Today I’ve turned one of the most delicious desserts into a healthy breakfast. Black forest overnight oats combine sumptuous cherries with rich chocolate. Top that with yogurt and a chocolate shell and you’ve got dessert for breakfast.
These black forest overnight oats have a rich chocolate oat layer on the bottom. You then top this with fresh or frozen chopped cherries. Spread some plain yogurt on top, to act as a cream layer, and then top with some melted chocolate. The chocolate will set in the fridge leaving you with a chocolate shell you’ll need to break through. How can you go wrong with an interactive dessert for breakfast!
Growing up, I hated cherries and adult me doesn’t understand what I was thinking. They’re now one of my favourite fruits and they are so fun to bake with. I’ve even planted a cherry tree so I can have an unlimited amount of cherries every summer. I don’t think anything will grow this summer but hopefully by next year I’ll have a plethora of fresh, slightly sour cherries!
If you are lucky enough to have a fruit bearing cherry tree, these black forest overnight oats are an easy way to use up some cherries. Much quicker and healthier to make then an actual Black Forest cake, although I will never deter someone from having a slice of that heaven. Thankfully, I’ve got my oats resting in the fridge to eat at work tomorrow to rid myself of this craving.
Fresh vs. Frozen Cherries
In this recipe, I do prefer fresh cherries as they will create a nice layer without getting soggy. They will still be a nice bite in your mouth. However, cherries are expensive and not always in season so frozen cherries will also work.
If using frozen cherries, I recommend letting them drain for 20 minutes so any additional ice or liquid will not be in your oats. If you don’t have time to let them drain, put them in as they are but take out 1 tbsp of oat milk. This way, the additional moisture will still get absorbed by the oats without making them really runny.
Why I Love Overnight Oats
- Super simple and quick to make. Only takes about 5 minutes.
- Easy to grab out of the fridge in the morning and take with me to work.
- Easy to eat when I’m busy at work. I can have a couple bites while I’m going over patient’s imaging at my desk and then come back to it later.
- Adding to the previous reason, when I take 3-4 hours to eat my oats throughout the morning, they taste good straight out of the fridge and once they’ve warmed up to room temperature. Perfect breakfast when you don’t actually get a proper break to eat. While some people may say I could eat before work, I don’t care to get up earlier in the morning and I’m never hungry until I’ve been up for 1-2 hours. I know many other people have the same problem.
- They are super healthy and easy to add various toppings too like berries for added nutrition.
- There are a million different flavour combinations. Believe me, I’ve got about 30 different recipes written down that I need to test. This is important to me because I find I get bored of foods quick. If I can eat a different flavour every day of the week, I’m likely not going to get bored. Plus you are then eating a variety of different foods.
For a different overnight oats recipe, try my coconut cream pie overnight oats.
Benefits of Oats
- Oats are a great source of fibre, mostly soluble fibre which helps slow down digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. The type of soluble fibre also aids gut health by supporting healthy gut bacteria. This can help reduce inflammation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- While many people say oats have no protein and aren’t a good thing to eat due to this, we seem to be a very protein obsessed culture currently, this isn’t actually true. While oats aren’t a high source of protein, they do contain about 4g per serving and include a good balance of essential amino acids. This is still important as you do need all of the essential amino acids in your diet, not just some of them.
- Oats are also high in iron, an essential mineral that many people don’t get enough, especially women. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin which is how your body carries oxygen throughout your body.
- As well as iron, oats are also a good source of other trace minerals like manganese, copper and phosphorus. These all aid your body in various tasks like bone building, collagen forming, creating red blood cells, etc. These are just a few of the benefits of eating oats and a few of the reasons I love them so much. If you’d like more information, check out https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325078/ or https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/.
Gluten Free Black Forest Overnight Oats
Making this recipe gluten free is super simple, all you need to do is ensure your oats are certified gluten free. That’s it!
As a side note, if making anything gluten free for someone with an allergy, ensure you thoroughly wash any equipment, jars or utensils. Any contact with flour may trigger an allergy. I like to say any baking I do in my own home is gluten friendly as I am using flour often and cannot guarantee there’s been no cross contamination.
- For best results, once you’ve mixed everything together, let rest in the fridge overnight. This helps the oats get nice and soft and gives you a creamier consistency.
- If you’re using frozen cherries, I recommend letting them drain. Otherwise, the added moisture may keep your chocolate layer from being as creamy. If you don’t have time to let them drain, the recipe will still work, your oats may just be a little more watery which you can fix by leaving out 1 tbsp of milk.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
Other Nutritious Breakfast On the Go Recipes
As I’m posting this while finally home in Newfoundland, a Newfoundland song is definitely due. This was one of our favourites at get togethers and parties growing up! Here’s Gonna Be A Time Tonight by Ray Lake. Happy baking!! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Black Forest Overnight Oats
- 1/2 cup (60g) rolled oats
- 1 tbsp (7g) cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsweetened oat milk (or any milk)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp (20g) maple syrup
- 8 cherries, pitted and chopped *see notes
- 3 tbsp (42g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp (10g) semi sweet chocolate chips (optional but included in nutritional info)
- In a 250mL (or bigger) size jar or container, add the oats, cocoa powder, milk, , vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir until combined.
- For the next layer, add the chopped cherries on top. Don't stir.
- Then gently spread the Greek yogurt on top of the cherries.
- If adding the chocolate shell on top, add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in 20 second increments in the microwave until fully melted. Spoon it gently on top of the yogurt and spread it as much as you can.
- Seal or cover your container and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours until the oats are set. Crack through the chocolate shell and enjoy!