Plant-Based Pantry-Staple Meals: Berry Overnight Oats

Posted on by Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

berry overnight oats

Over the next number of weeks we will be posting a pantry-friendly meal, thanks to Dr. Neal Barnard. Today we'll begin with Berry Overnight Oats!

Eating plant-based meals – rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – is a powerful way to boost your immune system and overall health. If you’ve recently stocked up on plant-based pantry staples and freezer favorites and are looking for recipes that incorporate these foods, we have you covered!

Whole grains: Whole grains are packed with fiber, protein, B vitamins and zinc. Excellent options for the pantry include oats, pasta, rice, breads and tortillas.

Legumes: Legumes are rich in fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc and B vitamins. Options include dry or canned beans, dry or frozen peas, lentils, tofu, soy milk and tempeh.

Fruits: Fruit contains high amounts of fiber, beta-carotene and vitamin C – which can boost the immune system! Fresh fruit such as oranges, apples, and pears can last for several weeks. Stocking your freezer with frozen berries, frozen cherries, and other frozen fruits is another great way to up your fruit intake!

Vegetables: Vegetables provide vitamin C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, iron, calcium, fiber and other nutrients. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, turnips, eggplant and squash are nutritious vegetables that do not spoil quickly. You can also opt for frozen vegetables – such as frozen peas, peppers, broccoli, spinach and more – which are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables.

Berry Overnight Oats

Makes 2 Servings

Frozen berries add a boost of flavor and color to overnight oats. Berries are full of antioxidants that can help keep your heart healthy. Oats do not contain gluten but can be manufactured in a facility with gluten. For severe allergies, it’s best to buy oats with a gluten-free label.

• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup frozen raspberries or mixed berries (such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries)
• 1 cup low-fat nondairy milk, plus more for serving
• 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
• 2 tbsp coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
• Pinch of sea salt (to taste)

In a bowl or large jar, combine the oats, berries, nondairy milk, chia seeds, nectar or syrup, and salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least several hours). Serve with more milk to thin, if desired, and also try some additional add-ins.

Options to add: when serving, you can add other toppings, including more berries, sliced ripe banana, a sprinkle of cocoa nibs, or 1 to 2 tablespoons of hemp or pumpkin seeds.

Photo from here, with thanks.