Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats are easy to make, packed with nutrition, low in fat, and have no refined sugar. They’re perfect for busy mornings or even for healthy snacks!
You guys, I have a huge confession to make… back to school season always makes me so nostalgic!
I’m a complete learning addict and always loved school (yes, it’s true–cue the nerd alert!). In fact, if I could afford it, I’d give up my day job today so I could go back to school full time to get my Master’s degree. Not. Even. Kidding.
Every year, I love going to local superstores and looking at all the new notebooks, school supplies, and seeing all the great sales on housewares and kitchen supplies that are marketed towards dorm students (which is a great way to save money on these everyday things even if you’re not in school, by the way!). I truly love the way fresh, new notebooks smell, how it feels to pull out new pens and start taking notes, and always loved sifting through new books and materials to learn from. Plus, school season is a sign that autumn is on its way and THAT gets me excited more than just about anything!
But I also get excited about something else this time of year, too…
Healthy Back-to-School Recipes like these Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats!
Overnight oats are nothing new and have been around for years for quick and easy breakfasts. This makes them a perfect back-to-school meal even if you’re not going back to school!
Ever since the day I tried them I fell in love with their super creamy texture, slightly sweet flavor, and satisfying filling factor that just can’t be compared to a stale bagel with peanut butter and sugar-filled jam. As a nutritionist, I’m also in love with the nutritional benefits of overnight oats since they’re full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and iron.
And can we talk about easy and customizable?!
If you hate making morning meals or would just rather sleep in a little later versus labor in the kitchen, overnight oats are for you! Plus, they’re so family-friendly but also perfect for single people like myself, too. I love to keep them on hand even though I work from home because once you make them, they’re always there so you know you have a healthy meal or snack on hand whenever the hunger hits!
My Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats are nutrient-dense and provide long-lasting power for your brain and body, unlike the sugar-filled oatmeal in instant packets that are loaded with preservatives, refined sugar, flours, and chemicals (eek!).
No, no, no. That’s not how you do oats, friends! Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats are low in sugar, completely naturally sweetened, and also rich in nutrients that benefit the body, especially fiber. Fiber slows down blood sugar levels, improves digestion, nourishes the heart, and also powers the body all day long. Sure, the instant oatmeal stuff is quick, but we all know it’s far from healthy. So, take just five minutes the night before you want to enjoy these overnight oats and you’ll have a healthy, delicious breakfast the next day that requires zero time for cooking.
Trust me, it’s worth it!
Nutrition Benefits of Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats:
Oats are important whole grains to include in the diet because they’re the only ones proven to consistently lower unhealthy levels of cholesterol in the body. Oats are also full of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and even contain calcium, zinc, and potassium too. They’re rich in antioxidants that can benefit your skin and also essential for women since they can balance hormones and benefit the metabolism thanks to their complex carbohydrates and high fiber content.
Chia seeds and flax seeds are excellent sources of fiber, omega-3’s, and protein, and chia is full of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Flax is also an important source of antioxidants and protective phytoestrogens that protect our hearts. They can also help eliminate unhealthy levels of estrogen from the body since they assist with regularity, contribute to healthier blood pressure levels, and optimize skin health due to their fatty acid profile.
Plus, chia is tasteless and super-filling, and flax is super nutty and flavorful, so they’re both perfect for overnight oats since they help thicken the oats into a delicious, creamy, silky smooth pudding-like treat!
These oats are also packed with nutrient-dense apples which are full of a special type of fiber known as pectin. Pectin slows down the release of sugars into the body, swells in the stomach to promote satiety, and helps reduce unhealthy levels of cholesterol from the body, similar to the way that the beta-glucan fibers in oatmeal do. Apples are also high in an antioxidant known as quercetin which protects the heart, slows down the aging effects from free radical damage, and even helps quell allergy symptoms, too.
Lastly, these oats contain no artificial sweeteners, refined sugar, or even zero-calorie sweeteners like pure stevia extract (which I sometimes use but know many people dislike or are looking to avoid it ). Instead, my Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats are sweetened with nature’s most natural, beautiful sweetener of all…. just a touch of natural, pure, organic maple syrup!
