How Long Does It Take For Overnight Oats' Flavors To Fully Meld?

Overnight oats are meant to be prepared overnight, it's right there in the name. Simply grab your favorite reusable jar, measure out your oats, pour in your liquids, and go to bed. When you wake up, your overnight oats will be waiting for you, and your day will be off to an easy start. But, being humans, things happen. Sometimes we forget to make them ahead of time. Whether you've woken up in the middle of the night out of realization, or it's the morning of and you're scramming, we've all been forced to prepare our overnight oats with less than a night to spare. They're never quite as good, and there's a reason for that.

While, depending on the kind, your oats may be soft enough to eat after an hour or two in the fridge, recipe developer Catherine Brookes told Tasting Table they need at least six hours for the flavors to fully meld. That extra time they get hanging out allows all of the ingredients to fully integrate — ensuring every bite of your strawberry overnight oats tastes like strawberry and guaranteeing the pumpkin puree you mixed in gives the fall flavor you've been craving. That isn't to say you can't eat your oats before then, they'll just taste better if you wait. Next time you forget to prep the night before, make a big batch. That way, you can take what you need while the rest of your oats continue to meld to their fullest potential.

Getting the most flavor out of your overnight oats

As humans, we crave variety along with the stability of a set routine — and that's why overnight oats are so perfect. Not only do you get all the fiber you need to keep you regular, but you also have full control over the taste. So you can make a big batch of one flavor, or you can make singular jars of different flavors. Here are just a few ideas to set you and your oats up for success.

As mentioned above, strawberry oats are a wonderful choice if you're craving something summery — all they require is a stir of strawberry jam and a topping of strawberries. Similarly, you can add pumpkin puree for a fall twist. Aside from seasonal flavors, though, there are always the traditional ones like cinnamon apple or berries with peanut butter. But you can take them up a notch with some other, less-expected, ingredients. Miso butter in those cinnamon apples will change your oats forever, and the addition of tahini will make them even more creamy. Both would pair wonderfully with a drizzle of date syrup, too. Just make sure you're giving them their full six hours while you're getting your eight.