Overnight oats are one of the best make-ahead breakfasts. You don’t need to do any cooking to have them ready, and you can make them ahead of time to save you having to prepare breakfast in the morning. You can also add so many different ingredients to overnight oats, such as fruits, nuts, and yogurt.
It is always a good idea to make up a big batch in one go and then keep single portions in the fridge. However, overnight oats do not last indefinitely in the fridge.
So, can you freeze overnight oats? You can freeze overnight oats in individual portions for up to 3 months. This allows you to stock up on single servings to enjoy for a few weeks. Overnight oats should be frozen with a few precautions to ensure that the oats keep their best quality and are safe to eat after some time.
Once you know how to freeze overnight oats, you can have quick and easy breakfasts available throughout the week, saving you some effort and some time in the morning.
How To Freeze Overnight Oats
When making overnight oats, it is important to remember that the choice of liquid, the toppings, and other add-ins all have an influence on how the overnight oats will freeze and whether the oats will taste fresh or not once thawed.
Before freezing the overnight oats, you should make them up as normal, but hold back on adding in spices and the fruit. This is because the spices will change in flavor once frozen and thawed, and probably not taste as great when it comes time for it to be eaten.
Any fruit added in, such as chopped up apples or sliced banana will turn soft and mushy after being frozen and thawed, and while some people might be okay with this, it is better to add the fruit in after freezing plain overnight oats.
Best Overnight Oats Container
There are a few options for containers to choose from to use to freeze overnight oats, but the main factor is to ensure that the container seals tight and offers an airtight seal.
Mason Jar for Overnight Oats
Mason jars are a popular choice for overnight oats, and they are a great option to use to freeze the oats in as well.
You need to just make sure that the mason jars are freezer safe. They seal tight well and offer protection from other odors in the freezer.
Our favorite mason jars for overnight oats are these 16-oz, wide-mouth mason jars.
The disadvantage is that glass is heavy and breaks easily, and the mason jars take up quite a bit of space in the freezer.
Overnight Oats Plastic Container
Plastic containers that seal tight and are freezer-friendly are another good option for freezing overnight oats.
You get some freezer containers that are in the same shape as a mason jar (like these ones on Amazon), so you can layer up the oats and other ingredients much as you would if you were putting the oats in the fridge.
Plastic containers can be used over again, but they do absorb strong odors, so be aware of this when using some to store overnight oats.
Flat plastic containers can be stacked on top of each other in the freezer to save space.
Freezing Overnight Oats: Preparation
Once you have chosen a freezer-safe container for your overnight oats, you can then prepare them to be frozen.
- Layer your oats and liquid into the container and add in the honey or sweetener you prefer. Hold back on the fruit and spices for now, as these should be added in at a later stage when the overnight oats have thawed.
- Make sure to leave some room in the container for expansion, as the liquid in the overnight oats will expand when frozen and will need some room to accommodate for this. If no room is left in the container for expansion, then you will have an oat explosion in your freezer which will not be easy to clean up.
- Seal the overnight oats container, whether that be tightening the lid or clipping closed a plastic lid. If you are using a plastic freezer bag, then make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible, to prevent a rapid decline in quality.
Overnight Oats Without Refrigeration
We recommend freezing the overnight oats right away instead of putting them in the refrigerator first.
By placing the oats immediately into the freezer (without refrigerating them), you are not letting them get soggy overnight like they would get if you left them in the fridge.
Oats which have been mixed with liquid are more vulnerable to bacteria growth, and therefore pose a higher risk of causing some kind of foodborne illness.
By freezing the oats immediately after preparing them, you will be keeping the fresh quality and taste of the oats and other ingredients.
Don’t worry that the oats won’t have the time to soften when you are ready to enjoy the frozen oats, you can take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge and leave them to thaw overnight. As the oats thaw in the refrigerator overnight, they will soften and be ready to be eaten in the morning.
You can also let thawed overnight oats sit at room temperature for up to 4 hours if you prefer not to eat your overnight oats cold.
You can also then add in any fruits, nuts, or spices you might want and eat it straight away, or leave it to stew for a little bit longer.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
If stored correctly, overnight oats can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. While they will be fine to consume after this, they will rapidly decline in quality and probably not be very edible when you eat them.
When removing the overnight oats from the freezer to leave in the fridge to enjoy the next day, you can take out between 3 or 5 jars or portions, as the overnight oats can be left in the fridge for up to 5 days. This allows you to have up to 5 portions thawed and ready for the week, and you can add in any ingredients you might want as the days go by.
Overnight oats are fine to leave in the fridge once thawed for up to 5 days, and if the frozen oats are taken straight from the freezer and placed in the fridge, they will still have their great quality and taste.
It is not advised to refreeze thawed overnight oats, as there will too much of a decline in quality and you run the risk of bacteria growth which could cause you to become sick.
For this reason, it is best to freeze the overnight oats in single portions and then only take out what you know you will eat within 5 days.
Can you freeze soaked oats?
You can freeze most types of oats, including oatmeal, steel-cut oats, quick oats, instant oatmeal, and rolled oats.
Cooked oatmeal can be kept for three months in the freezerif stored correctly, and can easily be reheated in the microwave when it is time to enjoy the frozen portions.
Soaked and cooked oats can be frozen, and it is a good idea to freeze the oats in single portions so none goes to waste, unless you are freezing large portions to feed the family.
How long should overnight oats be left in the fridge before being eaten?
Overnight oats are usually left to sit in the fridge overnight, so this is roughly 7 hours or longer.
However, the oats will be ready to eat within 4 to 5 hours if you pack some in the morning for lunchtime or for a snack later on in the day.
Can you freeze raw oats?
Raw oats can be frozen, although raw oats can last for an extended period if kept in the right conditions, in a dark, cool, and dry place.
However, you can freeze raw oats for up to 1 year in a sealed, airtight container free from additional moisture and air, which could ruin the texture of the oats.
Overnight Oats: Final Thoughts
Freezing overnight oats is a great way to have a good few portions on hand for breakfast when you don’t want to have to go through the effort of making overnight oats each night.
Pack the overnight oats into their own single-serving container and place them in the freezer. Remove a portion the night before you want to enjoy them for breakfast, and place it in the freezer.
Overnight oats will thaw and the ingredients will all mix together to form a delicious and healthy breakfast!
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