Overnight oats are a quick and convenient way to enjoy a no-fuss breakfast. You can even take them with you to work if you’ve no time to eat before you leave home. This recipe for blackberry overnight oats with toasted hazelnuts provides a delicious and healthy way to enjoy autumn’s bounty, although you can substitute the blackberries with the fruit of your choice.
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What Are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are a modern take on Swiss bircher muesli. It’s a no-cook method of making creamy, slightly chewy oats for breakfast. We like to have warm porridge in the winter and cool overnight oats in the summer.
It’s great way to have breakfast ready and waiting for you in the morning. Stumbling around the kitchen, all bleary eyed, searching for ingredients isn’t my idea of fun.
Blackberry Overnight Oats
These blackberry overnight oats have to be one of the quickest recipes to make on Tin and Thyme. They’re one of the easiest too. Pretty much all you have to do is measure out a handful of ingredients, then mix them together. Having said that, it does require some planning.
In order to have a bowl, or jar, of delicious overnight oats waiting for you for breakfast, you need to prepare them the night before. The clue is in the name.
Blackberry Overnight Oats: Top Tips
Blackberry overnight oats should have a lovely creamy consistency and turn out a little bit like porridge. To get the best consistency make sure you use rolled oats. Jumbo oats will give a chewy texture and instant oats will just vanish into gloop. It’s also not really a good idea to use oatmeal (steel-cut oats) as they won’t soften and plump up without some heat.
Oats are a whole grain and full of healthy fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’ve proved their worth over the years and have been a staple food source for many. Indeed we’ve been eating them for at least 32,000 years (Ref: PNAS, 2015).
Chia seeds make a fabulous addition to overnight oats. They’re full of nutritional benefits that we humans can easily absorb. One teaspoon a day per person is enough though.
They’re perhaps best known for containing a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids (Ref: Healthline). This is an essential nutrient that’s most commonly found in fish oil. Not much good for us vegetarians and vegans. They’re also a good source of both protein and soluble fibre, which is essential for gut health and helps us feel fuller for longer.
Apart from their health credentials though, they’re a key ingredient to overnight oats as they add a good texture. They swell up a lot, which helps to soak up any excess liquid and thicken the mixture. But they also produce a mucilaginous gel which ensures your blackberry overnight oats are even creamier.
If you don’t have any chia seeds, use an extra tablespoon of oats.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add a little more honey to the soaking mix. You can, however, always mix some more in once you’ve tried it for taste in the morning. Alternatively, know your own palate and drizzle a goodly amount over the top.
Use a good flavoursome honey for this. I used Cornish heather honey. Heather flowers at the same sort of time as blackberries start to fruit, so it seems an apt one to use. It’s also really delicious.
Honey is not only tasty, but it’s lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Depending on the variety used, it also contains a number of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. If you can get it, raw honey is the most nutritious as many of the good qualities associated with honey are destroyed during heat processing (Ref: BBC).
Kefir is a fabulous probiotic fermented milk drink. It’s a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin B12. It’s dairy based though, so not suitable for vegans. But if you’re looking for vegan overnight oats, scroll down the post and you’ll see I have a section on vegan blackberry overnight oats.
I won’t write any more about kefir here, as I have a whole post about it. Suffice it to say we make our own, so it’s both cheap and plentiful.
If you don’t have kefir or can’t get hold of any, just use a hundred millilitres of milk and a tablespoonful of thick Greek yoghurt instead. This will give you some of the benefits and much of the flavour.
Adding a small pinch of salt really brings out the flavours. If you’re on a low-salt diet though, leave it out.
Use a good quality sea salt or rock salt if you can. I’m a fan of unrefined grey sea salt* and Himalayan pink rock salt* as they both contain a number of trace minerals that are usually refined out of white salt.
Some fruit stand up to soaking overnight better than others. I like blackberries to soak in the mix as they impart their flavour to the oats. However, it’s better to add some fruit, such as peaches, right at the last minute.
If you don’t like the idea of fruit soaking in milk overnight, simply add it in the morning instead.
Blackberries are a veritable power house of beneficial antioxidants. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating that they’re a good thing to eat. See my blackberry and apple scones post for more info on this. If you can forage some fresh or grow your own, so much the better.
To wash, place them in a bowl with some fresh water, then drain off any debris. Place in a colander or sieve to drain.
Although it’s hard to beat fresh blackberries, you can use frozen ones instead. They will defrost as they soak in the oat mixture overnight.
Give a good stir before tucking in. You want to ensure your overnight oats are creamy and the textures and flavours well combined. If the mixture is too stiff, stir in a little more kefir or even water.
