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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Almond Joy Overnight Oats (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

These overnight oats are packed with flavors of coconut, almond, and chocolate and taste like the candy bar they're named after, except in oatmeal form (and you don't have to feel guilty eating these). Each jar of these oats is protein-rich so you can start your day off feeling satiated and having the energy to be productive. For this overnight oats recipe, I recommend using coconut extract (such as OliveNation's coconut extract), but there are other options to get the coconut flavor (see the "Substitutions" section of this post). And I edited this recipe so there's less fat in it, more protein, and more flavor.



These oats pack a whopping punch of 16 grams of protein per jar! They are also fiber-rich, date-sweetened, and delectable!


My Almond Joy Overnight Oats are probably my second favorite overnight oats recipe I've created thus far (out of the 5 recipes I've experimented with), just behind my Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats. I've also been trying to perfect recipes for Piña Colada Overnight Oats and Matcha Almond Overnight Oats.



Nutritional Profile of Almond Joy Overnight Oats


Rolled oats- gluten-free rolled oats (gluten-free old-fashioned oats) are an excellent source of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and iron. Protein helps build muscle and plays a part in numerous body functions, fiber promotes gut and heart health, complex carbs provide the body with long-lasting energy, and iron builds red blood cells.


Shredded coconut- unsweetened shredded or desiccated coconut is filled with healthy fats, fiber, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are good for the brain, heart, skin, hair, digestive system, red blood cells, muscles, and healthy blood pressure. Opt for unsweetened shredded/desiccated coconut (which has its own natural sweetness).


Almond milk- unsweetened almond milk is rich in vitamin E and calcium & vitamin D (if fortified). Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is good for skin and hair health. Calcium and vitamin D help build & maintain healthy bones and support the immune system. Almond milk fortified with calcium (such as Almond Breeze) can have as much as 1 1/2 times the amount of calcium as cow's milk and is often also fortified with vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption.


Dates- dates (and therefore, date paste which is just dates puréed with water) are brimming with antioxidants, fiber, protein, iron, and potassium. These nutrients aid digestion, promote a healthy heart, build muscle and blood cells, regulate blood pressure, and fight free radicals (disease-causing particles). As for my go-to date paste recipe, check out Detoxinista's "How to Make Date Paste" post!


Cacao powder- cacao powder (the less-processed, more nutritious form of cocoa powder) is packed with antioxidants, fiber, iron, protein, and magnesium. These nutrients are beneficial for digestive health, cardiovascular health, blood health, muscle health, and may help with PMS symptoms.


Chia seeds- chia seeds are a great source of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, and iron. Chia seeds are beneficial for heart health, relieving constipation, and protecting against anemia. And omega-3s promote heart, brain, immune, eye, joint, metabolism, and skin & hair health.


Almond butter- almond butter is full of healthy fats, protein, fiber, iron, and vitamin E. These nutrients are good for the heart, nervous system, complexion, muscles, digestion, and red blood cell formation. Almond butter is a great alternative to peanut butter, and you can use it in everything from breakfasts to desserts to smoothies to savory dishes (Also, try mashed sweet potato with a drizzle of unsweetened natural almond butter and cinnamon! This treat is more like dessert than a side dish!).


Substitutions


The gluten-free whole rolled (old-fashioned) oats are difficult to replace, as these make the best overnight oats. But if you're looking for something a little less mushy and a little more firm and solid, try swapping gluten-free steel-cut oats for the typical rolled oats. And instant/quick-cooking oats won't work because they will literally dissolve into the almond milk overnight and the resulting jar of oats will be thickened almond milk. The unsweetened desiccated coconut may be omitted. The unsweetened almond milk can be replaced with your unsweetened or sweetened (if you can have sugar) plant milk of choice.


The coconut extract is the best way to get that coconut-y flavor in these oats without adding extra fat. However, if you don't have coconut extract on hand, experiment by adding 1 1/2 tsp melted coconut oil, 1 Tbsp softened coconut butter, and/or a little unsweetened thin (cartoned) coconut milk. I have tried all of these and found that they did not yield an adequate coconut flavor for my liking. Also, if you're using the coconut oil/butter, omit the almond butter so the amount of fat isn't excessive. The almond extract really lends these oats a nice almond flavor, but if you don't have it you can either add additional coconut extract, increase the amount of vanilla extract, and/or add no more than 1 Tbsp of lightly toasted almonds ground into coarse almond meal. The vanilla extract may be replaced with the equivalent amount of vanilla bean powder, scraped vanilla bean, vanilla bean paste, or can be omitted.


