For most of my working life, I’ve eaten breakfast at work. It saves time in the morning and allows me to extend my overnight fast by at least an hour. My current routine is to arrive at work about 30 minutes before my hours begin, which gives plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and to care for the houseplants I keep there, while also allowing me to commute ahead of the worst morning traffic.
Many days, my breakfast is dinner leftovers. Stir-fries are quite good cold, which prevents any vegetables from becoming overcooked. Soups and stews are warm and filling, perfect for a winter morning. I really love baked pumpkin steel cut oats; I modify this recipe, reducing salt, butter, and maple syrup – it’s tasty warm or cold. But an easy breakfast standby that I’ve enjoyed for decades is variations on berries, yogurt, and granola.
Pint-sized (16 oz) mason jars are my favorite way to transport any food that has the potential to be messy (That said, I don’t send them in Mari’s bag, which is tossed around throughout the day). They never leak, they store easily in the refrigerator, the contents are visible, and they take up little space in the dishwasher, unlike plastic containers.
Berries, yogurt, and granola requires a little advance work (I make the yogurt and maple-cinnamon toasted oats), but this can be done in batch mode, and the jars can also be prepared in batch mode.
Packable Yogurt Parfaits:
Per container, add
About 1.5 c frozen berries (they will shrink substantially as they thaw)
2-3 Tbsp flaxmeal
Shake the jars from side to side to move the flax into the berries
Add 3-4 Tbsp plain yogurt
The jars are too full for the oats now, so I pack those in a separate bag or container; they’ll be added just before eating, after stirring together the yogurt and berries, and they remain crunchy. Store in the refrigerator; the berries will be thawed in 24 hours or so.
My toasted oats are crunchy and lightly sweetened. Here’s how I make them: Position both oven racks near the center of the oven and preheat 300F. Oil 2 large baking sheets. In a large bowl, mix 8-10 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, 2 T cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I add other spices – allspice, ginger, nutmeg, etc – experiment and see what you like. Add about 1/4 c maple syrup and stir well. Pour onto the baking sheets and spread to an even thickness. Bake for 20 minutes, then swap the locations of the baking sheets, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. I store this in the refrigerator or freezer in a large jar.
These toasted oats can also be used as a topping for fruit crisps. Bake the fruit first, covering the pan with a baking sheet, until the fruit is as done as you like. Then top with the toasted oats and return to oven just until warm.