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How to Make Fruit-Salad Overnight Oatmeal in Mason Jars

Now I understand why so many friends rave about steel-cut oats. You just have to cook it right and mix in lots of fruit and other goodies. It's only $1.75 a serving using organic ingredients. Here are five reasons I now love having oatmeal for breakfast.

Overnight steel-cut oatmeal in a canning jar with bananas blueberries and raisins

  1. It's delicious. Did I say it reminds me of pie, not the slippery oatmeal I hated while growing up? Warm fruit stars in this breakfast. The steel-cut oats cook up like a slightly chewy grain, more like quinoa than okra.
  2. It's healthy. Start your day with three kinds of fruit, nutrient-rich cinnamon, heart-healthy oats, high-protein chia seeds. Skip any added fat, sugar, or oil.
  3. It's green. You boil the steel-cut oats for just a few minutes, then let the oatmeal coast along cooking in the warm pot. Spoon it into glass jars for individual servings without wasteful and expensive single-use packaging.
  4. It's easy and quick. Spend 10 minutes on Sunday night to have breakfast ready for the whole week. Each morning, stir in a sliced banana into a jar of oatmeal, microwave for 90 seconds, and eat right from the jar. If you need to a grab-and-go breakfast, microwave it at your office or just enjoy it chilled or at room temperature. Cleanup is a snap because the pot never burns and the jars can go right into the dishwasher.
  5. It's safe. I came up with this recipe after learning that a friend leaves her cooked oatmeal on the stove overnight and then eats it for breakfast or even lunch without refrigerating it. Keeping the cooked oats in the fridge means no worries about multiplying microbes.

How to Make Fruit-Salad Overnight Oatmeal in Glass Jars

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 6 or more hours. Serves 5. Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, oil free.

1 1/4 cup steel-cut oats (220 grams) (I use Bob's Red Mill organic steel-cut oats)
3 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups blueberries (100 grams)
5 bananas

  1. Put steel-cut oats, water, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, so oatmeal just bubbles. Cook for three minutes, stirring two or three times. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let rest on the stove for about two hours.
  2. Stir raisins, chia seeds, and cinnamon into oatmeal. Spoon into 1 quart mason jars or other microwave-safe containers. Top each jar with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. (If you are using frozen berries, add them the night before you plan to eat them.) Cover jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to a week.
  3. To serve, slice a banana into each jar of oatmeal, stir, and microwave until hot, about 90 seconds on high for one jar. Eat Fruit-Salad Overnight Oatmeal from the jar or transfer it to a bowl if you're feeling fancy.

5 jars overnight steel-cut oats in the refrigerator

Recipe notes:

  • Steel-cut oats are also known as pinhead oats or Irish oats.
  • Choose your own fruit combo. Use chopped dried apricots or prunes instead of raisins. Try raspberries or strawberries instead of blueberries.
  • Add more spices. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of the super-spice turmeric for East Asian zip and to fight inflamation.
  • By using Bob's Red Mill oats, I get a sixth reason to love this breakfast. In 2009, a "gobsmacked" Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill, won the coveted Golden Spurtle with the very steel-cut oats used in this recipe. For the 87-year-old Bob, it was like winning an Olympic gold metal. Bob and his wife Charlee are amazing people, with a long history of milling wholesome grains. On Bob's 81st birthday, he gave his company to the employees, so it's now employee-owned. Thanks, Bob and Charlee, for making a difference! (This is an unsponsored tribute straight from the heart.)

Nutritional information (1 serving or 1/5 recipe):

Calories: 435

Protein 11 grams (21% daily value), total fat: 6 grams (9%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 93 grams (31%), dietary fiber 11 grams (45%)

Calcium 64 mg (6%), iron 12 mg (66%), potassium 813  mg (23%), zinc 1 mg (4%), Vitamin C 23 mg (39%), Vitamin A 174 IU (3%), Vitamin B6 0.8 mg (41%), Thiamin B1 0.2 mg (12%), Riboflavin B2 0.2 mg (10%), Folacin 35 mcg (9%)

Reader Comments (2)

Hey there--just curious, can you make this with rolled oats, too? I have celiac disease and haven't found a steel cut version of gluten-free oats in my stores.

Apr 7, 2017 | Registered Commenterpeggy

Dear Peggy, I'm sure you can but I haven't tried it. Please let us know if you do. Thanks for raising the point about gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten free but some, including Bob's Red Mill, are processed in facilities that also process wheat. I also noticed while scrutinizing the package that I should keep the uncooked oats in the fridge or freezer. Thanks for helping me spot that!

Apr 10, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson
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