Food photography has been sparse in my house these days (Now, if we’re talking baby photography on iPhones, well let’s just say I’m killing it.) Lately, I only have 15-20 minutes for food photoshoots, so I’ve learned to be super quick when it comes to snapping pictures. I used to be militant about using my tripod, but I haven’t pulled it out in months. I used to give photoshoots a bit of planning before diving in, but that rarely happens anymore. It’s taken me a while to realize that my expectations of how things should be done aren’t always practical for the stage of my life that I’m in. This applies to life in general too. I’m going to do what I can and try to be a bit easier on myself. Perfectionism kills creativity. It’s also the killer of fun! If I only have 10 minutes to snap some photos, so be it. I’d rather share a little bit than nothing at all.
I started off this photoshoot using this darker background – it’s a scratched up piece of metal signage I found at an antique market last year (the front of the sign says “DO NOT ENTER”). I thought it was going to work perfectly, but I actually found it to be too moody for this recipe. It just looks too dark for the light, summery mood I was going for.
So I switched to my trusty slab of white quartz instead. It’s the surface I’ve used the most in the past year. It’s heavy as heck and I actually managed to dent the hardwood with it one day (*headsmack*). Anyway, I like this clean and fresh feel much better even though the lighting wasn’t the best because I shot at noon when the sun is overhead. The inspiration for the photo came from Ashley. She did a cool multi-jar shot with homemade milk for my cookbook. Too much fun!
In Lightroom, I made minor edits to the photo: increased clarity, exposure, whites, saturation, and removed blue and adjusted temperature. It took me about 30 seconds. There are things about the lighting I’m not super happy with and I probably blew it out too much, but oh well. Gotta pick your battles!
This is the same photo before editing…50 shades of grey!
So that’s where my head is at with photography lately. I’d love to spend more time on it again, but right now I’m rolling with doing it under a time crunch. I’m beyond excited that Ashley is shooting the photography for my next cookbook. I honestly can’t imagine doing over 100 photos again with a baby crawling at my feet (and stealing the food). You guys are going to be blown away by the photos in the next book. We’ll have to show you some sneak peeks!
Now, finally onto the food. This is my newest overnight oat parfait creation. Six to seven years later, I’m still making vegan overnight oats on the regular. I’ll often make a large batch that lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. Or sometimes I eat it all in one day because I just can’t help myself. It’s so easy, perfect for the summer, and endlessly customizable. Make it parfait-style in portable jars and you’ll have snacks for days. Toss it in your bag and run out the door. Bring one for your friend and he/she will love you even more.
If you haven’t tried overnight oats layered with chia seed jam, you really must. It’s divine. This would be great with granola on top too.
Coconut-Cardamom Vegan Overnight Oat Parfait with Blueberry Chia Seed Jam
4-6 small jars
Overnight oats are getting fancy up in here! Coconut milk, oats, and chia seeds are mixed with ground cardamom, cinnamon, and maple syrup, and then layered with blueberry chia seed jam and sliced pear. You’ll want to eat this for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner! Chia seeds don’t lie. Also, can I just say how awesome a layer of vegan ice cream or banana soft serve would be in this?
For the blueberry chia seed jam:
- 550g frozen blueberries (about 4 cups + 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste
- Dash fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
For the vegan overnight oats:
- 1 (15-oz) can full-fat coconut milk (yes you can use light, but full-fat is super creamy and delish)
- 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom , or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
- 1-2 small ripe pears, diced (for layering)
- Prepare the chia seed jam: In a medium pot, stir together the blueberries and maple syrup until combined. Add a dash of salt. Simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered, for about 8-10 minutes until softened (the berries will release a lot of water during this time).
- Add the chia seeds and stir until combined. Continue simmering and stirring frequently (reducing heat if necessary to avoid sticking) about 8-15 minutes longer, until most of the water cooks off and the jam reduces in volume. it will look thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, uncovered, and into the fridge until cool, for at least a couple hours. For a quicker cooling method, pop the jam in the freezer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until cool.
- For the vegan overnight oats: In a medium container (with a lid) or in a medium bowl, stir together the entire can of coconut milk, oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, cardamom, and cinnamon until combined. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight, until the oats soften and the mixture thickens. Stir to combine before using.
