Get your fix of pumpkin spiced goodness (without added sugars) with my recipe for pumpkin pie overnight oats. Dates have been used to sweeten the deal, with no sugar added from refined sources. Forget the baked goods; the flavors here will kick any pie cravings to the curb. The whole grains, pumpkin, and protein-packed yogurt are a great way to power up your morning.
Here’s a recipe for pumpkin pie oats that gets its sweetness from dates rather than added sugar. If you aren’t sure what I mean by the term “added sugar” check out this post.
People with certain medical conditions (specifically diabetes) do need to pay close attention to their intake of carbohydrates. This includes natural sugars from dairy products and fruits such as dates. Others who do not have these medical issues do not need to have similar dietary restrictions.
I was able to lose a large amount of weight and keep it off for over six years without giving up fruits. That said, I’ve always found dates to be extremely easy to overeat. I probably would not have picked this recipe during my weight loss, but it is fine during weight maintenance. YMMV
So why use dates instead of just plain table sugar if both contain sugar? So glad you asked. Unlike table sugar, which is pretty much empty calories, dates have fiber and many essential micronutrients:
The above nutrition information is for the portion of fresh Medjool dates that are used in this recipe. Dates provide several B vitamins and various minerals, unlike table sugar. Over time, my palate has adjusted to enjoying the natural sweetness in fruits instead of added sugars.
What about substituting the dairy in this pumpkin pie overnight oats recipe?
If you want to swap out the dairy in this recipe due to lactose intolerance, know that you may not need to. Consider using lactose-free dairy milk instead of a plant-based alternative. Some with lactose intolerance can comfortably digest yogurt and hard cheeses as well.
I keep a list of unsweetened soymilks that have a calcium and protein content that is similar to cow’s milk. (You can check it out on my freebies page.)
The thing is, even the best non-dairy milks are generally not nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk. That means the nutrients that are missing will need to be replaced elsewhere in the diet. For example, here is the mineral content of 2% dairy milk (left) versus Silk unsweetened soymilk (right):
Silk soymilk is one of my top picks because (unlike some other products) it is fortified with calcium. However, someone choosing this product is losing out on the higher amounts of phosphorus, selenium, and zinc in dairy.
Iodine is another mineral that may be lacking in the plant-based milk, but that is present in cow’s milk. There have been cases of severe iodine deficiency in children from households where dairy milk was restricted. Iodized salt and seafood are other sources of this important mineral, but picky eaters are more likely to eat dairy than seafood.
Once again, the 2% milk is on the left, and the Silk unsweetened soymilk is on the right below. The soymilk has been fortified with the vitamins A, D, B12, and riboflavin you’d get in cow’s milk. However, it may be missing some of the other B vitamins that are present in dairy foods (note: some data may be missing).
One more reason to stick with the dairy…
A recent consensus statement by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Heart Association makes the following beverage recommendations for children five and under:
Plant-based milks are not recommended for this age group unless there is a medical need (such as a dairy allergy). They also made a concession for dietary preferences, such as vegan. From the statement,
“Consumption of these beverages as a full replacement for dairy milk should be undertaken in consultation with a health care provider so that adequate intake of key nutrients commonly obtained from dairy milk can be considered in dietary planning.”
Most dairy alternatives are not as rich in nutrients as the example I gave above. I often see parents of young children stocking their carts with milk and yogurt alternatives that are low in both calcium and protein. (And forget the rest of the nutrients mentioned above.)
One more issue is that we don’t fully know how the nutrient bioavailability of these fortified products compare to dairy. As stated, “non-dairy milk beverages should not be considered adequate nutritional substitutes for cow’s milk until nutrient quality and bioavailability are established.” Please don’t take the risk (especially with children) unless medically indicated.
If a family is using these products, it is a good idea to consult with a dietitian. We can help you formulate a well-planned diet that incorporates the nutrients you would get from dairy using other foods.
Enough dairy talk, let’s get back to pumpkin spice
If you are here because you love all things pumpkin, including the pumpkin beverages, I have something extra for you. Check out this article on Healthline, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew vs. Pumpkin Spice Latte: A Calorie Comparison. I gave my two cents on the newest addition to the Starbucks pumpkin drink line, the pumpkin cream cold brew.
The article also has some great tips on lightening up your Starbucks drink order. Don’t miss it if pumpkin spice drinks are your thing. Personally, I’m sticking with the flavor of pumpkin in this recipe for pumpkin spice overnight oats. I find it both delicious and filling, a combination I don’t get from most sweet drinks.
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 calorie 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 this post. Let’s get cooking!
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
- Soak the dates in the hot water for five minutes.
- Blend the dates and water together in a food processor until well-pureed. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor a few times to get things smooth.
- Use a spoon to stir the dates mixture with the rest of the ingredients except the walnuts. Combine well.
- Put the overnight oat mixture into a pint-sized wide-mouth jar. Sprinkle the walnuts on top.
- Put the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. If you make several jars ahead of time, they will last 3-4 days. Enjoy!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). This is not the best recipe for weight loss and not appropriate for low-carb diets. If you did want to bump things down to level 1, I’d cut way back on the dates and skip the walnuts. On the other hand, use whole milk dairy products if you need a higher energy meal. In the store, make sure to get the fresh dates in the produce aisle to make this dish. Don’t use the dried dates that you can find in the baking aisle. Medjool dates work perfectly here.
What are some of your favorite ways to use pumpkin and pumpkin spice? Drop me a comment, and please leave a rating if you try this recipe for pumpkin pie overnight oats!