Overnight Oats: Cinnamon Apple

A recipe for when you have no oven, no desire to do dishes, skimpy ingredients, and not much time to indulge a kid’s desire to bake, but need a healthy breakfast for the morning: overnight oats. Also, we still have a lot of apples from our trip to the orchard.
Jump to recipe.

I pre-diced the apple before calling Belle over to start baking. She grabbed the spatula and started pretending to cut the apple while I collected the rest of the tools and ingredients. Pretend cutting is great because it engages in imaginative play with realistic props. It also has her using fine motor skills to manipulate the small pieces of apple and the “knife” around her fingers. And of course, it distracts her while I prep our workspace.

Overnight oats, according to the Kitchn, requires a 2:2:1 ratio of oats, milk, and yogurt. With our mason jars (wide mouth/freezer pints, that we use for most leftover storage), we can fit 1 c oats, 1 c milk, and 1/2 c yogurt into each jar.

While measuring the oats, Belle practiced our scoop, pour, check sequence – and actually stopped at the line! This is the third or fourth recipe after I introduced the third element to the sequence, which is more or less the amount of times she requires to incorporate something new.

Oats plus milk: “yum!”

Belle taste tests a lot, even when I don’t expect it. It’s good to know what ingredients taste like alone and in combination, and this develops her palate. As always, we talked about it: “yum or yuck?”

Most of our scooping thus far has been with dry ingredients, but the yogurt really needed a spatula to gently pry it from the measuring cup. Belle’s grasp and coordination is still developing, especially for a small opening (the top of a mason jar) and liquid mixture near the top of the jar (high potential for splash). I ended up holding both of Belle’s hands to assist in this task, but I could easily have let her assemble the recipe in a bigger bowl and not stabilized her hands.

We typically use a lot of language in our baking, and this recipe also provides the opportunity to use baking verbs: tip, mix, stir, pour, shake, scoop, stop! We focused more on adjectives today (“gentle stirs, little shakes”) because of the space limitations of our mason jars. We doubled the recipe, so I often modeled the less vigorous action on one (fuller) jar, then Belle worked on modulating her actions with the second jar while I emphasized the adjective.

Skills worked on:

  • following directions
  • fine motor (scooping, pouring, scraping)
  • problem solving
  • sequencing
  • food prep!

Equipment needed:

  • spatula
  • mason jar (pint-sized)
  • measuring cups
  • chopping board
  • knife

Recipe (10 min prep, 6+ hrs rest, yield: 1 pint):

  • 1 c oats
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Core and dice an apple (peeling optional).
  2. Add a scant 1 c of oats to the mason jar. Cover with a scant 1 c of milk.
  3. Add a scant 1/2 c vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain) to jar. Stir with spatula to mix ingredients.
  4. Fill with diced apple (about 1/4 c) and top with a generous shake of cinnamon (about 1 tbsp).
  5. Screw top on jar and shake.
  6. Refrigerate overnight (6-72 hrs) and enjoy for breakfast.

Notes: 1 c oats, 1 c milk, and 1/2 c yogurt will take up most of the pint jar. Reduce amounts proportionately to give extra head space if you want more apple.