The date paste can be substituted with 1 Tbsp maple syrup, agave, honey (if not strictly vegan), date syrup, coconut nectar, OR sticky sweetener of choice PER JAR OF OVERNIGHT OATS. You may also sweeten the overnight oats with coconut sugar, date sugar, maple sugar, or another less-processed sugar. Start with 1 tsp and add more to taste, but don't exceed 1 Tbsp PER JAR. And of course, you can add pure stevia, liquid stevia, pure monk fruit extract, Swerve, or your granulated/powdered/liquid artificial sweetener of choice, to taste. I haven't tried these overnight oats with banana, but you could try using 1 spotty very ripe banana, mashed PER JAR OF OATS as a sweetener. And if the full amount of the sweetener you choose is too much for your taste, cut it back to at least half or three-quarters of the recommended amount of that sweetener (You still want these oats to be adequately sweet, though).


The cacao powder can be replaced with cocoa powder (regular OR dark/alkalized/Dutch-processed is fine). The chia seeds are difficult to substitute because they help give overnight oats their unique consistency. But you may try swapping the chia seeds with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt or unsweetened non-dairy yogurt of choice, 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal, OR 1 Tbsp hempseed hearts. The almond butter may be substituted with softened coconut butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or can be omitted (I recommend using it, though).



More New Recipes (Weekly Sneak Peek)...


I've been trying LOTS of new recipes!! Some experimental (and complete!) ones include:


-Matcha White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

-Vegan Gluten-Free Cheez-its (Yeast-Free)

-No-Bake Mini Oreo Crust Mocha Cheesecakes ..


AND MORE!


This recipe is a good one, let me know if you've tried it and how you liked it in the comments below!


Enjoy! <3,

-K.



Almond Joy Overnight Oats (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 jar of oats


Ingredients:


-1/2 cup raw gluten-free rolled oats (raw gluten-free old-fashioned oats)

-1 Tbsp unsweetened desiccated/shredded coconut

-3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened plant milk of choice)

-1/4 tsp coconut extract (such as OliveNation's)

-1/4 tsp almond extract

-1/4 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 Tbsp date paste

-1 1/2 tsp cacao powder (can sub cocoa powder)

-1 Tbsp chia seeds

-1 Tbsp natural, unsweetened almond butter (can sub cashew butter, softened coconut butter, or sunflower seed butter)


Toppings (optional):

-toasted almonds, toasted shredded coconut, coconut whipped cream, cacao nibs, paleo chocolate chunks, fresh & sliced banana, fresh berries, etc.


Directions:


1. Make the date paste ahead of time (if using date paste to sweeten. See "Substitutions" section of this post for sweetener alternatives) and grab a mason jar with a lid.


2. Add all of the ingredients to the mason jar and stir until well-combined (stir less to get swirls of almond butter in the oats).


3. After stirring, gently push down the oats with the back of a spoon so all the oats are submerged in the almond milk and can soak (this will ensure that the oats will soften in the almond milk overnight). Make sure all oats are submerged in the almond milk before putting on the lid and placing in the fridge overnight.


4. Allow the oats to soak/chill in the fridge overnight. Soaking the oats in the almond milk overnight softens them to an oatmeal-like consistency, which is why you don't need to cook these oats.


5. The next morning, remove the overnight oats from the fridge, add desired toppings, and serve. Enjoy!*


*Note: if you want your overnight oats to be warm instead of cold, place your jar of oats in the microwave and heat for several seconds until warm. Also, if your mason jar has a screwable metal lid please remove the lid before putting the jar in the microwave, and/or if the jar has metal hinges, spoon the oats into a microwave-safe bowl before heating it in the microwave.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They're freshest within the first 12 to 24 hours but will keep in the fridge for a few days.

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