Can you make overnight oats with frozen fruit? Absolutely! Try my recipe for overnight oats with frozen berries and yogurt to get some protein and phytonutrients into breakfast. This recipe is the perfect way to use frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, frozen strawberries, frozen blackberries, or a mix! Soaking oatmeal overnight with other delicious ingredients means a no cook breakfast for you in the morning.
Clearly, I am having an oatmeal-loving sort of week. My family scarfed the Hummingbird Cake Oatmeal a few days ago. Currently, we're onto this recipe for blueberry orange lavender overnight oats with frozen fruit.
You've got to love the versatility that oatmeal provides; you can enjoy your oats hot or cold. It's pretty easy to create a variety of dishes based on the weather or what I'm in the mood for.
But back to this recipe. I've packed these mason jars with layers of no sugar added fruit jam and creamy oatmeal. To make the jammy layer, we will be using inexpensive and always in season frozen fruit.
One complaint about frozen fruit compared to fresh fruit is that frozen fruits become mushy when thawed. In this overnight oats recipe, we're working with that attribute because (after a little heating) we're going to mash the fruit. Frozen berries are the perfect ingredient to make a chia jam to layer with our oats.
Another benefit of using frozen fruit is that you can use fruit that is not in season. Blueberry season is over for the year, which means fresh blueberries are pretty expensive right now. Using frozen blueberries instead of fresh helps us to save money on groceries.
What are the benefits of making overnight oats with frozen fruit?
Why make frozen fruit overnight oats? Here is why I'm loving this recipe:
- This oats recipe is packed with fruit and has no added sugar. Unfortunately, so many of us start the "most important meal of the day" with a bowl of refined grains and added sugars. This simple meal of dairy yogurt, oats, and fruit will help you start the morning off right.
- Every season is "in season" when you use frozen fruit. Want some blueberry overnight oats in the middle of a snowy January? You can get that fresh summer flavor in the middle of winter when you use frozen fruit!
- This is an easy meal with maximum versatility. There are a million tasty ways to modify this dish. Try substituting the Greek yoghurt for Icelandic skyr, or swap out the blueberries for your favorite mixed berry combo. How about lemon or lime instead of the orange juice and zest?
- Frozen berries are one of the least expensive ways to have berries. As mentioned above, fresh berries can be a costly addition to the grocery bill! If you go berry picking over the summer, you may already have frozen berries waiting for you in the freezer. Otherwise, store bought frozen berries are one of the cheapest ways to get berries in your diet.
Ingredients for Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit
Here's what you need to make a delicious breakfast of overnight oats. Many of these items you may already have in your kitchen or pantry:
- Frozen wild blueberries or other frozen berries (do not thaw them)
- Fresh squeezed orange juice
- Chia seeds
- Old fashioned rolled oats (plain instant oats will also work here)
- Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2% cow's milk
- Dried culinary lavender
Culinary lavender is not a common ingredient in the United States; it can be far easier to find in other countries. The first time I was exposed to lavender-infused foods was on a trip to France; it seemed to be everywhere! I found lavender tea, lavender ice cream, pastries flavored with lavender, and on and on.
I am completely in love with the floral notes that a little sprinkle of lavender in overnight oats can provide. However, it is imperative not to overdo it with this fragrant ingredient. Too much lavender may leave you wondering whether your dish would have been better off as a bath product.
I made this mistake once with a batch of lemon-lavender shortbread cookies. The round shape and overpowering lavender scent were highly reminiscent of soap. Don't make the same error!
So that covers the food ingredients, but what kitchen equipment do you need? I find a hand potato masher to be a helpful tool to mash the berries. A hand masher makes it easy to control how much texture your berry jam has.
Another item that I would have on hand is a wide mouth pint size mason jar. Pint canning jars are the perfect size for many overnight oats recipes. I love that they have lids to protect the oats while they soak in the fridge overnight.
How to Make Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit
The first thing we're going to do in this recipe is make a simple chia jam with the berries. This will give the fruit time to cool and thicken while we make the oat mixture.
Combine the frozen berries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the berries are fully thawed and mushy. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Mash the berries with a potato masher, and then stir in the chia seeds. Let the berry jam sit for 10 minutes to cool and thicken.
Combine the oats, yogurt, milk, lavender, and orange zest in a bowl. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Put half of this oat mixture into the bottom of a wide-mouth pint canning jar.
Layer half of the berry chia jam on top of the oats in the jar. Add the rest of the oat mixture to the jar, followed by the rest of the blueberry mixture.
