A feeling of contentment still washes over me when I think back on how my daughter would make a bee-line to the refrigerator when she got home from school to grab herself a jar of overnight oats before digging in to her homework. Watching her enjoy the food I prepared, and knowing the nourishment it provided for her, was, and continues to be, deeply gratifying for me.

The individual, puddinglike jars were so convenient to have around as a make-ahead snack or breakfast, I’d make a batch practically weekly, changing up the variations with the seasons. I don’t make overnight oats quite as often these days, with my daughter now away at college, but they are still in regular rotation in my home.

In the spring and summer I add peaches, cherries or fresh berries to the base of milk, yogurt, oats and seasonings, and in the winter I stir in grated apple, chunks of pear and dried cranberries. Throughout the fall I can’t resist the allure of pureed pumpkin mixed with a warm, fragrant blend of pumpkin-spice — ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Studded with buttery, toasted pecans and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, these autumn-hued, parfait-like jars of goodness are a flavorful, handy, nutritious way to fuel your morning or afternoon, no matter your age.

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Make Ahead: The oats need to be prepared at least 8 hours in advance of serving.

Storage Notes: The prepared oats can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (85 grams) pecan pieces
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) reduced-fat or whole milk
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup (95 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

Step 1

In a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside half of the pecans and transfer the remaining to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and ginger until combined. Stir in the reserved pecans and the oats. Taste, and add 1 more tablespoon of maple syrup, if desired. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then stir well and divide the mixture evenly among four 12-ounce (1 1/2-cup) jars. Cover the jars tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.


Step 3

Right before serving, top each jar with a quarter of the refrigerated pecans, a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Nutrition Information

Per serving (1 1/4 cups), based on 4.

Calories: 440; Total Fat: 26 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 7 mg; Sodium: 63 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 21 g; Protein: 11 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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