Overnight oats are perhaps the most convenient breakfast recipes for meal prep. They are very easy to make, highly nutritious and incredibly tasty as you can load them with fruits, nut butters, yogurts, plant milks, chocolate, seeds and so on.
It does not require any cooking or reheating methods which means you save plenty of prep time and your breakfast is instantly ready for those busy mornings.
As a result, you can make a large batch on Sunday which can last for the week-ahead or even months-ahead if you plan it correctly.
There are plenty of variations to satisfy your taste buds which means you do not need to eat the same old breakfast each morning.
You might be wondering, can you freeze overnight oats? What if you wanted to make a large batch for the month-ahead and freeze them? The good news is that you can freeze overnight oats up to 3 months but it is important to understand what works and what can go wrong.
How to Freeze Overnight Oats
If you are planning to freeze overnight oats, it is best advised to do so straightaway in order to keep it fresh as possible.
In other words, not do keep them refrigerated for a few days and decide to freeze them later because you might end up with some undesired results.
The best oats to use are rolled oats or steel cut oats which are perfect for overnight oat recipes because they soak up well and you can eat them the next morning.
You can use liquids such as milk or plant-based milks such as almond milk or coconut milk which is why these recipes are good for plant-based diets when you are looking for a high protein breakfast.
Sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup are fine to use, and seeds such as chia seeds also freeze well.
However, freezing fruits with overnight oats will turn mushy which may taste and look unpleasant but it does depend on your preference.
I would advise to freeze plain overnight oats and add fresh fruit in the morning.
Here is how it is done:
1) Prep the overnight oats
The key factor is to use a mason jar because they are ideal for storage, portability and you can eat directly from them.
As they are airtight, it helps keep the overnight oats fresh and small mason jars are the best because it allows you to control each portion which can help you maintain a calorie deficit meal plan.
Basic way to make and prep overnight oats:
- Make them plain by adding the oats (1/2 cup / 40g) and liquid of your choice (1/3 cup / 80ml).
- When you are using a mason jar, do not fill it up completely and allow it space which will prevent the liquid expanding when frozen.
2) Label and Freeze
If you intend to freeze the overnight oats, you should do so immediately for the best results and also label your mason jar to record the prep date and expiry date.
The expiry date is up to 3 months which is the best way to keep them fresh.
If you have stored them in the refrigerator and intend to freeze them last minute, they will not taste good, look good and could end up being too soggy.
You may get away with it but it is simply not advised to freeze last minute.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
Overnight oats will last up to 3 months in the freezer providing you follow the correct steps. This means you can prepare a large batch for the months ahead which can conveniently save you time and money, whilst enjoying a nutritional rich breakfast.
However, if you exceed 3 months, they will start to decline which means you would get different results. You could get away with eating them but equally you could also get an unpleasant taste which is why it is good to follow the 3 month rule.
Defrosting overnight oats
The major benefit behind freezing overnight oats is that once you defrost them, you can still store them in your refrigerator for up to 4-5 days which means you can prep your breakfast for the weekdays.
Simply remove the overnight oats from the freezer, store them in the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight.
Or you can allow them to sit at room temperature for 4 hours to defrost if you are intending to eat them for brunch.
If you are intending to eat them in the mornings you can simply add nut butters, fruit, nuts or seeds to enjoy a nutritional rich breakfast. This is why mason jars are the best storage method for this recipe because it makes this process easier.
Can you refreeze thawed overnight oats?
You should not refreeze thawed overnight oats because it will no longer be fresh and you would put yourself at risk of food poisoning with the potential of bacteria growth.
So there is your answer. Meal prep and batch cooking is a growing trend as more people are busier but want to still be mindful of what they are eating and looking for recipes which decent nutritional value.
Overnight oats ticks all the boxes because they are perfect for meal prep, contains slow-releasing carbohydrates, packed with protein, will keep you full and has an endless amount of variations to keep you hooked.
Freezing them just makes it easier if you are looking for a ways to take your batch cooking plan to the next level.