- Layer the chia jam, overnight oats, and diced pear into small jars. Secure lids (or cover with wrap) and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The chia seed jam will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Also, leftover jam can be frozen in plastic baggies and it thaws beautifully.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
PS – Thank you for your enthusiasm regarding my 2-Day Meal Plan! I’m so thrilled by your response and hope to do another in the future.
Oats came out super thick and super tasty! Great flavors and the jam perks up the texture in a nice smooth way, used regular frozen blueberries not wild- a delightful burst of yum!
Just had these, having made my first batch last night. Oh.My.Goodness. DELICIOUS!
OMG! This is such an awesome and healthy recipe! I made it more healthy by substituting Califa Farms toasted cocunut/almond blend the second time I made it in place of the full fat coconut milk. It was just as good, if not better. I think Blue Diamond also makes a blend, but i prefer the TOASTED coconut/almond milk. I also used blackberries as I prefer them more! Thanks for this easy recipe, I have it memorized and make it 2-3 times a week now for an easy and healthy breakfast. I LOVE your web-site and can’t wait to try more recipes.
I made just the vegan overnight oats part of this recipe and it is AMAZING! The coconut milk and all the yummy spices and flavors! Instead of the chia jam or pear, which I’m sure would have been good if I made them, I topped my creamy oats with fresh sliced papaya. It was super delicious!!
just made this. Mine was very, very thick this morning, almost so much so I couldn’t stir it. Did I do something wrong? I had to add a little almond milk to think it. I was so excited to make the blueberry chia seed jam that I dumped everything all at once because I didn’t read the recipe slowly enough, yet it still came out wonderfully. Can one interchange 4 cups and 2 TBS of any fruit, or do you have to adjust depending on the water/juice content of different fruits? I would like to try with peaches… Thank you!
Hi… Just discovered your site…tried the Quinoa patties and the vegan gluten free quiche…
Loved them!!! I’m making the coconut cardamom vegan parfait… What can I use instead of cardamom or can I omit it… Could not find it in my grocery stores
My friend and I are trying to go vegan and your site is our go-to. for recipes because everything looks DELICIOUS. Any tips for a newbie?
I just made these oats for the second time. I’d never used cardamom before, but I am now in love with this spice! Please post more recipes with cardamom! I just want to open the spice cabinet and smell it!
I found the oats a little too thick, so I added a little almond milk. Perfect!
This recipe is so good and easy to make. We just discovered it last week and have already made it twice. Looking forward to sharing with my relatives!
Hi, Angela! Just thought I’d share the variation this recipe inspired me to make last night! Oats, chia seeds, fresh peach, almond milk, turmeric, fresh ground cardamom, and a bit of shredded coconut. The cardamom MAKES it!! -Deb
Hi Angela, I think all your pictures are lovely, but I actually like your “moody” gray pictures the best! It mirrors the layering of the jars. The white background looks nice with your close-up shots, however. Just thought I voice my opinion :-)
OMG YUM! I love overnight oats. I’m going to try this with light coconut milk and stevia for the sweetener.
Loved this recipe! The spices in the oats are just lovely! So easy to make.
This recipe is devine! Even my husband who doesn’t like oatmeal likes it. I have your cookbook, and I love it. Thanks for devising such wonderful recipes.
Just made this delicious concoction this weekend! I didn’t have cardamon on hand or maple syrup so I used pureed dates and nutmeg and it was deeeeLISH! love your blog and the great healthy recipes! Yum!
This breakfast oatmeal in a jar is really delicious! Filling, tasty, fresh and very tasty. I used coconut cream cause that’s what I had and perfectly ripe pear. I have eaten it for lunch cause I crave the flavor so and it’s so filling. Love having the little jars in the fridge ready to go. Thanks, Andrea – another winner!
Do you think this would be good warmed up?
I really love all of your recipes! I will have to try this for breakfast.
xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com
It looks delicious andI like how you tell the process of taking the pictures!
I really rely on people’s comments, so it seems so selfish when I make a dish and don’t leave a comment myself. I made this and it ROCKED!! My oatmeal was very sticky, so I thinned it out with some very vanilla soy milk and used agave nectar in the jam. My family really likes things sweet so we tweaked it. If you are on the fence, give it a try…
This is one of the most delicious and healthiest breakfasts I have ever had! I never liked oatmeal but with this recipe you don’t even taste the oats. I can’t wait to buy your second book!
This is something I could have right now. Totally trying this recipe.
