I bet you got some oats sitting in your kitchen pantry right now. Maybe you bought one of those big ole’ tubs and now you got more oats than you know what to do with.
Today I am going to show you how to make protein overnight oats. They’re going to give you energy for a busy day and cut your morning prep time down to zero.
Before we dive into the recipe you might be wondering if oats are even good for your gut. And you know what? They are, let’s talk about why.
Why oats can be good for your gut
Oats are high in fiber.
Your digestive system loves fiber and oats are one of the best ways to add fiber to your morning. Fiber helps you have those easy, effortless poops and fiber helps with your heart health and blood sugar.
Not only will a cup of oats give you 8 grams of fiber it can easily serve as a canvas to add even more protein and fiber foods like berries.
Oats are prebiotic.
Oats also happen to be a prebiotic food making it even better for your gut health. Turns out that the fiber found in oats is a bit special and your gut loves it. The fiber, beta-glucan, is a type of soluble fiber and it acts as food for your gut bugs.
Beta-glucan is also being researched for its potential to make changes to your gut microbiome and potentially help lower your blood cholesterol (1).
PS. Check out this post about what prebiotics are and what they do here.
Can oats cause bloating?
If you’re feeling bloated after eating oats I want you to take a look at a couple of factors.
What toppings did you add to your oats?
Sometimes it’s not the oats but rather the toppings or the things we’ve mixed in that might not agree with us.
How many fiber foods are in your oats?
If your gut isn’t used to a lot of fiber and you’ve suddenly added tons of fiber foods on an already fiber-rich oat that could be an overload for your digestion.
What liquid did you use?
If you’re adding milk, whether it be animal or plant-based, your gut may not agree with it.
Do you feel bloated if you eat plain oatmeal?
If this is the case you most likely have a sensitivity to oats. Food sensitivities are dependent on how much you eat and how often. It’s possible you can tolerate a smaller portion of oats less often.
Why you want to add protein to your oats
One thing about oatmeal is that it’s also going to be higher in carbs. This isn’t a bad thing but it’s something you want to be aware of.
When you eat a lot of carbs by themselves you’re going to get a blood sugar spike with a crash sure to follow. This is why you can sometimes feel super hungry even if you just ate and this is where protein is going to really help.
Protein will keep you full and satisfied (kinda like fiber) and it’s going to help manage your blood sugar. Instead of your blood sugar spiking and crashing when you add protein to your oatmeal you’re going to get less of a spike which means you won’t get a crash.
Aim for a breakfast with 10-15 grams of protein.
How to add protein to your overnight oats
There are a few different ways to add protein to your oats.
This is my preferred way! Not only will you get 10 grams of protein you’ll also be eating a fermented food that is full of probiotics.
Note: If you chose a plant-based protein yogurt they might not be as high in protein so check the label.
A scoop will get you about 15 grams of protein. You can go with plant-based protein or do a scoop of collagen peptides.
Nut or seed butter
3 tablespoons of a nut or seed butter will be a little over 10 grams of protein. Nut and seed butters are also a good source of fats which also helps you stay full.
Mix and match
You can also get 10-15 grams with your oatmeal mix-ins and a side dish. Think peanut butter in your oatmeal with a hard-boiled egg on the side.
Ps. If you want more protein breakfast ideas you can check out my high-protein breakfast recipe pack.
Overnight oats FAQs
Can you eat oats raw?
Yup, you can.
Oats can be eaten raw as long as you’re sticking with the rolled (aka old fashioned oats) or instant variety. Steel cut oats should be cooked.
Ps. Because overnight oats are soaked in yogurt and water it helps to soften the fibers which make them softer and easier to digest.
What type of oats should you use?
Stick with using rolled or quick oats. Steel cut is not going to be your friend here, that type of oats need to be cooked, soaking overnight won’t cut it.
Do overnight oats go bad?
Overnight oats should last 2-3 days. I honestly wouldn’t go longer than that because it will get pretty mushy.
Protein Overnight Oats
- Mason Jar
- 3/4 cup oats, rolled
- 4 oz yogurt, vanilla
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup berries, frozen or fresh
- 1 dash vanilla (optional)
- Add oats, yogurt, and water to your mason jar.
- Close the jar and shake until everything is mixed. (Optional, add a dash of vanilla.)
- Add in your berries and shake again.
- Leave your oats overnight in the fridge.
- Take out your oats the next morning and enjoy! If you prefer warm oats you can pop them into the microwave.
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.