When it comes to overnight oats, nothing is more simple for a delicious, easy, and anti-inflammatory breakfast.
It is, however, a little harder to find one that’s sugar-free, as sugar is inflammatory. That’s why this basic overnight oats recipe is just as yummy, but without any added sugars.
So before I get into the recipe and how to make overnight oats, I want to talk about what exactly makes this an anti-inflammatory recipe so you can do the same, no matter which flavor variation you make at home.
How to make anti-inflammatory overnight oats
There are 3 things that put these overnight oats into the anti inflammatory recipes category:
Number 1 is what you leave out.
This would be the things that ultra processed options like instant oatmeal put in their products that contribute to chronic inflammation in the body. These include sugar, artificial colorings, flavors, and preservatives, and oxidated unhealthy fats.
The overnight oats recipes I’m gonna show you eliminates ALL those from the start.
The second way this is an anti-inflammatory breakfast recipe is all in how you prepare it.
This is because how you prepare your overnight oats recipes determines how it will affect your blood sugar response. By eliminating the sugar in step 1, you’re on your way.
However, the carbohydrates from grains like oats are also absorbed into the bloodstream at different rates depending on 1) how they’re cut and 2) how you prepare it.
Using the LEAST processed form like steel-cut or rolled keeps that grain in tact as much as possible, which helps slow down those carbohydrates from hitting your blood stream so fast. However, studies have shown that you can increase resistant starches by actually cooking the oats, then letting them cool in the fridge, then reheating them.
So, traditionally for overnight oats you would let your oats soak in the liquid overnight in the fridge. We’re still gonna do that, but by using this trick of cooking them first, then letting them cool overnight, we’re increasing those resistant starches.
And the third way these meal prep overnight oats are an anti inflammatory recipe is by the add-ins.
There are so many different options for add-ins to create different flavors and textures. But if you’re purposeful in your add-ins, you can get an even bigger anti-inflammatory boost without adding in a ton of extra calories, which is helpful if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight.
Some of these can be cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, or even lower-sugar fruit like berries. And if you want to add a bit of extra crunch, you can use toppers like chopped almonds, macadamia nuts, or walnuts.
So let’s jump into how to make overnight oats to keep them anti-inflammatory and insulin friendly.
The typical ingredients in a basic overnight oats recipe are:
- Chia seeds
- Vanilla extract
So, we already started talking about the oats. The more intact they are, the better for your blood sugar levels.
Your options for oats are :
Steel cut, rolled, and quick oats.
You can see the difference in texture here, and if you’ve had any experience with oats and oatmeal you’ll know that the thinner the cut, the more mushy they can get. So the steel cut will be a bit chewier, and can take a bit longer to cook. The rolled only take about a minute and a half to cook in the microwave, and the quick oats a little shorter.
Per anti-inflammatory diet basics, whole or partially cracked grains are acceptable because of those lower blood sugar hits, so I recommend using steel-cut or rolled.
As far as them being gluten free, oats are inherently gluten free, however, cross contamination is really frequent with oats, so I recommend getting oats that are labeled as gluten-free.
1-For this overnight oats recipe, we use ½ cup of oats. **Now one thing to note in CASE you don’t have the correct type of oats and want to use up what you have is that there are different calorie and macro counts for the different types of oats because of the difference in their denseness.
So you want to make sure you match those if you are counting calories or macros for your weight. (Check out the video for that if you need help, which I’ll have listed below)
2-Next, we add milk. Now, not everyone *needs* to go dairy-free to follow an anti-inflammatory diet as the guidelines of anti-inflammatory dictate that it’s unique to each person after eliminating foods KNOWN to be inflammatory to all humans. So, obviously, don’t use cow’s milk if you’re lactose intolerant, If you’re allergic, and if you’re adapting this recipe to be a vegan breakfast.
There are a ton of other non-dairy options. However, make sure you find one that is sugar-free. The label will say ‘Unsweetened’, and try to find one with as few fillers and thickeners as possible. Many people react to these and some people even end up making their own nut milks because of this.
We’ll need ½ cup of milk.
