerbread oatmeal recipe!) This year, I thought I would use the same spices in a gingerbread flavor infused overnight oatmeal recipe and it did not disappoint.
Want more vegan overnight oats recipes developed by a plant-based dietitian? Check out my basic vegan overnight oats recipe post that includes recipes and tons of helpful tips for the perfect batch of vegan overnight oats!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Old Fashioned Oats: Choose regular old-fashioned oats for overnight oatmeal. Since your rolled oats are going to be sitting in liquid for several hours, you want to achieve the perfect balance between too mushy and too chewy. Quick oats can work in a pinch, but the texture will be softer. You just want to avoid steel cut oats as they won’t soften enough for this recipe.
- Milk: To make these gingerbread oats vegan, I use non-dairy milk for my overnight oats. I typically use soy milk because it is higher in protein than other non-dairy milks, but you can use any plant-based milk of choice like almond, hemp, oat, rice, or cashew.
- Yogurt: To make your overnight oats extra creamy, add some yogurt. To make these vegan, I like to use a plant-based yogurt, especially one that has at least 7 grams of protein per serving (like soy yogurt). Use a vanilla yogurt for extra flavor.
- Chia seeds: Adding a tablespoon of chia seeds takes your overnight oats to another level by making them more pudding-like. Plus, chia seeds offer many health benefits like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are optional, but I feel like this base overnight oats recipe is so much better with them.
- Maple Syrup: Add extra sweetness to your overnight oats with some pure maple syrup but you can skip if you want to limit your sugar intake. If you don’t like maple syrup, you can also use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or agave.
- Salt: It may seem counterintuitive to add a pinch of salt to a sweet recipe like overnight oats, but I promise you that a dash of salt takes your overnights oats from meh to Y-U-M!
- Gingerbread Spice: to make these overnight oats taste like a gingerbread cooke, you’ll need molasses and classic spices like ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.
How to Make Gingerbread Overnight Oats
Step One: Whisk all of your ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until there are no clumps. Store in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for four hours to overnight to thicken.
Step Two: The next morning, add your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, crumbled classic gingerbread cookies (or gingersnaps like I did), nuts, almond butter, or yogurt. If you don’t like cold overnight oats, feel free to pop them into the microwave to warm the up for a minute or two.
Why these Gingerbread Overnight Oats are so Good for You
There’s so many good reasons why overnight oats continue to be so popular: they’re a super easy breakfast, versatile, budget-friendly, but also so good for you! If a bowl of hot oatmeal isn’t your thing, it’s worth giving overnight oats a try – you might enjoy the pudding-like texture of these so much more.
- We could all use more fiber in our diets – just 5% of Americans meet the recommended fiber intake a day! Eating a serving of this gingerbread overnight oatmeal provides 10 grams of fiber which is almost half of your fiber needs for the day.
- Oats are a great source of fiber – both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber have different functions so it’s good to include both in your diet. Soluble fiber forms a viscous gel in the GI tract helping stools pass easier, lowering cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar. On the other hand, insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools – speeding up their transit through the colon.
- The molasses and spices in these oats are loaded with antioxidants. Eating more antioxidant-rich food is associated with reduced inflammation and lowering risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
- Pack in the protein. These gingerbread overnight oats already have 15 grams of plant-based protein when you use soy milk. Add a scoop of protein powder for extra boost of protein if you’d like.
- Batch Prep: save yourself a ton of time and batch prep a few servings of overnight oats at once so you don’t have to worry about breakfast for a few days.
- Add Toppings When Serving: to avoid soggy toppings, wait until you are ready to serve your oats to add them. We liked topping these gingerbread oats with chopped pear or apple, crumbled gingerbread cookies, and/or dried cranberries.
- Molasses: a little goes a long way when using molasses. There are also a few different varieties of molasses available. We like this organic blackstrap molasses cause it has such a rich, strong flavor.
Molasses is the essential ingredient for gingerbread as it gives it the rich flavor and dark color that we all know and love. The spices use vary from recipe to recipe but often include: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or ground cloves.
Although they are called “overnight” oats, you technically don’t have to chill them a full 8 hours. I find that my overnight oats are usually thick enough to eat in just 3-4 hours in the fridge.
Yes! It is simple to make this vegan overnight oats gluten free – just swap the old fashioned oats for a brand that is certified gluten-free.
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Gingerbread Overnight Oats
- Add all of your overnight oat ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir well with a whisk so that no clumps remain. Cover and refrigerate at least 3-4 hours to overnight. Serve with your favorite toppings.
- Storage: these overnight oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Protein: add a scoop of vegan protein powder to the oat mixture before chilling to bump up the protein content.