Bananas Foster Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Can you imagine eating a bowl of bananas foster overnight steel-cut oats for breakfast and calling it “healthy”?

I live right outside of New Orleans where the classic Bananas Foster dessert is a thing. However, I’d never eat it for breakfast because all that butter, sugar, and ice-cream… well, it’s no breakfast material unless you spent too much time on Bourbon Street.
If you’re looking for a version of this recipe with old-fashioned oats (the flakes) check out this post.

Whether it’s the large bag of un-used steel-cut oats sitting in your pantry or the drool-worthy idea of bananas foster for breakfast that brought you to this post, I’m glad you’re here!

Besides using steel-cut oats can be used to make oat flour or to make my Strawberry Overnight Steel-Cut Oats recipe, it’s time we take it up a notch with this epic recipe💥

Image: four mason jars on a plate filled with bananas foster overnight oats with steel cut oats.

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats 

Let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room: what are overnight steel-cut oats?

Let me give you a brief summary: overnight oats are dry oats that are mixed with a liquid (milk preferably), some type of sweetener (the bananas foster part of this recipe) and any other add-ins you want (I’m not suggesting you top your oats with ice-cream, btw😉)

When it comes to making overnight steel-cut oats, you can either mix everything in a large bowl or inside individual jars, place the oat mixture in the refrigerator overnight, and wake up to an epic breakfast option. Sounds simple, right? Jussst wait.

What are Steel Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats also called coarse oatmeal or Irish oatmeal is groats of whole oats chopped into two or three pinhead-sized pieces (sort of like long-grain rice).

image: four mason jars, two filled with steel cut oats, two, lidded, with oats and milk.

Benefits of Steel Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats are an excellent source of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and minerals. They make a terrific base for breakfast or grain-based meals. And, they can be ground into a flour 🤯

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats or Old Fashioned Oats

Steel-cut oats are minimally processed, so they contain more fiber than rolled oats. Steel-cut oats are round, shaped like long-grain rice but larger, and they contain the whole grain.

In comparison, old fashioned oats are flat, large flakes of oat kernels that have been processed through a machine to “flatten” them and give them their flake-like shape and texture.

By flattening the groat (the whole oat) cooking time is reduced, and therefore, rolled oats take less time to cook than steel-cut oats. Nutritionally, they are the same with slightly reduced fiber and protein content.

Steel Cut Oats to Water Ratio (or milk)

For every 1 cup of steel-cut oats, you’ll need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid, depending on how thick you’d like them to be. Less liquid will yield a thicker bowl of oatmeal or overnight oats.

You can use either water or milk to make overnight oats. I personally love using milk or unsweetened almond milk, like you’ll see in the recipe below because it provides the oats a creamy texture that’s 100% delicious.

image: four small mason jars on a plate filled with steel cut oats and milk.

Steel-Cut Oats Nutrition

The least “processing” to any grain or ingredient, the more nutritionally dense that ingredient will be. By themselves, 1 serving, about 1/3 cup or 45g of dry Steel-cut oats has 170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 29g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 7g protein. For this recipe, I’m using fewer oats, 1/4 cup, since we’re adding volume from the bananas.

How to Cook Steel-Cut Oats Overnight

One of the advantages of making these overnight oats in the fridge is that it’s a no-cook method. Meaning, the oats are going to soak up the liquid while they are stored in the refrigerator in a jar overnight, and in the morning, they will be ready to eat.

This means that you don’t need to learn how to cook steel-cut oats when you make overnight oats because they practically “cook” themselves as they soak in the liquid.

Steel-Cut Oats Recipe with Bananas

This recipe for bananas foster overnight steel-cut oats is one of my favorite recipes when I want sweet oatmeal for breakfast.

I mean, oats + milk isn’t really that exciting and by adding bananas + cinnamon + maple syrup… Woah. We totally just made an epic breakfast/dessert that’s nutritious and delicious. 

The coarse texture of steel-cut oats is perfect when combined with sweet ripe bananas + cinnamon is incredible. Plus, as a bonus, you can even use frozen bananas that you’ve meant to use on smoothies. 

