Take just five minutes to prep the ingredients for this slow cooker vegan overnight oats the evening before and dig into a plant-based, gluten-free, fiber-filled bowl of goodness the next morning. Hello, snooze button.
Buying the Ingredients: Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a good source of manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, B vitamins, and a variety of other important vitamins and minerals. It also is a great source of fiber, specifically beta-glucan, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
Not only is oatmeal inexpensive, but it provides a filling morning meal.
Oatmeal comes in many forms: quick cooking, steel cut, rolled oats, Irish oatmeal, and instant. When creating vegan overnight oatmeal in a slow cooker (Instant Pot works well, too), the best type of oats to use are steel cut oats, which are hardier and render a chewier texture than others. Unlike rolled oats, steel cut oats are not rolled flat into flakes like rolled oats. They do, however, deliver the same nutrition.
Do You Need to Purchase Gluten-Free Oats?
If necessary, steel cut oats (and all other types of oats) can be purchased certified gluten-free. I’m partial to Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats that uses an entire gluten-free factory to process their products – they even use separate gluten-free fans to cool off their factory on hot days, to avoid contamination!
Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often processed in factories that share equipment with glutinous grains. In this case, cross-contamination is a possibility. For those who have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, this shouldn’t be a problem, but those with Celiac should seek out certified gluten-free oats.
Vegan Overnight Oats Kitchen Prep
Simply measure out all your ingredients the evening before you plan on enjoying this breakfast and add them to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, cover, and cook on low for eight hours.
This vegan overnight oats recipe uses non-dairy milk to soak and cook the oats. I love using unsweetened creamy cashew or almond milk, although coconut milk works wonders, too.
The addition of chopped apple is a delightful way to sneak in delicious antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to this recipe as well. If you’d rather use a different fruit, adding chopped frozen berries, pear, persimmon, or even peeled and cubed butternut squash also works well.
Maple syrup provides a hint of sweetness, but is completely optional to this recipe. If you’d prefer less sweetness, skip it.
Spices such as cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg add warming flavors and a hint of antioxidants to the oatmeal, but adding in pinches of cardamom, ginger, and even vanilla bean will flavor up your oatmeal even more – and make your kitchen smell amazing.
Finally, adding in a tablespoon of coconut oil adds in essential healthy fats and a creamy and sweet flavor. You can also use grass-fed ghee or butter for a nuttier flavor if you prefer, although these are not vegan.
A big bowl of creamy vegan overnight oats bursting with berries, chia seeds, and warming spices is my favorite way to enjoy a lazy winter morning. I hope you enjoy it, too!
Vegan Steel Cut Overnight Oats
- 1 ½ cups steel cut oats
- 4 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ vanilla extract
- 1 large crisp apple, diced
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- Melt coconut oil and add to bottom of slow cooker. Use your hands to lightly grease entire crockpot, so oatmeal does not stick.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir well to combine.
- Turn heat to low and cook for eight hours.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with a tablespoon of nut butter and a sprinkle of coconut flakes, fruits, and nuts, if desired. Enjoy!
Photos by Kate Gavlick