This has been a hop-towards-the-door-on-one-foot-while-trying-to-wrangle-on-the-other-shoe-while-simultaneously-squinting-to-see-if-you-actually-put-in-your-contacts-and-once-again-scanning-the-house-as-you-panic-at-the-time-to-make-sure-you’re-not-forgetting-anything type of week.
The morning rush is always a struggle–particularly for us night-owl folk, but when you confuse your face soap with your toothpaste at the end of a day because your brain has been on hyper-speed, only to do it all over again the next day, you know things are a little extra nuts. It’s times like these that are so easy to let the important things fall by the wayside. Things like meals. And more specifically, healthy meals. Do you ever get so focused and busy that food becomes a necessary evil? And you start bartering with yourself, “Oh, I guess I haven’t eaten yet and it’s 2:00pm. I suppose I should eat. Doesn’t all that coffee count, though? There is no time to eat. Well, those goldfish are close enough. Then I can say I ate something.”
In any regular context, you can’t convince me that skipping meals is a good idea, but get me uber-focused and under a tight deadline–ain’t nothin’ gonna get in my way. Nothing is going to slow me down–not even food. That is until I remember the wise words of my husband ringing in my ears. The voice telling me that I need to give my body good, healthy fuel so that I can continue to maintain the pace at which I am trying to run.
This is why I love make-ahead meals–so that in the middle of the chaos I’m not sacrificing my physical wellbeing. This make-ahead oatmeal recipe has brought countless sighs of relief in our household. Because 1) I don’t have to make anything as I’m trying to get out the door–they’re prepped ahead of time! 2) Oatmeal is one of the healthiest meals you can have for breakfast. Plus, I know exactly what’s in these jars, unlike what I might be purchasing. And 3) I am not paying extra money for convenience. By purchasing and preparing in bulk, these oatmeal jars are extremely cost-effective.
With that, I present Healthy Make-Ahead Oatmeal to you and yours! They are simple, delicious, and hearty. Dan and I purchase the ingredients on our regular grocery trip (much of it from the bulk section), prepare the jars in minutes at the beginning of the week, and each have a ready-made, good-for-you breakfast every morning. And for people like me that want a different flavor each day–it’s totally possible! There is no downside here, people.
I hope these are as game-changing to your morning routine as they were to ours!
Healthy Made-Ahead Oatmeal
To prepare your jars, combine oats, chia seeds, sweetener, salt, and mix-ins in one mason jar. Twist on that lid and store until ready for use!
To heat oatmeal, add water to oat mixture (you may need a bit more water dependent on amount of toppings), stir, and microwave uncovered for 90 seconds. At this point, if you prefer your oatmeal a bit creamier, top with a bit of milk and stir in until the desired consistency. Enjoy!
Mix-in Combination Ideas
Apple Cinnamon • 2 tablespoons freeze dried apples, 1 tablespoon raisins, a pinch of cinnamon
Coconut Cranberry • 2 tablespoons pecans, 1.5 tablespoons dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
Strawberry Walnut • 2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries, 1 tablespoon walnuts
Blueberry Almond • 2 tablespoons freeze dried blueberries, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
Banana Walnut • 2 tablespoons freeze dried bananas, 1 tablespoon walnuts
Banana Peanut Butter • 2 tablespoons freeze dried bananas, 1 tablespoon PB2
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