If you don't know (and seriously...if you have any kind of online presence you will have been bombarded with images of this concept) overnight oats are oats you don't cook. They sit in your fridge over night quietly minding their business and absorbing the liquids you chose so the next day they are ready to eat. Sorta like what the title implies. Overnight oats. Oats you make overnight.
I decided to make chocolate cherry flavour oats. But how could I do this? I found versions that made a chocolate flavour, but how to add the cherries? Would cherries alone be enough to make this have the *wow* factor I was looking for?
At Lidl I discovered a jar of maraschino cherries in syrup for around £1.49. I took it home and drained the cherries (reserving the syrup! Do not neglect this bit!) and laid the cherries in a single layer on a plastic lid and froze them in my freezer. This prevents them from sticking together later. The next day I scooped up all the cherries and put them in a ziplock bag. and popped them back in the freezer. There were approximately 100 delicious, tart cherries.
I also took the drained syrup (you mustn't forget the drained syrup, oh best beloved!) and froze it in 1/4 cup portions. You could use ice cube trays (indeed I do use ice cube trays for freezing garlic puree and golden paste--recipe coming next week!) but if you can get a hold of one of these babies they really are great. They are a silicone compartmental doodah meant for freezing homemade baby food if you are a yummy mummy. I got mine from a charity shop for £2 and we use it #allthetime.
(look at me being all kool and down wid da kidz using a hashtag)
Anyway....I froze the cherry syrup and it made 9 little cubes.
At night before I go to sleep, I put the following in a small plastic container with a lid. Feel free to use glass, but I was taking this to work to eat as second breakfast (since I am small and hairy, I must be a Hobbit, right???) so plastic was more sensible.
In your container:
1/2 cup (GF) porridge oats
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp chia seeds (optional--helps absorb the liquid and adds omega, protein and vitamins etc, but it may mean you have to add a splash more milk in the morning...so use it or don't)
1 tsp sugar (optional...the syrup is still quite tart so I like a bit of sugar)
1/2 cup plant based milk of your choice
Give it a big ole stir to mix it all together and add:
1 cube cherry syrup (1/4 cup)
10 frozen cherries
Then pop it in the fridge overnight and when you wake up in the morning--BAM! Breakfast.
Or second breakfast.
By the morning the cherries are defrosted and the syrup is melted and there is big cherry puddle in your chocolate oats that needs mixing in. It will need a bit of a stir and then you are good to go.
This is *delicious*. Just the right amount of chocolate...a huge flavour burst of cherry. Yum.
I don't seem to have a photo of the end product because I always seem to be eating it when I remember I should have taken a photo.
Once you do the main prep on the cherries, it is easy-peasy to put together. And fairly economical as well as the jar lasts 9 meals.
I am often someone who likes to go against the flow, but sometimes copying everyone else's good idea works too.