Hi I cant wait to try this overnight oat parfait with chia seed jam. I just thought I would let you know,firstly I know nothing about photography. Immediately when I looked at your parfaits on the sign, my thought went straight to what is the background the food is sitting on. I loved it the whole lot food and the presentation of your photo.When I read your views I smiled as a lady told me the other day don’t stress about perfection. What is perfect in our eyes is not always perfect in another’s eyes. So please share with me in this ladies advice, and BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY YOUR PICTURE IS BEAUTIFUL IT MAKES ME WANT TO TRY. You have
inspired me to make your recipe and find an old sign and take a photo like yours. It will be first for my scrapbook.Unfortunately I have no fancy camera but I will make the best I can with what I have. Thank you and keep up the great work☺
Angela, I love being vegan and you make it so much fun! Thank you so much for all your incredibly creative and delicious recipes. Yours is my absolute favourite blog. I not only love your recipes but the blog itself, how well-written it is (which as a writer and a grammar geek I SO appreciate) and how interesting all your posts are–your thought processes etc. Your posts show what an intelligent, fun, caring person you are. Thank you for adding so much pleasure to my life!
Can i use steel cut oats for this recipe?
So this looks fab! I have everything prepared so that my husband and I can have this for breakfast tomorrow morning. I live in Canada though and it’s getting cold, my question is will this taste good warmed up? I’ve tried the other oats …. Delicious x
hi – this looks so good! i am wondering whether you’ve ever tried freezing it in the jars?
this was delicious, as are all of your overnight oats! I love all the different variations i’ve tried!! i’m just wondering if steel cut oats can be used? i make overnight oats all the time, but i’ve never tried steel cut so just thought i’d check in to see if angela or anyone else has tried that? thank you!
Am I understanding this right – there is no need to cook the oats, the just soak all night and you eat them cold?
Yes that’s correct! :)
This is a wonderful recipe! I’ve been trying forever to find a way to “love” oats — I know it’s one of the best breakfasts a girl can make, but they were always so bland before. Thanks to you though, I now love oats for breakfast. Thanks :)
This is honestly the best oatmeal I have ever eaten! I love the taste of the coconut milk and the cardamon, it is such a unique combination.
Mine don’t look half as nice when they are all layered up :) haha My presentation skills definitely aren’t as good
I just made this the other day and it is so delicious. It makes the perfect breakfast or snack. I used mixed berries for the jam and it turned out delicious!
So happy to hear you enjoyed the oats, Hannah! :)
This looks great!
Just wondering if I can make this chia seed jam and use it just as jam? Or is it better to make your blueberry vanilla chia jam? Thanks so much!
I’ve tried using canned coconut milk for overnight oats before and the fat hardened into extremely unappetizing chunks. Do you use a specific brand? Do you skim the fat off first? Or do you have any other tips that might help?
*Be sure to use green cardamom – not black. I came VERY close to destroying this with black cardamom, which is all I’ve ever kept in my spice cabinet. I kept smelling it as I ground it thinking, ‘this is going to be awful’… so I put it aside and did some research (thankfully). My understanding is that green cardamom can be used in either sweet or savoury, but black cardamom should only be used in savoury/spicy dishes.
I know you posted it quite a long time ago and I’m a bit late but anyways… by coconut milk you mean the pure 100% milk or the one meant for drinking?
Hi Ania, Great question! I mean the pure coconut milk you find in cans (that you often have to stir up to mix together any separation of the cream). Hope this helps clear things up!
Awesome. I love the photo chit chat! Thanks for the tips on editing and your picture taking process :))
I love the simplicity of your recipes! These look like really expensive!
Thanks so much for this recipe, I just ate it for breakfast and I couldn’t get it in my mouth fast enough! It tasted like fall to me with the cardamom and pear. One question though, your oats look a little liquidy in your pictures, however with the can of coconut milk, my oats were pretty solid. Still tasted great, but wondering how I can get them a little less solid.
This was amazing! I used quick cooking steel cut oats and soaked them in hot water for an hour before adding to the oatmeal mix. And my pears weren’t ripe yet so I just had the oatmeal and the jam. I didn’t even care. I’m thinking of ways to hide this from the rest of my family so I don’t have to share.
So glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! :)
so you don’t cook the oats? Sorry this is quite new to me!
Hi Lesley, I know it does sound strange, but you don’t cook the oats in overnight oats. They are simply “soaked” until softened. great summer option!
Which is better steele cut oats or rolled oats?