There’s deep pleasure in creamy chilled oats, an easy make-ahead breakfast that blends the comfort of hot porridge with the fun of crunchy cereal in cold milk. After a season of feasting with friends and family, it’s a welcome meal for one that tastes like an indulgence but leaves you feeling great.

It also fits just about any New Year’s resolution to eat well, a nod to its origins. Around 1900, Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner popularized Swiss-German müesli by serving it at his sanitarium in the Alps. He mixed water-soaked oats, grated apple and nuts with condensed milk and yogurt.

This modern version forgoes the one-note sweetness and pasty thickness of the original. Instead, it layers flavors and textures like crackling nuts, chewy fruit, seeds and oats suspended in milk with the loose swish of melted ice cream.

Overnight Oats
(Makes 2 Jars)


½ cup old-fashioned oats

¼ cup dried fruit, cut into small pieces, if needed

1 tablespoon chia, flax, poppy or sesame seeds

1 cup milk or unsweetened dairy alternative, such as almond or oat milk

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Maple syrup, honey or brown sugar (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped or sliced nuts, toasted, if desired


Mix oats, dried fruit, seeds, milk and salt in a 500ml jar or 2-cup airtight resealable container.

Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or up to 5 days.

Uncover, stir well, and taste. If you prefer more sweetness, stir in some sweetener.

Top with the nuts just before eating.

The New York Times