Oats in a jar
Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but I’m rubbish about eating it. Pretty much the only thing I crave first thing in the morning is a cup of coffee; hunger doesn’t kick in until 10 o’clock or so. I might have a yogurt, or a piece of fruit, but more often than not, lunch is my first meal of the day.
That said, I’m trying to change that. Often, I’m so ravenous by lunch that I make poor choices. Also, I feel like breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day, and I’d like that tone to be a good one. For me, the key to success is having something quick and easy on hand that I don’t even have to think about. Trust me, I have a hard enough time finding my keys and making sure that my teeth are brushed before I go catch the train (I keep a spare toothbrush in my desk at work, just in case).
Lately, my answer has been simple: oats in a jar.
Also called overnight oats, this is basically a dumbed-down version of muesli. I thought that everyone knew about them, as every healthy food blogger I can think of has written about them at some point (case in point here, here and here), but recently I tweeted about my own oats in a jar and got a tweet back asking for a recipe. So I decided that maybe it would be worth a blog post.
The beautiful thing about oats in a jar (OIAJ) is that you can completely customize them. You can make them in a bowl, or an almost empty peanut butter jar, or (in my case) a mason jar. And you can add/subtract/substitute ingredients depending on your preferences. Lactose intolerant? Use soy or almond milk. Gluten free? Vegan? No problem.And if you’re super lazy/busy you can make a few jars at a time, and then just grab and go in the morning.
In my case, I like to follow a prescribed formula and then add a bit of what I have on-hand. My standard is 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of milk. Usually I also add a Tablespoon of wheat bran, a Tablespoon of flax seeds, a touch of maple syrup and some raisins. Combine them in a jar (or bowl), give it a stir/shake, and set in the fridge overnight. Grab and go in the morning.
Peanut butter, or other nut butter is also good, and honey, sugar, or agave can be used to sweeten. If raisins aren’t your deal, other dried (or fresh) fruit or nuts would be tasty… the key here is to have a ready, portable, and healthy breakfast to start the day off right.
Any other suggestions for oats in a jar?