This is an easy recipe for Caramel Banana Overnight Oats made with gluten free rolled oats, ripe bananas, maple syrup caramel sauce, and oat milk. A gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free treat healthy enough for breakfast and decadent enough for dessert!
Caramel Banana Overnight Oats
The idea of caramel and bananas is just heavenly, isn’t it? I’m assuming so, otherwise you wouldn’t be here! I thought of a Banoffee Pie when creating this recipe, and I thought the flavors of the classic English dessert would translate nicely to a healthier breakfast treat.
Banoffee Pie is made with bananas, cream, and a thick caramel. How these flavors translate into these Caramel Banana Overnight Oats are as follows:
- Bananas – Ripe bananas are mased into the oats themselves, and they serve as a delicious garnish.
- Cream – We use the coconut solids from a can of unsweetened coconut cream to thicken the oats, and as a topping.
- Caramel – Maple syrup is heated until it is thick and stirred into the oats, and yes, more to drizzle on top. The added benefit of maple syrup caramel sauce is that it brings a warm and buttery flavor to the oats.
The only component missing the actual pie crust of the pie. So I suppose you could make the stretch and say the oats represent the pie crust … Or you could just simply enjoy the delicious treat for breakfast or dessert!
Are Overnight Oats Healthy
This is such a loaded question! The term healthy can be so subjective and can certainly depend on whether or not you are trying to follow a specific diet. In short, this recipe for Caramel Banana Overnight Oats is gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.
- Oats – Oats are naturally gluten free – when processed in gluten free facilities. Additionally, oats are a great source of good carbs, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Dairy-Free – The oat milk carries the same benefits as the oats. And while the coconut milk adds some vitamins and minerals, its main benefit is that it ideal for those that are sensitive to dairy. The verdict still seems to be out on whether or not coconut milk is defined as ‘healthy’ and the use of it in this recipe to make it dairy free.
- Refined Sugar Free – This means the oats are made without using highly processed and refined sugars – like granulated white table sugar. Make no mistake, maple syrup is still sugar. However it is not processed and refined like granulated sugar and it provides some vitamins and antioxidants, and has a slightly lower glycemic index.
With all of that, I am fully aware that this recipe may not fit nicely into diets that are defined as diabetic friendly, Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Sugar Free, etc. etc.. And I am by no means a medical or nutritional expert. If you are looking for recipes to fit within a required medical diet, please consult with your Dr.!
What You Need To Make Banana Overnight Oats
- Ripe Bananas – Two medium size bananas that are ripe and speckled.
- Pure Maple Syrup – The maple syrup is for the caramel sauce. It should be pure maple syrup and not pancake syrup. The recipe for the Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce is linked in a separate post as it includes additional Tips and FAQ’s.
- Rolled Oats – Oats are naturally gluten free, however I recommend rolled oats that are labeled as gluten free. Some oats may be processed in facilities that also process gluten products.
- Oat Milk – I like to pair the flavor of the oats with unsweetened oat milk. However, you can use any milk or dairy-free milk you prefer.
- Unsweetened Coconut Milk – A can of unsweetened coconut milk is what we use to make the oats creamy and make the whipped topping. I have provided recommendations below for the brands I like to use.
- Cinnamon – The cinnamon is optional, but a nice addition to finish off the oats!
- Salt – A little salt will go a long way to balance the sweetness and flavors.
- Mixing Bowls
- Hand Held Mixer – Than mixer is to make the Whipped Coconut Cream for the topping.
- Serving Glasses or Bowls
Coconut milk Brands I recommend to Make Whipped coconut Cream
- Good and Gather from Target – It whips up nicely, is thick and creamy, and I successfully use it to make frosting and whipped cream. Pros: not a strong coconut flavor and contains guar gum. Cons: it can be hit or miss on how much coconut solid you get from can to can.
- Simple Truth Organic from Kroger grocery (i.e. King Soopers, City Market) – This brand has all the same features as Good and Gather.
- Thai Kitchen from Walmart or Amazon – This used to be my go-to, but it has become harder to find. It whips very light and fluffy. Pros: not a strong coconut flavor and contains guar gum. Cons: some may find the texture chalky, but I find this unnoticeable when whipped into frosting or whipped cream
- Native Forest Organic Coconut Cream from Whole Foods – It whips up nicely but has a little coconut flavor. Pros: comes in smaller 5.4 ounce cans (great for small batches!). Cons: It does have a pronounced coconut flavor.
Tips For Making Caramel Banana Overnight Oats
banana overnight oats tips
- Use rolled oats – Old fashioned rolled oats have the best texture to make overnight oats. In comparison:
- Quick Oats have been cut into smaller and thinner pieces and would likely turn to mush if soaked overnight.
- Steel Cut Oats that are raw are just too tough and chewy for overnight oats. You could certainly cook steel cut oats first, but if you take that step, you are no longer making overnight oats!