Thoughts on Maple Syrup: Is it Just Another Sugar or is it a Healthy Option? My Thoughts and Experience
I’ll just be 100% real as always with all of you: I avoided maple syrup and all other natural sweeteners (coconut sugar, date sugar, etc.) for a long time while trying to heal my gut from years of issues with candida, leaky gut, other types of autoimmune, and more. Considering my history with sugar intolerance and gut issues, I have to be very careful about what I eat so I can continue to stay healthy.
And while I’m still learning a great deal about my body, I’m amazed at how my body has strengthened and healed the longer I have pursued plant-based nutrition. One of the most remarkable ways it has done so is my ability to now tolerate *small* amounts of natural sweeteners, like pure organic maple syrup.
I’m more fond of maple syrup than any other natural sweetener (besides dates and other fruits), too, and here’s why: Pure maple syrup is not an extracted sweetener. For instance, most natural unrefined sweeteners, like coconut sugar and raw cane sugar, for example, are extracted sweeteners. Coconut sugar is extracted from the whole coconut nectar, therefore it is processed more even though it’s a healthier option than refined sugar. I have nothing against coconut sugar (and it makes great waffles because of the way it browns and sweetens, by the way), however, I do notice I’m more sensitive to it than pure maple syrup and dates.
Pure maple syrup, on the other hand, (not maple-flavored pancake syrup) is purely the natural nectar that flows from maple trees. The only step that’s taken after it’s tapped from the trees is a simple boiling process and evaporation process which eliminates most of the water content from the sap. That’s it! Nothing is added, nothing is extracted.
Plus, something about consuming something so natural is a beautiful thing to me, and although I’m well aware that maple syrup is high in natural sugar and has no fiber, I have to be honest, my body responds 1000 times better to it than it does most other natural sweeteners (aside from dates and other whole fruits). In fact, I have zero issues with a touch of maple syrup and now use 1-2 teaspoons on my oatmeal almost every single day. That’s been something I’ve welcomed into my life greatly because it means I’m getting healthier and my gut is now able to tolerate some of nature’s most pure natural sweeteners in place of using stevia all the time (which I love but don’t think is best to solely use all the time).
Does that mean we NEED natural sweeteners like maple syrup to be healthy? No, everyone would benefit by eating more fruit, but we don’t need natural sweeteners to be in optimal physical health. However, compared to artificial chemical-based sweetening options, small amounts of natural sweeteners like maple syrup have much to offer without chemicals and harmful additives. Plus, let’s be honest, they allow us to enjoy natural sweetness from the earth in a more holistic way.
Maple syrup is also a good source of calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. It’s also high in several B vitamins, especially Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). Maple syrup is also high in natural antioxidants that have been shown to reduce gut inflammation, therefore, I vote it in as a top natural sweetener to include in a balanced, plant-based diet (in moderation, of course).
Plus, hello gorgeous… look at that golden brown goodness!
I also love that there are now pure organic brands of maple syrup in almost any store you go into today. My favorite brand of pure maple syrup is without a doubt Crown Maple Syrup. Why? Because unlike most maple that comes from Vermont, (which is also great), Crown Maple Syrup comes the Hudson Valley in New York (my favorite state ever!) where the sweetest maple trees in the world grow.
Crown Maple produces their syrup in a special, artisan craftsmanship that other companies don’t, and let me tell you, the flavor difference is there, my friends! (No, I’m not sponsored by them, either, although I happily would agree to be; I honestly just love their products and use them almost daily. You all know I’m always real and honest when it comes to sharing brands I love.)
My favorite varieties at the moment are Crown Maple’s Grade A Dark and Grade A Amber varieties. The Dark variety is dark enough to be slightly richer in flavor than the Amber, but both are the same nutritionally. Amber is slightly sweeter and lighter in color while the darker has an almost exotic, caramel-like nature to it. Both are great, but I am also intrigued to try their other varieties, too.
