Cool Breakfast in a Jar

Several years ago, when I was visiting an out-of-town friend, she served oatmeal in a very interesting way. She told me we were eating breakfast Portland-style. That’s where she had chilled oatmeal for the first time.

She called it Swiss Muesli, which I think of as a wholesome and hearty granola-type cereal. This was different. The night before serving she had mixed uncooked old fashioned oats with skim milk, brown sugar, dried fruit (she used dried blueberries and cranberries), low-fat vanilla yogurt, salt and chopped pecans. She covered the mixture and chilled it overnight. At serving time, she scooped the mixture into cereal bowls. No cooking and no heating involved. It was very good, and what a convenient way to serve a nutritious breakfast to overnight guests.

I’ve taken my friend’s breakfast idea a step or two further by making it with dairy-free milk and yogurt and portioning the mixture into wide-mouth jars for individual servings. This makes it an easy grab-and-go breakfast and a very convenient way to serve a house full of summer weekend guests or a husband who heads to the golf course very very early on weekend mornings.

This time of year, fresh berries are a must in this thick breakfast soup. I packed chopped fresh strawberries on top of the oatmeal mixture. You can stuff chunks of toasted pecans just under the lid of each jar. If my cool breakfast in jars will be eaten at home, I leave the crunchy nuts out of the jars and offer them in a bowl at serving time for each person to add as they wish.

A pint-size wide-mouth jar is just the right capacity to hold a serving of chilled oatmeal along with plenty of berries and nuts, but any wide-mouth jar will do the trick.

Children will enjoy eating their breakfast from a jar. In fact, everyone will find it fun to eat breakfast from a jar.

I served chilled oatmeal last week with Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones that I posted not long ago. It was a great taste and texture combination.

If you like the idea of the ease and convenience of preparing and serving meals in a jar, check out the Cool Veggie Bliss In A Jar that I have in my column this week. It’s a great lunch.

Now all you need to do is make room for all of these jars in your refrigerator.

Chilled Oatmeal In A Jar

  • 2 1/4 cups uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups plain almond milk or flax milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek-style dairy-free vanilla-flavored yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh berries (strawberries (chopped), raspberries, blueberries)
  • Toasted pecans, broken

In a large mixing bowl, blend oats with milk, yogurt, brown sugar and salt. Spoon the mixture into wide-mouth jars. Scoop berries on top of the oat mixture. Top with nuts. Seal jars and refrigerate overnight. Makes about 6 servings.

Tips from the cook

  • Skim milk and low-fat vanilla yogurt can be used for the dairy-rich version of this recipe.
  • The original recipe I got from my friend calls for 3 tablespoons dried fruit and 3 tablespoon chopped nuts to be stirred into the mixture in a large bowl before overnight refrigeration.
  • I used Greek-style SO Delicious dairy-free cultured coconut milk vanilla yogurt.

14 thoughts on “Cool Breakfast in a Jar

  1. Pingback: Chilled Oatmeal in a Jar and Recipe Roundup « The Heavy Table – Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

    • Aaron, just mix it all up in a big bowl and scoop some out each day into a cereal bowl. Or, mix it up, portion it into cereal bowls, add the fruit and nuts and cover each bowl and refrigerate. Then, just pull one of your prepared cereal bowls from the refrigerator when you are hungry. YES! You can do it, Aaron!

  2. If I wanted to use milk products, do I still use the measurements given above? This sounds like the answer to our families busy morning and eating on the run!

  3. Great recipe! I do an on-the-fly version of this, but it would be so much better made up ahead so all the flavors get to know each other.

  4. I know these as Overnight Oats and they are by far my favorite (and basically only) braekfast from May-ish to October. I love the idea of serving it to guests in a small jar – much more visually appealing!

  5. Looks yummy!
    I’ve done this way in a thermos wide mouth in fridge overnite, and can hit the road and eat any time. Thick rolled oats from the bulk natural food stores is awesome! Also works great with pre cooked white rice, not so much nutrition as oatmeal, but tasty!

    I’ll take a real spoon with mine, however, please?
    Is part of the fun watching guests try to eat that with those ‘things’? :-)
    Cheers for bringing good healthy ideas to your readers.

    • A thermos is a great way to take chilled oats on the road, Jayson. I think you’d be surprised at how much fun it is to eat with those old wooden picnic spoons I picked up at an antique shop. I got a brand new old box of picnic spoons and forks. They look cute in photos, too :)

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