By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Want an easy, healthy breakfast? Give this high-protein overnight oats a try! This chocolate strawberry overnight oatmeal recipe is full of ingredients that will help power your morning and keep you full.
With this easy-to-make high-protein oats, you have no excuse for not eating a healthy breakfast! The best part is this healthy overnight oats recipe tastes like dessert but with no added sugar.
It also boasts plenty of protein, without any protein powder. You'll love this recipe!
How to Make Overnight Oatmeal
I don't know about you, but I feel a lot less stressed when I have a healthy breakfast ready for me in the morning. This is a great recipe for placing in the refrigerator overnight so that it's ready for your busy a.m.
Some of my favorite foods include pistachios, strawberries, oats, coconut, and chocolate, so I put all of these dry ingredients together to make a delicious high-protein overnight oatmeal recipe.
When making a protein oats recipe, I suggest using either frozen or fresh fruit. I used frozen strawberries in this recipe, and chopped apple would also work great.
You also want to include a healthy fat to help keep you fuller for longer. In this recipe, that's the pistachios, but nut butter would also work. That fruit-and-nuts combination is delicious!
Lastly, you'll want to include ingredients so that you get that creamy mouth feel. I used Greek yogurt and dairy milk here, but coconut milk or another non-dairy milk would also work well. Then of course, you place everything in the fridge overnight for a delicious morning meal!
Why Oatmeal is Good for You
Are oats good for weight loss? Yup! Eating a delicious breakfast like this one is a good reminder that it doesn't (and shouldn’t) be work to get the foods and nutrients that keep us healthy. Foods such as oats, watermelon, blueberries, flax seed, and whole grains contain fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and boost satiation.
A study in The Journal of Gerontology followed 1,609 adults ages 49 and older and who were free of cancer and coronary heart disease for a decade.
Study authors found that people eating the most fiber were significantly more likely to age “successfully,” meaning reaching older age without disease (such as cancer or heart disease), disability, cognitive impairment, respiratory issues, or depression.
Fiber comes from many foods, including from fruit, bread, and cereal (such as rolled oats and whole-grain breads). One theory is that foods that tend to be rich in fiber also tend to be high in other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that are linked to better aging.
Interestingly, fiber from vegetables didn’t seem to correlate with aging better; researchers aren’t sure why fiber from vegetables isn't included in the association between fiber and aging.
Here are your recommended daily fiber goals, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
- Women ages 19-30: 28 grams daily
- Women ages 31-50: 25.2 grams daily
- Women ages 51+: 22.4 grams daily
- Men ages 19-30: 33.6 grams daily
- Men ages 31-50: 30.8 grams daily
- Men ages 51+: 28 grams daily
To put this in perspective, a slice of whole-grain bread or a 1/2 cup of brown rice and a 1/4 cup of rolled oats each contain about 2 grams fiber, while a cup of strawberries has about 3 grams. A medium apple has about 4 grams.
You get extra health benefits from this recipe's ingredients: The frozen strawberries create a delicious juice while they thaw overnight, the crushed pistachio offers a satisfying crunch, and the unsweetened cocoa powder sweetens without added sugar. So you won't find any brown sugar or other added sugars in this oatmeal recipe!
The best part about these oats with strawberries? This high-protein overnight oatmeal breakfast will stick with you all morning.
This pistachio overnight oats recipe offers 21 grams of protein (42% of your daily need) and 8 grams of fiber (32% of the daily value), as well as healthy fat to help keep you fueled for those busy spring mornings!
Other Healthy Grains to Try
By now, you've gotten an introduction to the health benefits of oatmeal. Now, get an introduction to these other nutritious grains:
This ancient grain with a chewy texture originates from the Middle East. Freekeh is protein rich, with 8 grams (17% of a woman’s daily need, or 14% of a man’s) per 1/4 cup serving. It’s also rich in fiber, with 4 grams per serving (16% of a woman’s daily need or 11% of a man’s). And it contains minerals such as zinc, which is good for the immune system, and manganese, important for blood sugar control. Stuff a bell pepper with freekeh, make a cold salad with goat cheese and chickpeas, or mix it with onions, garlic and spinach.
This tiny ancient grain originates from East Asia. It can be purchased as a hulled grain in many colors—white, yellow, red or gray—and the cracked version is sometimes made into couscous. You can also buy it as a puffed cereal, or you can pop it into a “popcorn.” Millet is protein-rich, with 6 grams per 1/4 cup, along with 4 grams fiber. It also boasts important minerals such as copper, manganese, and magnesium.
3. Wheat Berries
These taste delicious in a cold pasta salad (pair them with dried cranberries, pecans, and diced apples; or use the grains in tabbouleh for a chewier bite). Wheat berries contain more fiber (6 grams per 1/4 cup) than any other grain we’ve talked about, plus 6 grams protein—and pack a dose of iron.
This is another ancient grain making an appearance in many grocery products, from hot cereal to penne. It’s rich in the essential amino acid lysine (essential, meaning you must get it from food), which helps build and repair tissues in the body. A ¼ serving of amaranth also contains more than 15% of your daily need for calcium.
5. Fortified Cereal
While you likely already eat whole-grain cereal, it's important to incorporate it into your diet. Here's why: If you eat all of your grains as whole grains, adding ready-to-eat whole-grain breakfast cereals to your diet is essential to prevent shortfalls of key vitamins and minerals, according to The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee. In addition to eating cereal at breakfast, you can add it to a trail mix or use it as a "breading" (try Grape Nuts or crushed corn flakes or Chex) for eggplant Parmesan, tofu, or chicken breast.
Get More Oatmeal & Pistachio Recipes
Looking for more delish pistachio recipes? Try:
Love crunch? Try:
Tools I used to make this recipe:
This content was updated in January 2021. A version of this article originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
How are you enjoying these healthy overnight oats? What's your fave way to eat oats? Ready to eat these overnight oats?
What ingredients do you add to your oatmeal, such as milk or water, maple syrup, or whey protein?
Chocolate Strawberry High-Protein Overnight Oats with Pistachios
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup low-fat milk
- ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt, divided
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract (I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
- ½ cup frozen strawberries, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons pistachios, chopped
- In a mason jar, combine oats with milk, ¼ cup and 2 Tablespoons yogurt, vanilla, and cocoa powder.
- Mix, then top with frozen strawberries and remaining yogurt.
- Cover jar with a lid, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Top with pistachios.
Sat. Fat (grams)7
Did you make this recipe?
- A study in The Journal of Gerontology
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee
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