Are Overnight Oats Eaten Cold? (Or Need to Cook and Heat Up?)

overnight oats with banana

Are you wondering if overnight oats are eaten cold or need to be cooked and heated up? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

Well, the good news is that overnight oats can be eaten either way! I can confidently say that both cold and warm oats have their own set of benefits. In this blog post, I’ll give you the rundown on the pros and cons of eating overnight oats cold or warm, so you can decide which option is best for you. 

We’ll explore what makes overnight oats different from other types of oats and how they can be prepared so that you get the best results. 

So, let’s get started and see if cold or warm oats are the way to go!

Why Are Overnight Oats Gaining Popularity?

Overnight oats are a type of porridge made with raw oats, liquid, and optional sweeteners and toppings. They have gained popularity in recent years as a convenient and tasty breakfast option.

One reason for their popularity is that they are quick and easy to prepare. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together in a jar or container and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you have a ready-to-eat breakfast that you can take with you on the go or enjoy at home.

Overnight oats are also a healthy option, as they are high in fiber and protein. They can help keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can be especially helpful if you are trying to manage your weight. Overnight oats are also a good source of nutrients such as zinc, manganese, and B vitamins.

Another reason for the popularity of overnight oats is that they are extremely versatile. There are many different flavor combinations that you can try, such as fruit, nuts, and spices. You can also add protein to your overnight oats by mixing in yogurt or protein powder.

Finally, overnight oats are convenient for people with busy schedules or who do not have time to cook breakfast in the morning. They can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days, so you can have a healthy breakfast option ready to go when you need it.

Overnight Oats Eaten Cold: Pros and Cons

Pros of eating overnight oats cold:

  • Convenience: Overnight oats can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days. This makes them a convenient option for busy mornings when you don’t have time to cook.
  • Refreshing: Overnight oats can be a refreshing option on a hot day, as they are served cold and can be flavored with refreshing ingredients, such as fruit and spices.
  • Texture: The texture of overnight oats is soft and creamy, which can be enjoyable when eaten cold.

Cons of eating overnight oats cold:

  • Flavor: Some people may find that the flavor of cold oats is not as appealing as warm oats.
  • Digestion: Some people may find that cold oats are more difficult to digest than warm oats.
  • Personal preference: Some people simply prefer the taste and texture of warm oats to cold oats.

Are Overnight Oats Healthier Cold Than Cooked?

Studies show that leaving rolled oats to soak overnight increases their nutritional value and makes them easier to digest. This makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients in the oats, since the nutrients are more easily absorbed when the oats are soaked. 

The soaking process also softens the oat hulls, which makes it easier for your body to use the energy in the oats and reduces the inflammation that comes from eating raw grains like oats. So, it’s thought that eating overnight oats cold is better for your health than cooking them because it helps your body digest and absorb the nutrients better. 

However, it is important to note that cooking oats can also have health benefits. Cooked oats are easier to digest than raw oats, which may be beneficial for people with digestive issues. Cooked oats are also more versatile, as they can be added to a variety of dishes, such as oatmeal cookies and granola bars.

In summary, both cold and cooked oats have their own set of health benefits. Cold oats are easy to prepare and have a lot of fiber and protein. Cooked oats are easier to digest and can be used in more ways.

In the end, whether you choose one over the other will come down to your own preferences and health needs.

Preparing Overnight Oats

To prepare overnight oats, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Oats: Old-fashioned oats or rolled oats work best for overnight oats. Avoid using instant oats, as they will become too soft.
  • Liquid: You can use milk, yogurt, or a non-dairy milk, such as almond milk or coconut milk. The liquid will help to soften the oats and add flavor.
  • Sweetener: You can add a sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar, to your overnight oats if you prefer a sweeter taste. You can also use a natural sweetener, such as mashed banana or applesauce.
  • Toppings: You can add toppings to your overnight oats to add flavor and nutrition. Some options include fruit, nuts, seeds, and spices.

To prepare overnight oats, follow these steps:

  • Combine the oats and liquid in a jar or container. You can use a ratio of about 1:2 oats to liquid. For example, if you are using 1 cup of oats, you will need 2 cups of liquid.
  • Add any sweetener or toppings you would like to use. You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
  • Stir the ingredients together until they are well combined.
  • Cover the jar or container and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning, give the oats a stir and add any additional toppings you would like. You can eat the oats cold or heat them up in the microwave or on the stovetop.
OVERNIGHT OATS | easy, healthy breakfast & 6 flavor ideas!

Overnight Oats Serving Suggestions

Overnight oats are a quick and easy way to make a tasty breakfast that can be made your own by adding different flavors and toppings. Here are some serving suggestions to help you get started:

  • Classic Overnight Oats. Combine 1 cup of oats, 2 cups of milk, and 1 tablespoon of honey in a jar or container. Stir in some chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, and a handful of berries, such as blueberries or raspberries.
  • Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats. Mix together 1 cup of oats, 2 cups of milk, 1 mashed banana, and 2 tablespoons of refrigerated peanut butter in a jar or container. Top with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and a drizzle of honey.
  • Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt. Combine 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of Greek yogurt in a jar or container. Stir in some diced fruit, such as apples or pears, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Overnight Oats with Coconut and Mango. Mix together 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of coconut milk, and 1 diced mango in a jar or container. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and a drizzle of refrigerated honey.
  • Overnight Oats with Spinach and Egg. Combine 1 cup of oats, 2 cups of milk, and 1 handful of spinach in a jar or container. Stir in a beaten egg and some diced cooked bacon.

You can add different flavors and toppings to overnight oats to make them taste the way you like. Some serving suggestions include classic overnight oats with nuts and berries, peanut butter banana overnight oats, overnight oats with Greek yogurt and fruit, overnight oats with coconut and mango, and overnight oats with spinach and egg.


Overnight oats are becoming more popular because they are easy, healthy, versatile, and can be made ahead of time. They are a tasty and convenient breakfast option that can be enjoyed at home or on the go.

In summary, preparing overnight oats is easy and only requires a few simple ingredients. Simply combine the oats, liquid, and optional sweeteners and toppings in a jar or container and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, give the oats a stir and add any additional toppings before eating.

It’s believed that consuming overnight oats cold provides more health benefits than cooking them due to their improved digestion and absorption of nutrients.

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