- To ensure the oats are gluten free, select oats that are labeled gluten free – Oats are naturally gluten free. However, a lot of oats on the market are processed in facilities that also process gluten product. Gluten free on the label makes sure there is no cross-contamination. I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats because they have a nice, thick texture.
- Use ripe bananas – And by ripe, I mean bananas that have started to speckle. Ripe bananas are sweeter and easier to mash up!
- The flavor of the oat milk complements the flavor of the oats – This seems obvious, but I enjoy the similar tastes in the two. That said, you can certainly use any milk or dairy free milk you like.
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight – We are using the coconut solids from the can to mix into the oats and make the whipped topping. Refrigerating the can causes the solids and liquid to separate.
- Sweeten the oats to taste – You can use as little or as much Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce as you like.
- Allow the oats to soak overnight – I find that you get the creamiest texture, while still having a ‘bite’ of the oats, by allowing them to soak overnight.
Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce tips
- Use a digital cooking thermometer to make the caramel sauce – A digital cooking thermometer takes the guess work out of how long to cook the maple syrup.
- Heat the maple syrup until it reaches 250F to 270F degrees – This is when the maple syrup starts to turn into caramel.
- Don’t want to make Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce? – If you don’t like maple syrup, or prefer not to make the maple syrup caramel for the oats and/or as a drizzle on top, use any sweetener you like to sweeten your oats!
- Check out the original blog post for Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce for more Tips and FAQ’s!
Common Questions For Making Overnight Oats
Yes, this recipe is easily doubled!
Yes, oats are naturally gluten free. However, a lot of oats are processed in facilities that also process gluten products. As a result, there is likely cross-contamination. Oats that have gluten free on the label ensure there is no cross contamination during processing and packaging.
You sure can! You can even completely swap the maple syrup for another sweetener of choice.
Why do you use coconut cream and oat milk? Why not just use one or the other?
The coconut cream from the can of coconut milk makes the oats thick and creamy. The oat milk soaks into the oats to make them softer, and provides the classic oatmeal texture.
Yes, and milk will work and it is just a matter of preference. I like to use oat milk because it amps up the oat flavor!
You certainly can. My ratio was one banana per serving, but feel free to use as many bananas as you like.
You can swap in yogurt or just omit completely. The coconut milk (or yogurt) make the oats extra creamy.
I recommend overnight for creamy and soft oats. You can certainly start to check the oats at about 4 hours and check if you like the texture and consistency.
More Healthier Small Batch Breakfast Recipes
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits
- Smooth Red Berry Chia Pudding
- Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding
Caramel Banana Overnight Oats
- 2 – Serving Glasses or Bowls
Banana Overnight Oats
- 3 medium bananas, ripe
- 1/3 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat (refrigerated overnight; only the cream in the can)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup oat milk (or any milk of choice)
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats, gluten free
- 1 pinch salt
- ground cinnamon (optional to sprinkle on top)
- Plan Ahead – Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. We are only using the coconut solids from the can.
- Make the Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce first. You will have extra that can be stored in a airtight jar in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
Banana Overnight Oats
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash up 2 of the bananas with a fork until smooth, creamy, and free of lumps. Reserve the third banana for slicing and topping the oats.
- Add the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup caramel sauce, and salt. Mix until thoroughly incorporated and creamy. Add the oat milk and stir until smooth.
- Sprinkle the oats into the liquid and stir to combine. Note – At this point, you can taste test the oats and add more maple caramel sauce if you prefer sweeter oats. Keep in mind maple syrup caramel sauce is used as a topping as well. Cover and refrigerate the oats at least overnight.
- Whipped Coconut Cream Topping – You can whip up the remaining coconut solids from the can to make whipped cream. Add the coconut to a small mixing bowl and using a hand held mixer, whip on medium high speed until soft, fluffy, and medium peaks form. You can add a little – 2 to 3 teaspoons – of the Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce to sweeten to taste.
- Assemble the Oats – Transfer the overnight oats to serving glasses, top with a generous drizzle of maple syrup caramel sauce, sliced bananas (you can also add slices to the bottom of the glass), and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and Enjoy!
- Oats – I recommend rolled oats because of their size and texture. You don’t have to use ‘Gluten Free‘ labeled oats if the recipe does not need to be gluten free.
- Oat Milk – The oat milk is a nice flavor compliment to the oats. Although you can use any milk you prefer.
- Coconut Milk/Cream – To make the overnight oats creamy AND to make successful whipped cream – the can of coconut milk should be refrigerated overnight. You can swap the coconut cream with yogurt in the overnight oats, and omit the whipped cream topping if you prefer.
- Maple Syrup Caramel – If you prefer not to make or use the maple syrup caramel sauce, substitute in any sweetener of choice and sweeten to taste.