You’re going to love this easy make-ahead Caramel Apple Overnight Oats recipe bursting with the flavors of fall! This healthy gluten-free and dairy-free recipe is perfect for busy weekday mornings or for an afternoon snack.
Have you ever skipped breakfast because your morning was too hectic?
Or been too busy to eat breakfast, let alone make something healthy?
Yeah, me too.
But my family (and AnnMarie!) will tell you, I really shouldn’t skip breakfast…
Because then I get all kinds of hangry.
Honestly, when I skip that first meal of the day I end up being so much less productive.
Recently I discovered a delicious solution: overnight oats!
Okay, I’d heard about overnight oats before, but the idea of cold oatmeal sounded pretty gross.
After about 10 people recommended them to me, I finally gave them a try and I am hooked.
One of my favorite ways to eat them is this Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake version.
But when the temperatures begin to dip, I start craving all things pumpkin spice.
That’s why I came up with this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Overnight Oats with a Maple Crumble.
Lately I’ve been in the mood for apples.
Especially caramel apples…
Unfortunately traditional caramel apples aren’t exactly healthy.
They don’t fit into my sugar-free lifestyle, y’know?
Sure, I could add some caramel extract to this recipe for Apple Pie Oatmeal, but it takes a little while to make.
Overnight oats to the rescue!
This recipe for Caramel Apple Overnight Oats has scratched my itch.
And with 22 grams of protein it will keep you full until lunch.
Are Overnight Oats Healthier Than Regular Oatmeal?
Did you know that soaking oats actually makes this healthy meal even better for you?
The soaking takes the place of cooking your oats.
Soaking the oats overnight breaks down the starches and reduces the natural phytic acid in the oats.
Why does this matter?
The process makes it easier for your body to digest the oats and use their nutrients more efficiently!
Cold soaked oats also contain increased resistant starch, a healthy carb that has been shown to aid in weight loss and helps you feel fuller longer.
Resistant starch also helps reduce spikes in your insulin levels.
Pretty cool, right?
You’ll want the oats to soak for at least 8 hours, so whip up a batch before bed and they’ll be perfect in the morning.
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What Makes These Caramel Apple Overnight Oats So Good For You?
I usually use plain nonfat Greek yogurt to add protein to my overnight oats.
It adds a nice cheesecakey kind of flavor to them.
But sometimes I need to reduce how much dairy I’m eating.
So I used these collagen peptides to give them more protein.
Collagen is one of the building blocks of our bodies.
As we age, our bodies stop producing collagen as efficiently.
And most people don’t eat a diet that includes the collagen-rich parts of animals (pickled pigs feet anyone? Ergh.)
A good collagen supplement can really help!
Obviously I’m not a doctor or medical professional, but I have noticed that my ankles and knees don’t creak and crack as much as they did before I started adding collagen to my diet.
You can read more about the benefits of collagen here.
This overnight oatmeal recipe boasts some other super foods too!
Apples Are a Super Food!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Turns out there are lots of benefits in eating apples.
- They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium
- All that fiber helps you feel full longer and it’s good for your heart
- Eating fruits can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Studies have shown apples can help prevent certain kinds of cancer
- Antioxidant-rich foods can help with bone density and bone health
- Vitamin C helps your body absorb and produce collagen
But don’t take my word for it. You can read this article which has links to the studies that support all those benefits.
What Kind of Apple is Best for Caramel Apple Overnight Oats
I used to love instant oatmeal with dehydrated bits of apples in the packets.
But those packets are so full of sugar!
I started getting plain packets for my kids and sweetening them with honey or maple syrup.
One day my daughter asked if we could add some of the baked apple chips they loved to snack on to her oatmeal.
And it was delicious!
We crumbled up some of the baked apple chips before cooking the oats and they became wonderfully soft and chewy.
I use the same kinds of apple chips in these overnight oats because I love that texture.
You can substitute fresh chopped apples if you prefer.
I would recommend using a firm apple that’s a little bit tart like a Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Jazz, or Honeycrisp apple.
Tips for Making Overnight Oats
I find it easiest to mix up the oat mixture in a medium mixing bowl.
Start out with just the almond milk and then whisk in the collagen peptides.
One of the things I like best about this brand of collagen is how well it dissolves.
If you use a different brand you may prefer using a frother like this one to blend it in all the way.
Mix all the other ingredients into the almond milk before adding any sweetener.
Everyone prefers a different amount of sweetness, so I always recommend adding sweetener a little at a time then tasting the liquid until you get it just right.
I like using Swerve Brown for this recipe, which measures 1:1 with sugar.
If you have a different low carb sweetener on hand in your house, no problem!
We have a low carb sweetener conversion table that doesn’t require any complicated math on your part.
Also, if you eat sugar, you can still make this recipe! Just use regular brown sugar and your favorite caramel sauce.
Of course those two changes really take away from how healthy this recipe is…
One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the delicious caramel flavored syrup on top.
Sure, there’s caramel extract in the oat mixture, but this syrup is what really makes these overnight oats have that caramel apple flavor.
How to Store Overnight Oats
You can use any 12-ounce container to store your individual servings of this apple overnight oats recipe.
If you choose to use chopped apples instead of the bake apple chips, you may want to use a 16-ounce container.
I prefer using these 12-ounce mason jars since they have lids.
These jars can stack in your refrigerator or since they aren’t tall, I put them on the same shelf where I store cartons of eggs.
Overnight oats can last for a week in your fridge, so they’re great for meal prepping.
Simply double or triple the recipe and you have enough for a week of busy mornings.
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