Put the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. They'll be ready to enjoy in the morning!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Since this recipe is a little low in protein, I'd add a hard-boiled egg on the side. Even with the egg, this remains a level 1 (i.e., low-calorie) recipe. For a higher energy meal, use whole milk and whole milk Greek yogurt.
Feel free to make several of these for a breakfast meal prep. They keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
If you normally use sweetened (i.e., flavored) yogurt, these oats will probably not be sweet enough for you. One thing to try is using plain lactose free milk. It tends to taste sweeter than regular milk, though it contains no added sugar.
Another option is to add a sugar substitute to the berries and/or the oat mixture. Of course, you could always use your favorite sweetened Greek yogurt. This will add added sugar and change the nutrition information for this recipe.
Chobani makes a line of "less sugar" Greek yogurt if you are looking to cut back on the added sugar in your diet. Two Good makes flavored Greek yogurt with no added sugar that is sweetened with stevia. There may be other similar brands available if you live outside of the United States.
If fresh blueberries are in season in your neck of the woods, you can add some to the top of your jar of overnight oats. I mostly did this for aesthetic purposes; the oats are great without them.
What are some other oatmeal recipes that use frozen fruit?
This is not the only oatmeal recipe that uses frozen fruit! I offer lots of oatmeal recipes that use ingredients like frozen bananas (thawed and mashed), frozen peaches, and other fruits. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Proats Recipe: Egg White Oatmeal
- Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe – No Added Sugar!
- Edible Lavender Recipe (Peach Blueberry Lavender Overnight Oats)
- Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits (from Iowa Girl Eats)
- Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Tahini
Frequently Asked Questions
How often can one eat overnight oats in a week?
For most healthy people, it's fine to enjoy overnight oats every morning if you'd like. To keep things interesting, I would use a variety of different fruits, nuts, seeds, and other mix-ins with your oats. This will provide you with a broader range of nutrients and help prevent breakfast from getting boring.
I'd also recommend making sure to include a source of protein with your oats. While nuts and seeds do provide some protein, Greek yogurt and skyr have higher protein density (protein per calorie).
That said, I know I'd rather have different things for breakfast sometimes. Baked oatmeal, frittatas, omelets, and other popular meals are also regularly on my morning menu.
What to put in overnight oats?
This was a frozen berry oatmeal, but don't think you need to stop there! Here are some of the (many, many) types of fruit that would be great in overnight oats. Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits would all work:
- Mandarin oranges or other citrus fruits
- Peaches or nectarines
- Tangerines or clementines
- Dragon fruit (AKA pitaya)
- Pomegranate arils
Fruits and vegetables aren't the only foods that pair wonderfully with oats. Don't forget about your options for nuts and seeds:
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Chia seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Plus, you could add vanilla extract, cacao nibs, coconut, nut or seed butter, and so much more. When you begin to think about all of the different flavors that could be created, you could have a new flavor of overnight oats every day for years.
Does cooking oatmeal make it more filling than overnight oats?
Why are you asking me this question? Haha Honestly, even if there is a correct answer to this question on average, how useful is it to you if you feel differently?
I'm kind of loving this question because it is the sort of thing you can easily figure out yourself. Try cooked oatmeal some mornings and an equal amount of overnight oats on other mornings. Keep the toppings and mix-ins the same and see which oatmeal breakfast YOU find more satisfying.
Do you find yourself more likely to snack before lunch when you choose one type of oats versus the other? You may have found your answer!
Do frozen and canned fruits contain less vitamins than fresh produce?
Canned and frozen fruit is not necessarily less nutritious than fresh fruit. Fruit is often frozen or canned soon after picking. Fresh fruit that has been stored for a long period (particularly if stored in suboptimal conditions) may have experienced more severe nutrient degradation.
The other thing to know is that certain vitamins are more sensitive to heat, light, and/or oxygen than others. Fat soluble vitamins tend to be retained more easily than water soluble vitamin C and some of the B vitamins. Since canned foods are heated, they may lose some heat sensitive nutrients (particularly vitamin C).
OK, so what should someone do with this information? I think it is a good idea to include a mix of canned, frozen, and fresh fruit in the diet. Each offers advantages and disadvantages in terms of availability, price, and nutrition.
How to make this recipe vegan?
To make this overnight oats recipe vegan, you'll need to substitute the milk and yogurt for non-dairy alternatives. Since the dairy products here are the main protein sources in the recipe, I recommend finding protein-rich dairy free substitutes. That means choosing calcium fortified soy milk rather than almond milk or oatmilk (since the latter are low in protein).
