For the past two years, I’ve helped Santa fill our Christmas stockings. With how busy the holiday season gets for our family, especially with multiple trips and countless flights to see everyone, I figured the jolly ol’ elf would appreciate me pitching in!
Along with calendars and travel-sized packets of Kleenex (two things Santa has stuffed in stockings every year since before I was born!), I stopped by Target to pick out festive candy. After wandering up and down the aisles in the back of the store, staring at tree-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups and candy cane-flavored M&Ms, I finally added a few lot of packages to my shopping basket.
On Christmas, after everyone settled into comfy chairs and couches in our living room, we opened our stockings first before starting in on the regular presents. I watched as my family pulled out item after item: cocoa roasted almonds… hot chocolate mix… York peppermint patties… Lindor truffles in white, milk, and dark chocolate… Ghirardelli squares flavored like eggnog, mint chocolate brownie, pumpkin spice caramel, and peppermint bark…
Can you tell we’re a family of chocoholics? 😉 (That’s why I published my Healthier Chocolate Treats cookbook!)
We then turned our attention towards the boxes and bags next to the fireplace, passing them out one by one to various family members and exclaiming with joy as the person revealed the contents inside. After just a few minutes, Mom and I happened to glance over at Grandma sitting quietly at one end of the sofa…
…with six empty chocolate wrappers in her lap while she bit into another white chocolate Lindor truffle! Mom quickly grabbed Grandma’s stocking—and everyone else’s as well, just to be polite—and hung them back up on the mantle. With how our last Christmas went, where Grandma ate all twelve Christmas chocolates in less than fifteen minutes before polishing off a few of Mom’s too, we wanted to make sure she saved room for our Christmas dinner!
Although just as tempted as Grandma to eat all of the chocolates in my stocking, I managed to pace myself and spread it out over the next few days. But with the extra candy still hiding in my room, it took lots of effort to avoid that and not eat it all too!
Because I’m starting 2017 out on a clean slate, I’m saving those last few festive Christmas chocolates… But since I refuse to give up chocolate altogether, I mixed up these Almond Joy Protein Overnight Oats as a healthy compromise! They have the same chocolate, almond, and coconut flavors as the classic candy bar, but with 17g of protein, they keep me full until lunchtime… And come with none of the guilt!
If you’re unfamiliar with overnight oats, they’re so easy to make! Simply stir together all of the ingredients in a mason jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and pop that in the fridge to sit until morning. That allows the oats to absorb the liquid ingredients, so they soften as much as if you had cooked them on the stove or in the microwave!
Then the next day, just open your jar and stick in your spoon. How easy was that?? So yes—overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, straight from the fridge. No need to heat them up!
To make this healthy breakfast, you’ll need a few key ingredients… Starting with the Greek yogurt! Greek yogurt is thick and creamy, and it has around 21g of protein per cup, as opposed to regular yogurt with around 8g. That extra protein really helps keep you full all morning long!
You’ll use either old-fashioned oats or instant oats for this easy breakfast. Instant oats are also called “quick-cooking” or “one-minute” oats, and you can find them in large canisters right next to the regular old-fashioned oats at the grocery store. Don’t use steel-cut oats because they don’t soften enough and remain somewhat crunchy.
For the almond joy flavor, you’ll mix in cocoa powder, shredded coconut, and almond extract. Regular unsweetened cocoa powder works just fine! No need for Dutched or special dark—the oats already taste really chocolaty without it. As for the almond extract, it’s one of my favorite ingredients (and smells!) in baking. You can find it on the baking aisle, and it’s shelf-stable and keeps for ages.
To sweeten the oats, you’ll use another one of my favorite ingredients: liquid stevia. Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that’s clean eating friendly, and it’s really concentrated. You just need ¼ teaspoon to sweeten this entire recipe! This is the kind I use because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertastes like some other stevia products can have. You can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores, but I generally buy mine online here because it’s the cheapest price I’ve found. (And you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Ready for a healthy, candy-like breakfast? 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy almond joy protein overnight oats!
Almond Joy Protein Overnight Oats
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (60mL) nonfat milk
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp liquid stevia (or adjusted to taste)
- 1 tbsp (5g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup (25g) old-fashioned oats (gluten free, if necessary)
- Stir together everything except the oats until thoroughly combined in a mason jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Then stir in the oats until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Almond Joy Scones
♡ Almond Joy Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Almond Joy Frappuccino
♡ Almond Joy Granola
♡ Almond Joy Almond Butter
♡ Almond Joy Cupcakes
♡ Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats
♡ Peanut Butter Cup Protein Overnight Oats
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s protein overnight oats recipes!
This sounds very interesting. I’m not a fan of cold oatmeal so I wonder can this be made ahead as written and then put in a bowl to reheat in the microwave? Just wondering if anyone has tried that. Thanks.
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe Lexy! I’m hesitant to recommend heating in the microwave because of the yogurt, but if you’re cautious, it might work. I’d love to hear what you think if you try the overnight oats! 🙂
I wonder if you wanted to heat it up in these cold mornings. Maybe leave out the yogurt and replace it with a couple tablespoons of Chia seeds. These would add the health benefits and sitting overnight would soften them up? I will try this and let you know.
If you’re going to omit the yogurt, then you’ll probably want to add a bit more milk to compensate so your oats don’t turn out too dry, especially because chia seeds are so absorbent. I’m excited to hear how that goes Kay!
Please check your link for purchasing Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal. Amazon wants $21.13 for a 1 pound box of oatmeal available for $3.00-$4.00 everywhere else. I double checked to make sure it was not per case – the description read for 16 oz.
I appreciate you letting me know, Elsa. Amazon’s prices do fluctuate, so when I initially grabbed this link to Bob’s Red Mill oats, it was a much lower price. I’ve updated the link to a much lower price — currently $1.47 per pound. 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think if you try these overnight oats!
I adore chocolate-coconut goodies!
Also, I didn’t know that they made *flavored* stevia. Neat.
I’d love to hear what you think if you try the overnight oats Annie!
These and the banana bread overnight oats are my favorites! Thanks Amy, I actually look forward to breakfast just to eat them!
I’m so glad you love these overnight oats Whitney! That truly means the world to me that you look forward to eating them for breakfast — I’m so honored! 🙂 Thank you for sharing that with me!