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • steel-cut oats
  • milk or dairy-free milk alternative
  • bananas
  • butter or coconut oil
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
image: closeup photo of four jars of overnight oats on a white plate.

How Far in Advance can I make Steel-Cut Overnight Oats?

One of the claims to fame of overnight oats is that they can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for several days. If you’re making overnight oats without fruit, you can make them up to 5 days in advance.

If you are adding fruit to your overnight oats, I recommend no more than 3 days since the fruit loses its texture and taste different -especially berries.

What are the best Jars to use for Overnight Oats?

Most recipes call for 8-ounce mason jars. These are available in glass or plastic. If you have young kids, these freezer jars are great for making overnight oats and freezing smoothies. 

You can also make overnight oats in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a lid, and then measure out the overnight oats mixture into individual bowls.

The biggest takeaway for the best “jar” is that the container has a lid to prevent any spills in the refrigerator and that they are covered airtight.

image: jars of overnight oats on a plate. One filled, and lidded. Two with only steel cut oats. in the bottom.

How Long do Overnight Oats Take?

Since overnight oats don’t require cooking, they take time to soak in the liquid added to the jar or bowl. They are called “overnight” because they require 8 hours at a minimum to soak in the liquid. Steel-cut oats will take closer to 12 hours to soften up.

Should Overnight Oats be Warm or Cold

I personally love eating overnight oats cold, straight from the refrigerator. Some people, like them warm or even hot. This comes down to which you prefer – try it both ways and see how everyone in your family likes their oats.

Microwaving Overnight Oats

If you want to heat your overnight oats up quickly, you can put htem in the microwave for about a minute, then mix to combine and be sure they are heated all the way through.

What Else to Put in Steel-Cut Overnight Oats

What’s great about making oatmeal with overnight oats is that it’s a “base” for terrific add-ins. In this recipe, I use bananas but below are other ways you can customize your one-bowl meal. 

Some of my favorite mix-ins:

  • ground flaxseed, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • honey or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • nut butter, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • protein powder, 2 tablespoons per serving
  • fresh fruit, 1/2 cup per serving
  • dried fruit, 1 tablespoon per serving
  • chopped nuts, 1 tablespoon per serving

Whether you add the add-ins before you refrigerate or after, the possibilities are endless!

image: closeup view of strawberry overnight steel-cut oats.

For a simpler recipe that tastes like summer, try these Strawberries & Cream Overnight Steel-Cut Oats.

How to Make Bananas Foster Overnight Steel Cut Oats

The recipe below shows you how to make bananas foster overnight steel-cut oats in single-serve jars. However, you can make one big bowl of overnight oats as well. Here is how to make them:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat up butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon to the heated pan and begin to sauté until they begin to break down and juice out its natural sugars – about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add maple syrup, stir to combine, and cook for another minute, remove from heat.
  3. Place 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground flax (optional), and 1/2 cup of milk inside each jar. 
  4. Spoon bananas foster mixture into all the jars, mix with a spoon to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. 
  5. In the morning, eat cold, straight out of the jar, or warm up in the microwave if desired.

Bananas Foster Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

image: overhead of 4 jars filled with bananas foster overnight oats

These bananas foster overnight steel-cut oats are an epic breakfast that tastes like dessert. Simple ingredients, loads of New Orleans flavor in each bite.

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours + 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
  • 3 very ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat up butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add bananas, vanilla, and cinnamon to the heated pan and begin to sauté until they begin to break down and juice out its natural sugars – about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add maple syrup, stir to combine, and cook for another minute, remove from heat.
  3. Place 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground flax (optional), and 1/2 cup of milk inside each jar.
  4. Spoon bananas foster mixture into all the jars, mix with a spoon to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. In the morning, eat cold, straight out of the jar, or warm up in the microwave if desired.

Notes

Make this recipe in one big bowl or inside 4 individual jars.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 jar
  • Calories: 275
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 98
  • Fat: 5.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 50
  • Fiber: 6.5g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

Keywords: steel-cut oats, overnight steel cut oats, banana overnight steel cut oats

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