Canned Coconut Milk Is The Secret To More Flavorful Overnight Oats

Some would argue that meal prepping is the pinnacle of a responsible adult life, saving us time, money, and effort as we take on a busy work week. With no cooking and the most basic household staples, overnight oats represent meal prepping at its best. While you can use water or your favorite dairy or plant-based milk to soften your oats in the fridge, canned coconut milk is the secret to more flavorful overnight oats.

Unlike most types of carton milks, canned coconut milk is ultra thick and creamy with a very concentrated coconut flavor. It consists of nothing more than the liquid extracted from coconut meat and water. Its high-fat content is nutrient-rich with no added sugars or other preservatives you might find in processed carton milk. As a popular substitute for heavy cream in vegan desserts, canned coconut milk supplies the ultimate richness to upgrade the flavor and consistency of oatmeal.

Most overnight oat recipes recommend using light canned coconut milk because it has a higher water content, facilitating its ability to be absorbed by the oats as they soak overnight. A good ratio to start with is one cup of oats to one and a half cups of canned coconut milk. As the oats slowly absorb the coconut milk, they will reap the full benefits of its creamy tastiness.

Canned coconut milk overnight oat mix-ins

Canned coconut milk is the ultimate upgrade for the creamiest, dreamiest overnight oats. Plus, it supplies your oats with an underlying coconutty flavor that paves the way for countless mix-in combinations. One point to remember before you start, however, is to shake canned coconut milk thoroughly to emulsify the water and coconut cream before adding it to your oats.

Even though you'll use unsweetened canned coconut milk, it still has a subtly sweet flavor that doesn't necessitate added sugar. That said, a spoonful of maple syrup or agave nectar would build upon canned coconut milk's sweetness with unique and robust flavors of their own.

You can draw inspiration from your favorite coconut-centric drinks and desserts to make a different jar of overnight oats for every morning of the week. As a tropical fruit extract, coconut milk pairs perfectly with pineapple, papaya, banana, and mango. You could add fresh mango and chopped cashews to one jar, and chunks of dried papaya, chia seeds, and slices of banana to another. For a healthy twist on a pina colada, you can add fresh pineapple juice and coconut sugar to your overnight oats, and top them with just-sliced pineapple and strawberries.

Almond Joy lovers can add chocolate chips or cacao nibs, shredded coconut, and toasted slivered almonds to their coconut overnight oats. Or opt for fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries to achieve a tart and juicy complement to the richness of canned coconut milk.