Healthy Apple Pie Overnight Oats (Apple Cinnamon Oats)
Healthy apple pie overnight oats allow you to enjoy dessert for breakfast. Combining a warming cinnamon apple topping with hearty overnight oats and yogurt (dairy or vegan) yields an 8-ingredient naturally sweetened apple breakfast packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and tons of flavor!
Mixing the rolled oats with the chia seeds, adding the milk, maple syrup and apple-pie spice.
Stir well. Set aside to soak for at least 1 hour or, for best results, keep in the fridge overnight.*
Homamade applesauce (apple purée) - optional step
In the jars/bowls of choice, combine the oats, milk, chia seeds, sweetener, and spices and stir well to combine. Then, top that layer with your yogurt of choice.You can optionally add the yogurt directly into the overnight oats rather than using it as a separate layer. Though the oats won't soak up the liquid in quite the same way, so the texture can slightly differ.
Set the mixture aside to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Compile the Finished Overnight Oats Jars
I like to give the overnight oats another mix after soaking – so I’ll usually only add the yogurt and applesauce layers the morning after preparing the oat mixture. But you can skip that if preferred.Once the apples have cooled, top the spiced overnight oats/yogurt jars with the apple pie topping. I like to add any extra "toppings" right before eating them in the morning. It’s important to note that the apple puree will brown as it oxidizes – it's OK to eat but won't look as appetizing. There are three ways to combat this (use one only or all). The first is to add the apple layer beneath the yogurt one. The second is to tightly wrap/cover the jars with plastic wrap or a lid. Finally, the third is to add a splash of lemon juice to the apple filling.
How To Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: if you're making homemade applesauce, I recommend making it in advance to allow it time to cool before you compile the apple pie overnight oats jars.Store: once compiled, you can store the cinnamon apple overnight oats in airtight containers/jars in the fridge for 4 days. I prefer to eat these apple pie overnight oats within 2-3 days for optimal taste/texture.I don't recommend freezing this recipe.
For a firmer apple filling: finely chop your apples into bite-sized pieces and heat on the stovetop only until lightly softened. Alternatively, you can microwave the apples for between 40-60 seconds. Then mix in the sweetener and cinnamon (or apple pie spice) and mix.
For firmer overnight oats: the amount of time you soak the oats will impact how much of a "bite"/chewy texture they have. If you soak them for only 2 hours, they’ll maintain their texture and still be "separate" from the milk. When left overnight, they soak up the liquid and become more of a combined mixture (similar to oatmeal, but with more texture).
Adjust the thickness/texture: similar to the above, the ratio of oats and liquid will also impact the final texture of these applesauce overnight oats. I’ve added a lot of liquid or a looser, more liquidy final cinnamon overnight oats mixture. However, if you want a thicker mixture, then use a ratio of 1:1 oats to milk.
Enjoy the apple overnight oats warm: to enjoy these like a warm freshly baked apple pie oatmeal, microwave the jars (without toppings) until warm (between 60-90 seconds), top, and enjoy.
Adjust the apple texture: The type of apple you use will impact how tender and mushy the "apple pie" filling is. For example, Golden Delicious/Mcintosh apples are soft and break down easily when cooked. In comparison, Pink lady/Honeycrisp are firmer and hold their shape better when cooked.
Adjust the sweetener: since everyone's sweet tooth differs, I think it's important to adjust the recipe to what you think you'd prefer. Of course, you can always add a little extra when serving, if desired.
Use fresh and cooked apple: for a combination of flavor, texture, and fresh vs. cozy flavor, you can use ¼ of the apple to grate and add to the apple cinnamon overnight oats as-is.
Optional Add-ins & Variations:
Salt: just a tiny pinch of salt in the oats mixture can help to enhance the flavors.
Dried fruit: raisins, craisins, cranberries, etc. Just a tablespoon per jar will add extra sweetness and texture.
Nuts: adding chopped pecans, walnuts, or nuts of your choice helps add some texture and healthy fats. For a nut-free version, you could add sunflower seeds/pepitas.
Nut Butter: you could add a tablespoon of your favorite unsalted nut or seed butter for richer, higher-protein overnight oats.