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to find a non-dairy yogurt alternative with protein comparable to Greek yogurt and no added sugar. To my best knowledge, a product like this is not currently available in my local mainstream grocery store chains. So vegan versions of this recipe that simply substitute the milk and yogurt for no dairy versions will be lower in protein.
One way to help mitigate this situation would be to add a vegan protein powder to the overnight oats mixture. I'm not a fan of the chalky taste of most protein powders. However, if you have a brand you like, this may be a solution that works for you.
Where can you buy culinary lavender?
As mentioned earlier, culinary lavender is not (yet!) a popular ingredient in these parts. Luckily, there is no need to forgo the flowery goodness since buying online is so easy.
I purchased dried culinary lavender buds on Amazon, which you can find by clicking the link. The bag is quite large! Since I only use a teaspoon here or a tablespoon there in recipes, I'm well-stocked in lavender for a long time.
Just because it is culinary lavender does not mean I cannot use it for other purposes. If you make sachets, soaps, or other bath products, you can definitely use this lavender for those applications.
However, you should not use lavender that is not for culinary purposes in your food. When you make a purchase, ensure the product states it is "culinary lavender." You want pure dried lavender buds only for this recipe, with no additives or other ingredients.
Beyond this recipe for frozen fruit overnight oats, many other dishes could benefit from a sprinkle of lavender. Cookies, scones, and other pastries are obvious choices, though not the best options if you have a weight loss goal. A cup of unsweetened lavender hot tea before bed can be lovely and is (nearly) a zero-calorie drink.
I've also used lavender in smoothies with good results, but I don't think lavender only has a place in sweet dishes. You're missing out when you aren't willing to think outside of the box.
One of my best savory dishes involving lavender was a beef stew. A little bit of lavender in the dish added a layer of depth and richness to the flavor. Since I only used a small amount, the stew did not have the characteristic aroma that we associate with lavender. It was terrific!
More Recipes for Overnight Oats with Fruit That You May Enjoy
Why give frozen fruit all of the attention? Don't forget that fresh and dried fruits are super in overnight oatmeal as well! Here are some overnight oatmeal recipes that use fresh fruit:
- Applesauce Overnight Oats | High Protein, No Sugar Added!
- Low Sugar Peach Jam Overnight Oats with Pecans
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Overnight Oats
- Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Overnight Oats
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit
- 200 grams frozen wild blueberries or other frozen berries (this is equivalent to most of a 10-ounce bag)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice (fresh squeezed)
- ½ tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup rolled oatmeal, dry
- ½ cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (non-fat)
- ¼ cup milk, 2%
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest
- ⅛ teaspoon dried culinary lavender
- Combine the blueberries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the blueberries are fully thawed and can easily be mashed with a potato masher. It will take 5-10 minutes.
- After mashing the blueberries, stir in the chia seeds. Let the berry mixture sit for 10 minutes to give it time to thicken and cool. While it sits, work on the oatmeal.
- Put the oats, yogurt, milk, lavender, and orange zest in a medium bowl. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
- Put half of the oat mixture into the bottom of a wide-mouth pint canning jar.
- Layer half of the blueberry mixture on top of the oats in the jar.
- Add the rest of the oat mixture to the jar, followed by the rest of the blueberry mixture. You can top with additional fresh or frozen blueberries, if desired. (This is optional and not included in the nutrition information.)
- Put the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy your soaked oats in the morning!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Since this recipe is a little low in protein, I'd add a hard-boiled egg on the side. Even with the egg, this remains a level 1 (i.e., low-calorie) recipe. For a higher energy meal, use whole milk and whole milk Greek yogurt. Feel free to make several of these for a breakfast meal prep. They keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. If you normally use sweetened (i.e., flavored) yogurt, these oats will probably not be sweet enough for you. One thing to try is using plain lactose free milk. It tends to taste sweeter than regular milk, though it contains no added sugar. Another option is to add a sugar substitute to the berries and/or the oat mixture. Of course, you could always use your favorite sweetened Greek yogurt in this recipe. This will add added sugar and change the nutrition information. Chobani makes a line of "less sugar" Greek yogurt if you are looking to cut back on the added sugar in your diet. Two Good makes flavored Greek yogurt with no added sugar that is sweetened with stevia. There may be other similar brands available if you live outside of the United States. If fresh blueberries are in season in your neck of the woods, you can add some to the top of your jar of overnight oats. I mostly did this for aesthetic purposes; the oats are great without them. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.