In a large bowl, mash together ripe bananas with a fork until creamy and most of the lumps are gone.
Stir in gluten-free oats, chia seeds, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Cover and set in the refrigerator overnight (or a minimum of 3 hours).
To serve, dish into bowls or jars. Top with almond butter, cream, fruit, dried fruit chips, or any other favorite toppings of your choice. Optional: add in jam to the bottom of the jar for more sweet flavor.
Make sure the bananas are ripe. If they are too green, they don't mash well and the flavor and texture of the oats won't be as sweet and creamy. Add 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
Quick rolled oats are what this recipe calls for. Making them with steel cut oats will NOT yield the same results. However, you can use any brand of rolled oats that you prefer or have on hand.
If the oats are too thick and not absorbing enough liquid, add more milk, 1/4 cup increments at a time until desired texture and thickness. Alternately, if oats are too runny, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1/4 cup rolled oats. These will absorb excess liquid and give it that creamy consistency
I find it easiest to make the oats in a large bowl, and then divide them into small meal prep mason jars once it is set in the morning. However, they can be transferred into separate jars directly after mixing all ingredients if preferred.
Store the overnight oats in airtight containers for up to 5 days, enough for a week's worth of meal prep. After that, they lose their flavor and color, and it's best to make a new batch.
I like to add adaptogenic herb supplements like ashwagandha and astragalus to my oats for an added dose of nutrition. Adaptogens are plants that have an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention. Perfect for breakfast!