Your mom most likely told you that eating breakfast is important and made sure you were sent off to school having enjoyed a stack of blueberry pancakes, fried eggs and whole wheat toast or a steaming bowl of oatmeal. But not everyone has time to enjoy the same type of breakfast. In fact, many Americans aren’t eating breakfast at all: 2011 research found that 31 million of those living in the U.S. don’t eat this morning meal at all. People said their schedules didn’t allow for breakfast and that they didn’t even feel like eating it. But a funny thing happens when you make it a priority to put something in your stomach every single morning: you will wake up and actually crave breakfast. It’s a good habit to get into, even if you’re crazy busy at work. Check out these 5 portable breakfast ideas that you can eat on your morning commute, whether by car or train or on foot. You will be so glad you did when your stomach doesn’t grumble for one second during your 10 a.m. meeting.
1. A Jar of Creamy Oats
Many vegan food bloggers like to soak their oats in the fridge while they sleep so they can wake up to a nutritious breakfast. Why not do the same? Simply take a mason jar, fill it with a serving of rolled oats (typically 1/3 of the jar is a good guideline as they will expand as they soak), milk/almond milk/coconut milk, and a banana (if you want). You can add some chia seeds to ensure that the mixture gets super thick and creamy. You will also reap the health benefits: chia seeds have omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Oats are an amazing choice for breakfast since they ensure that your blood sugar remains normal. This is good for those that have diabetes. However, it’s also good news for you since you want to be all productive all day long, and having stable blood sugar makes that possible since you won’t experience any dips in energy. Oats also have protein and fiber which is what you want for your morning meal since you will be full and less likely to eat more later on, which is great for maintaining your weight. We all know that being starving at work just means being tempted to inhale a bag of vending machine potato chips, and we don’t want that.
When you wake up in the morning, your oats will be ready. Just add the toppings of your choice -maybe some blueberries or strawberries and some almond butter for some healthy fats- and take the jar with you to enjoy on your commute. Who knew breakfast could be so easy?
2. A Super Filling Almond Butter Smoothie
Smoothies don’t have to be green, so if you’ve been put off by all the trendy green smoothies and juices that are super popular right now, don’t fear. You can make a smoothie that works for you. This is a great portable breakfast since it can be made the night before and stored in a water bottle or mason jar so you can just grab it and go once your alarm goes off.
To make sure that your smoothie holds you over until lunch, you want some filling protein and fat in there. Almond butter is the way to go. One serving (a tablespoon) contains 18 fat grams -but don’t worry, it’s the good kind of fat. This will make you feel super awake and give you the fuel you need for your busy day. To benefit even more, add two tablespoons of this creamy, not-too-sweet butter to the smoothie recipe of your choice, to ensure you get enough protein to stave off hunger until noon. Good choices for smoothies include a banana or avocado for that creamy base, blueberries or raspberries, a scoop of protein powder if you want even more protein, and almond milk to keep the almond theme going. You can even make two servings of your smoothie at once and breakfast for two days in a row will be covered.
3. Whip up a Batch of Meatloaf Muffins
We often enjoy bacon or sausage with our eggs or pancakes for a lazy weekend breakfast, whether we’re out to brunch or making a special meal at home. Why not enjoy some meat for breakfast during your commute to work? But we can’t exactly sit down to a plate when we’re crammed into a subway car or stuck in traffic. Enter meatloaf muffins.
You probably have an old meatloaf recipe hidden away from your mom or grandmother. Or maybe you’ve never made it before. Whatever the case, find an easy recipe online or in a cookbook and make the meatloaf into muffins. You can use ground beef, turkey or a combination to cut the saturated fat. If you add some rolled oats instead of the typical bread to bind everything together, you will get some healthy carbs along with the protein from the meat, and a carb/protein combination is the best type of breakfast when it comes to making sure you are actually satisfied.
Freeze your muffins so they last and are ready when you are. Just thaw overnight in the fridge or in the microwave before you leave.
4. Enjoy Leftovers For Breakfast
Who said you had to have typical breakfast foods first thing? Maybe you hate eggs or have an allergy, or oatmeal bores you to tears. That’s the joy of leftovers. Anything can be a breakfast food when you think about it.
Some easy portable leftover ideas include turkey or vegan black bean chili, chopped up chicken or turkey, or quinoa. Just give the food a quirk whirl in the microwave to heat up, grab a fork or spoon and head to the office. As long as you find a tupperware container that is easy to eat from -maybe a circular rather than a long rectangular shape will work- the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can eat. Just make sure you’re eating some carbs and protein together. If you’ve got leftover protein, you might want to also grab a slice of whole grain bread and smear some peanut butter on it. Quinoa is an excellent breakfast choice as it’s got protein and carbs but you could always add some fruit and nuts for added nutrition. Nothing is easier than leftovers and if you’re not someone who likes eating the same thing for dinner two nights in a row, then this is a great way of cutting down on food waste.
5. Slow Cooker Granola
Did you know you could make granola in your slow cooker? This useful and handy kitchen appliance isn’t just for getting dinner started in the morning. Take advantage and make some granola when you’re preparing dinner. It only takes 3-4 hours so it’s simple.
Start with 2 cups of rolled oats, add something sweet like maple syrup, your favorite nuts, and anything else you might want (nut butter, raisons, dried fruit, etc.) It’s definitely a more hands-off method of making granola since you don’t have to stand at the stove or the oven and stir all the time, so it’s recommended for busy schedules.
Store it in the fridge and it will keep for a few days. Just put it in a mason jar or tupperware, add some bananas and yogurt, and you’ve got a yummy and filling breakfast that you can eat absolutely anywhere.
Say goodbye to being starving all morning long and wondering why you never make time for breakfast. Listen to your mom and enjoy these 5 portable morning meals and ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to fuel you for whatever comes your way.