Learn more about Crown Maple, the different grades of maple syrup, and their maple syrup below this recipe!
Maple-Sweetened Overnight Oats are a well-rounded breakfast but can also be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or even for brunch! Use whatever variety of apples in this recipe that you enjoy and whip this healthy meal up in mere minutes. All you need is a bowl or glass like I used, a few ingredients, and that’s it! The next day or 8 hours later, you have a delicious meal or snack you can enjoy without a bit of guilt!
- ⅓ cup whole grain rolled oats (not instant or steel-cut, use certified gluten-free if needed)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds (flax meal)
- ½ a freshly chopped apple, chopped and diced, peel left on (preferably organic)
- ¾ cup unsweetened
non-dairymilk (or water) - I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- dash of vanilla or vanilla powder
- ½ Tsp. apple pie spice (or a heavy dash of cinnamon and a small dash each of ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg)
- 1-2 Tsp. organic pure maple syrup, I used Crown Maple pure organic maple syrup, Dark variety
- optional toppings: more pieces of apple, nuts like pecans, or you can save some of the maple syrup for drizzling and topping.
- Add all of the ingredients except the optional toppings to a glass jar or bowl large enough to hold 1 cup of liquid.
- Stir everything together really well with a spoon or knife and make sure to mix everything together.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 8 hours or overnight, and in the morning or 8 hours later, add the toppings, stir, serve, and enjoy!
All About Crown Maple: My Favorite Maple Syrup!
First, let’s talk about their brand slogan: “Not all crowns are inherited, some are earned.” <—-Love!
Their packaging is also to-die for because their syrup is bottled in authentic, dark glass bottles to protect the antioxidants and are topped off with a cork just like wine for a special touch (i.e. NO plastic!). I also love their honest approach to providing consumers with an opportunity to visit them anytime at their farm and estate to see just how their products are made. LOVE that!
I initially fell in love with the fact that Crown Maple produces their maple from the trees in the Hudson Valley which is one of the most beautiful parts of New York, in my opinion. I lived in New York back in 2009 and have been dying to move back ever since I left there right before my dad died in 2010.
Crown Maple is specifically located in Dutchess County, New York. Madhava Farms is the farm that produces the trees that produce Crown Maple maple syrup and maple sugar. I’m dying to visit them to see their estate and see how maple syrup is made at their company in person. I mean, look at the scenery there! That trip is definitely going on the bucket list and who knows, one day maybe I’ll be able to!
Crown Maple also makes a natural, unrefined maple sugar which is simply granulated maple syrup. How awesome is that! Maple sugar is a dry version of maple and would be perfect for sweetening coffee, tea, using in baking recipes like muffins, like my Ginger Spice Oatmeal Muffins, plus much more. I can’t wait to experiment with it and share with you all!
You can even use Crown Maple pure organic maple syrup in cocktails, coffee drinks, and anything else your heart desires such as salad dressings, homemade jams, and even your own homemade nut butter. While I particularly like using it in oatmeal and these Maple-Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats at the moment, I’m looking forward to seeing how else I can use this pure, natural goodness straight from Mother Nature where I can without consuming too much added sugar in a day.
Crown Maple Syrup is also 100% organic, and therefore naturally non-GMO, and is dedicated to quality and sustainability. These are all super important factors to me with any brand and products I use or feature, despite where they come from or who makes them.
Explore and Learn With Crown Maple:
Learn more about Crown Maple at their website and check them out on social media, too. I follow them on Instagram and love seeing their new ideas and ways to use pure maple products. Confused about maple grades? Get your answers here! Want to learn more about the nutrition of maple syrup? Check that out here, and you can see their full line of products they offer here and check them out on Amazon as well. Maple Sweetened Apple Pie Overnight Oats are the perfect healthy way to enjoy a little maple syrup in a recipe that’s still low in natural sugar, yet high in fiber and nutrition. Enjoy the recipe and let me know if you try it!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy overnight oats?