This is your opportunity to taste test. If you feel it needs more sweetener, fruit, honey, salt or anything else, now is the time to add it. It’s also nice to strew a few more blackberries over the top at this point if you have them.
When it comes to nuts and seeds, you mostly want crunch rather than chew. If you soak them in liquid overnight they will end up chewy and not at all crunchy. So add the hazelnuts just before serving. Except for chia seeds of course, which actively need to soak so they can soften and swell.
The hazelnuts are particularly good if you toast them before strewing on top of your overnight oats. I accept this might be too much of a faff for a no-fuss breakfast, so omit this step if you like. Head over to my dukkah post to find out how to toast hazelnuts.
You can eat this blackberry bircher muesli cold from the fridge and some people prefer it that way. I don’t. If you’re like me, remove it from the fridge as soon as you get up in the morning and it should have warmed up a bit by the time you come to eat it.
The amount I’ve given in the recipe below is for one person. If you have more mouths to feed, however, simply double, triple or quadruple the volume. Similarly you can meal prep and make more for breakfasts later in the week. Overnight oats will keep well in the fridge for three days.
On The Go Breakfast
Just mix all of your ingredients in a sealable jar or other suitable container. Clip top jars with a 350 ml capacity* are perfect for takeaway blackberry overnight oats. Place in the fridge and don’t forget to take it out with you in the morning.
In the photos you can see here, I used a 500 ml clip top jar*. This makes it easier to mix, but takes up more room in the fridge and more space in your work bag.
For a delicious and indulgent weekend breakfast, why not ramp things up and add some cream? You can either substitute some of the kefir for single or double cream and soak the oats in it overnight. Or add the cream just before you’re ready to indulge.
Vegan Blackberry Overnight Oats
It’s easy to make these blackberry overnight oats one hundred percent plant based. Use a hundred millilitres of your favourite plant milk to soak the oats in overnight. Then add a tablespoonful of your favourite vegan yoghurt. Alternatively soak the oats in fruit juice.
As for the honey, swap that out for either maple syrup or date syrup. Though if you soak your oats in fruit juice, they’ll probably be sweet enough.
Ideas for Breakfast Overnight Oats
Hazelnuts have an affinity for blackberries. I guess this is because they’re both autumnal fruits. There are, however, plenty of other fruit and nut/seed combinations you can make. Here are a few suggestions.
- Grate in some apple for a blackberry and apple version of overnight oats. Alternatively try my overnight oats with apples, raisins and pumpkin seeds.
- Raspberries pair well with coconut. Try adding either two teaspoons of freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut to the overnight mix. And swap the blackberries for raspberries.
- Chocolate and cherries are a fabulous and well known combination. Just think black forest gâteau. Halve or quarter some cherries, then mix them in with a teaspoon of cocoa powder. For a finishing flourish, shave some real chocolate over the top in the morning.
- Stone fruit such as apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines go particularly well with almonds. Slice the fruit or cut into chunks, but add, along with the nuts, just before you’re ready to eat. A pinch of cinnamon or half a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the soaking mix is a nice addition too.
- Banana is an easy addition. Mash up half a banana and stir it into the other ingredients. A couple of teaspoons of smooth peanut butter makes it even tastier.
- To make a carrot cake version, soak a small grated carrot, two teaspoons of raisins and a grating of nutmeg in the oat mix. Then top with chopped walnuts in the morning.
Other Blackberry Recipes You Might Like
- Blackberry & apple crumble
- Blackberry & apple scones
- Chocolate blackberry jam
- Coconut blackberry & rose barfi
- Double blackberry chocolate galette
- Spelt pancakes with blackberry, apple & brown buttered cobnuts
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this blackberry overnight oats or a variation of it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more breakfast recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious and nutritious, of course.
Blackberry Overnight Oats. PIN IT.
Blackberry Overnight Oats – The Recipe
Blackberry Overnight Oats
- 50 g rolled oats
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 150 ml kefir
- 1 tsp honey (plus extra for drizzling if liked)
- 60 g blackberries rinsed (plus extra for the top if liked)
- 25 g hazelnuts toasted
- Mix the oats, chia seeds, salt, kefir and honey together in a breakfast bowl until they’re thoroughly combined.50 g rolled oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 pinch sea salt, 150 ml kefir, 1 tsp honey
- Stir in the blackberries, then cover the bowl with a plate or reusable wrap and pop it into the fridge.60 g blackberries
- When you're ready to eat, give the mixture a good stir. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and scatter them over the top of the oats. Add a few more fresh blackberries and drizzle with extra honey if liked.25 g hazelnuts
I’m sharing this recipe for blackberry overnight oats with Sew White for #CookBlogShare.
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