3-Next we’ll add yogurt. Again—if you’re fine with dairy, choose a plain, unsweetened yogurt.
I prefer Greek, and if you’re dairy-free or vegan, coconut milk yogurt or any other dairy-free option is fine as long as it’s plain and unsweetened.
4-Chia seeds are our next add-in. Chia seeds are great because they’re high in protein and healthy fats, can help lower LDL cholesterol, and they also help blunt that blood sugar spike.
And when they have moisture, the seed has sort of a gelatinous coating that helps us feel full, they give a tiny bit of a crunch.
5-Next we’re adding in vanilla extract. Just make sure this is REAL vanilla extract, not imitation as that’s an artificial flavoring. The vanilla flavor goes with practically any flavor profile that you want to create, unless it’s a savory flavor, and it helps add to the overall sweetness factor.
6-So speaking of sweetness, let’s talk sweeteners. Although there ARE savory flavors of overnight oats, most recipes are for sweeter versions. Since we’re eliminating sugar per anti-inflammatory diet guidelines, we can use zero calorie natural sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners are terrible for your gut health, among other things, so we’re gonna steer clear of those.
I know many people will still insist on using natural sweeteners that do have sugar like honey or maple syrup. Those sweeteners are allowed in a Paleo diet, which is considered one type of anti inflammatory diet, so you use your own judgement for your own body.
If you are trying to lose weight or reduce chronic inflammation, I recommend steering clear even of those natural sweeteners daily, and instead using stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, or allulose.
7-Now, I want to touch on the salt. In all honesty, oats can sometimes taste a little like cardboard if you don’t know how to prepare them. Salt livens up that plain grain flavor, but it also adds a counter balance to the sweetness. So don’t forget to add in a pinch or two of salt.
8-What’s so great about overnight oats anti inflammatory options is that you can add combinations of fresh fruits and spices that are super delicious.
So the last part of the ingredients is the add-ins. Cinnamon has been shown to lower blood sugar, so it’s a perfect add-in if you have insulin resistance or are trying to lose weight.
Turmeric and ginger have a bit of a bite, but are perfect for helping to lower chronic inflammation as well. And if you want to add a bit more crunch, those chopped almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, or walnuts that I mentioned before are perfect here as well.
The flavor combinations are endless, but if you’d like some flavor pairing suggestions, check out the recommendations below.
To prepare the overnight oats, you have two options:
- Mix them all together, seal in a container and pop in the fridge for about 8 hours or overnight, Or
- If you’re going for the more insulin-friendly option, cook the oats with water and salt per the package directions. Let it cool, THEN add in the other ingredients before you pop it in the fridge and leave it overnight. This helps increase those resistant starches and gives you a super yummy, filling, and healthy meal prep breakfast.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BREAKFAST / SNACK OPTIONS
Extra flavor variations:
- Apple + cinnamon
- Mashed banana + keto maple syrup + chopped pecans
- Peanut butter + chocolate chips (sugar-free)
- Chopped strawberries + peanut butter
- Coconut flakes + chocolate chips + almonds + keto maple syrup
- Peppermint extract + mini chocolate chips (sugar-free)
Anti-Inflammatory Overnight Oats
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free (or steel-cut))
- 1/2 cup milk (dairy or dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup yogurt (Greek, or dairy-free option)
- 1 TBSP monk fruit (granulated)
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- Add all ingredients to container with a lid. Stir until well combined.
- Seal the container, and let sit in the fridge a minimum of 2 hours. (Best to prepare the night before and let it soak overnight.)
- Top with fresh or frozen fruit, and add other spices like cinnamon for a flavor boost!
- *If you prefer warm, pop in the microwave in the morning for 30-60 seconds.
- *Tip: For even more efficiency, double the recipe for 2 days worth of breakfasts. 🙂
- Serving Size: Serving
- Calories: 392
- Sugar: 18.1 g
- Sodium: 94.5 mg
- Fat: 7.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 55.1 g
- Fiber: 9.3 g
- Protein: 18.5 g
Keywords: anti-inflammatory, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, nightshade-free, Vegan
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